July 31, 2011

Kerala Trip - Day1 [Aliyar, Valparai]

This monsoon July 2011, in my family, we went for a long vacation to Kerala. Here, I am going to share our soothing experiences in few posts, of course with pictures. On Day1 morning, I joined my family (who started from Pondicherry) at Pollachi. [Before that I was supposed to get down at Pollachi from the bus I travelled. But I slept (happened like this for the first time); hence I had to travel (extra 10km) till Udumalapet and take another bus to Pollachi]. We headed to Aliyar Dam at Aliyar. Aliyar Dam was awesome. The landscape of the mountains, clouds, water reservoir threw at us was mesmerizing. The clouds were embracing the mountains. There were couple of boats floating in the water reservoir. I framed a little of all these in my camera. The mountain landscape continued to the other side of the dam, where, in front of my eyes I could only see a blanket of trees, nothing else. And while the air was brushing the blanket, some trees were nodding with red flowers. I don’t remember when I last saw such view.

 (On way to Aliyar Dam)
 (From the park at Aliyar Dam)



 Landscapes at Aliyar Dam


  Other side of the dam


Travel Notes: Aliyar Dam is an excellent place to picnic with family, friends. There were not enough good hotels/restaurant at Aliyar Dam. Hence carrying food, especially for family picnics is highly recommended. 

From Aliyar dam we headed to Arivu Thirukkoil (Temple of consciousness) by World Community Service Center-WCSC founded by Yogiraj Shri Vethathiri Maharishi (19th Siddha). Amidst nature, amidst silence, Arivu Thirukkoil is an excellent place to stay and learn physical exercises, Kayakalpa, Mediation at easily affordable economic prices. WCSC is far from commercialisation yet highly reputed institute which is in the service for over 50+years

From Arivu Thirukkoil we travelled to Valparai all through numerous hairpin bends in the mountain. The day was cloudy. As we travelled higher the altitude, a close to bird’s view of the Aliyar Dam and the surrounding landscapes of mountains was breathtaking. We stopped the car for a while and clicked few shots. I didn’t go in any helicopter to get such shots. I was just clicking from the mountain. All through the way Valparai we came across numerous waterfalls.



 Hairpin bends


We reached Valparai for a late lunch. As per locals’ suggestion, we headed to Chinnakkallar Waterfalls, Neeraar Dam, and Poonjolai.  The way to Chinnakkallar Waterfalls is full of tea plantation estates and beyond a point it is forest. At many places in the tea plantation, there were huddles of blue colour walled houses with roofs using brick tiles. What a taste for those people living there. The blue colour fully complimented the tea plantations. The mist fittingly added the heavenly touch to the home. At the outset, to me, it looked like a simple life. In my humble opinion, they (and I) don’t need any iPod, iTouch, iPhone, iPad to listen to a melody there. We just need to listen to the silence there.  There was a calm young forest guard there to help us to trek about 500m to Chinnakkallar Waterfalls.  On a mat of wet grasslands, we were walking to the waterfalls. The forest guard said that, in a year, it would rain for 8 months in that place. Only between Dec and March it doesn’t rain. Facing the waterfalls at 100m, there is a suspension bridge constructed [during the British days] using wooden boards and ropes. On the mildly dancing bridge, standing and watching the waterfalls while heaven pouring as rains was a pleasant experience for us.  As mist was covering the mountains, we didn’t go to Neerar Dam and Poonjolai. However we travelled to Balaji Temple. What a place for a temple. (Lord) Balaji is intelligent. He has chosen a spell bounding place to stay. An excellent temple to sit and adore the beauty of silence.  











 
Mat of wet grasslands 

 
Chinnakkalar Waterfalls from the suspension bridge

Suspension bridge







Beauty

Travel Notes: For Chinnakkallar Falls, Neeraar Dam & Poonjolai, forest department charges a fee.  We (5+1D) paid Rs.600 for the package trip (inclusive of trekking charges, car, etc). According to locals there, the views we would witness at Neeraar Dam, Poonjolai would be breathtaking. (A family friend of us at Balaji Temple recommended us that) There are couple of important places such as Lemon Grass Hill (only by (an excellent) trekking (spot) in early summer Mar-Apr) and Top slip. There are around 15-20 hydroelectric power projects in and around Valparai. Orthodox vegetarians would find impossible to find pure vegetarian food there. 

In short, Valparai is a sweet place to get lost.

July 25, 2011

Haunting . . .

All these songs are haunting me for many days and nights.

Forgiven, Not Forgotten (by The Corrs)

All alone, staring on
Watching her life go by
When her days are grey
And her nights are black
Different shades of mundane
And the one-eyed furry toy that lies upon the bed
Has often heard her cry
And heard her whisper out a name long forgiven
But not forgotten

You're forgiven, not forgotten,
You're forgiven, not forgotten,
You're forgiven, not forgotten,
You're not forgotten

A bleeding heart torn apart
Left on an icy grave
In their room where they once lay
Face to face
Nothing could get in their way
But now the memories of the man are haunting her days
And the craving never fades
She's still dreaming of the man long forgiven
But not forgotten

You're forgiven, not forgotten,
You're forgiven, not forgotten,
You're forgiven, not forgotten,
You're not forgotten

Still alone, staring on
Wishing her life goodbye
As she goes searching for the man long forgiven
But not forgotten

You're forgiven, not forgotten,
You're forgiven, not forgotten,
You're forgiven, not forgotten,
You're forgiven, not forgotten,
You're forgiven, not forgotten,
You're forgiven, not forgotten,
You're forgiven, not forgotten,
You're forgiven, not forgotten,
You're not forgotten,
You're not forgotten,
No, you're not forgotten.

What can I do (by The Corrs)

Haven't slept at all in days
It's been so long since we've talked
And I have been here many times
I just don't know what I'm doing wrong

What can I do to make you love me
What can I do to make you care
What can I say to make you feel this
What can I do to get you there

There's only so much I can take
And I just got to let it go
And who knows I might feel better
If I don't try and I don't hope

What can I do to make you love me
What can I do to make you care
What can I say to make you feel this
What can I do to get you there

No more waiting, No more aching
No more fighting, No more trying

Maybe there's nothing more to say
And in a funny way I'm calm
Because the power is not mine
I'm just gonna let it fly

What can I do to make you love me
What can I do to make you care
What can I say to make you feel this
What can I do to get you there

Love me.

Illegal (by Shakira)

Who would have thought
That you could hurt me
The way you've done it?
So deliberate, so determined

And since you have been gone
I bite my nails for days and hours
And question my own questions on and on

So tell me now, tell me now
Why you're so far away
When I'm still so close

You don't even know the meaning of the words "I'm sorry"
You said you would love me until you die
And as far as I know you're still alive, baby
You don't even know the meaning of the words "I'm sorry"
I'm starting to believe it should be illegal to deceive a woman's heart

I tried so hard to be attentive
To all you wanted
Always supportive, always patient
What did I do wrong?
I'm wondering for days and hours
It's clear, it isn't here where you belong

Anyhow, anyhow
I wish you both all the best
I hope you get along

But you don't even know the meaning of the words "I'm sorry"
You said you would love me until you die
And as far as I know you're still alive, baby
You don't even know the meaning of the words "I'm sorry"
I'm starting to believe it should be illegal to deceive a woman's heart

You don't even know the meaning of the words "I'm sorry"
You said you would love me until you die
And as far as I know you're still alive, baby
You don't even know the meaning of the words "I'm sorry"
I'm starting to believe it should be illegal to deceive a woman's heart

Open heart
Open heart
It should be illegal to deceive a woman's heart

Open heart
Open heart
It should be illegal to deceive a woman's heart

Innocent (by Taylor Swift)

I guess you really did it this time
Left yourself in your warpath
Lost your balance on a tightrope
Lost your mind tryin' to get it back

Wasn't it easier in your lunchbox days?
Always a bigger bed to crawl into
Wasn't it beautiful when you believed in everything?
And everybody believed in you?

It's all right, just wait and see
Your string of lights is still bright to me
Oh, who you are is not where you've been
You're still an innocent
You're still an innocent

There's some things you can't speak of
But tonight you'll live it all again
You wouldn't be shattered on the floor now
If only you would sing what you know now then

Wasn't it easier in your firefly-catchin' days?
And everything out of reach, someone bigger brought down to you
Wasn't it beautiful runnin' wild 'til you fell asleep?
Before the monsters caught up to you?

It's all right, just wait and see
Your string of lights is still bright to me
Oh, who you are is not where you've been
You're still an innocent

It's okay, life is a tough crowd
32, and still growin' up now
Who you are is not what you did
You're still an innocent

Time turns flames to embers
You'll have new Septembers
Every one of us has messed up too

Lives change like the weather
I hope you remember
Today is never to late to
Be brand new

It's all right, just wait and see
Your string of lights are still bright to me
Oh, who you are is not where you've been
You're still an innocent

It's okay, life is a tough crowd
32, and still growin' up now
Who you are is not what you did
You're still an innocent

சந்தோஷ கண்ணீரே (by வைரமுத்து) 
 இரு பூக்கள் கிளை மேலே ஒரு புயலோ மலை மேலே
உயிர் ஆடும் திகிலாலே என் வாழ்வின் ஓரம் வந்தாயே செந்தேனே...
இரு பூக்கள் கிளை மேலே ஒரு புயலோ மலை மேலே
உயிர் ஆடும் திகிலாலே என் வாழ்வின் ஓரம் வந்தாயே செந்தேனே...

கண்ணீரே கண்ணீரே சந்தோஷ கண்ணீரே கண்ணீரே...
தேடித் தேடித் தேய்ந்தேனே மீண்டும் கண்முன் கண்டேனே பெண்ணே பெண்ணே
பெண்ணே பெண்ணே பேசாய் பெண்ணே காண்ணே கண்ணே காணாய் கண்ணே கண்ணீரே
கண்ணீரே கண்ணீரே சந்தோஷ கண்ணீரே கண்ணீரே...
தேடித் தேடித் தேய்ந்தேனே மீண்டும் கண்முன் கண்டேனே பெண்ணே பெண்ணே
பெண்ணே பெண்ணே பேசாய் பெண்ணே காண்ணே கண்ணே காணாய் கண்ணே கண்ணீரே

உன் பார்வை பொய்தானா பெண்ணென்றால் திரைதானா
பெண் நெஞ்சே சிறைதானா சரிதானா...
பெண் நெஞ்சில் மோகம் உண்டு அதில் பருவத் தாபம் உண்டு
பேராசைத்தீயும் உண்டு ஏன் உன்னை ஒளித்தாய் இன்று
புதிர் போட்ட பெண்ணே நில் நில் பதில் தோன்றவில்லை சொல் சொல்
கல்லொன்று தடைசெய்த போதும் புல்லொன்று புதுவேர்கள் போடும்
நம் காதல் அது போல மீறும்
கல்லொன்று தடைசெய்த போதும் புல்லொன்று புதுவேர்கள் போடும்
நம் காதல் அது போல மீறும் கண்ணில் கண்ணே கண்ணீர் இன்ப கண்ணீரே...
தேடித் தேடித் தேய்ந்தேனே மீண்டும் கண்முன் கண்டேனே பெண்ணே பெண்ணே
பெண்ணே பெண்ணே பேசாய் பெண்ணே காண்ணே கண்ணே காணாய் கண்ணே கண்ணீரே
கண்ணீரே...

பால் நதியே நீ எங்கே வரும் வழியில் மறைந்தாயோ
பல தடைகள் கடந்தாயோ சொல் கண்ணே...
பேரன்பே உந்தன் நினைவு என் கண்ணைச் சுற்றும் கனவு
இது உயிரைத் திருடும் உறவு உன் துன்பம் என்பது வரவு
ஏ மர்ம ராணி நில் நில் ஒரு மௌளன வார்த்தை சொல் சொல்
உன்னோடு நான் கண்ட பந்தம் மண்ணோடு மழை கொண்ட சொந்தம்
காய்ந்தாலும் அடி ஈரம் எஞ்சும்
உன்னோடு நான் கண்ட பந்தம் மண்ணோடு மழை கொண்ட சொந்தம்
காய்ந்தாலும் அடி ஈரம் எஞ்சும் கண்ணில் கண்ணே கண்ணீர் இன்ப கண்ணீரே
கண்ணீரே கண்ணீரே சந்தோஷ கண்ணீரே கண்ணீரே...
தேடித் தேடித் தேய்ந்தேனே மீண்டும் கண்முன் கண்டேனே பெண்ணே பெண்ணே
பெண்ணே பெண்ணே பேசாய் பெண்ணே காண்ணே கண்ணே காணாய் கண்ணே கண்ணீரே
கண்ணீரே...

July 07, 2011

Tanabata Day 2010


உன்னோடு நான் கண்ட பந்தம் 
மண்ணோடு மழை கொண்ட சொந்தம்
காய்ந்தாலும் அடி ஈரம் எஞ்சு
ம்
- வைரமுத்து


Tanabata 2010 is one of the most unforgettable joyous days in my life. Still evergreen and will be evergreen.  (It's unbelievable that one year has gone). Wishing many more Tanabata 2010 return in my life very soon. (Earlier in 2000, in Chemistry class, my master Dr.Seetharaman Sir called me by my name. Sir calling by name is quite rare and it conveyed a great acknowledgement to my studiousness).