Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Being a tourist!

It has been 3 days since my return from the UK, I am wondering what influenced me the most about my visit there? It was definitely a leisure trip! It was my first vacation in
years. I think the last time I had taken a vacation was when I had visited Mysore with my father mother and my brother as a 11 year old kid. Yeah I can also remember later when
I was 13, my visit to delhi with my cousin and the outings with my uncle aunt my cousin brother and cousin sister. Nothing has been better than that mysore trip afterwards in my

I remember the roads of mysore, the roaming around the chariots in the mysore palace, the long and tiring visit to the brindavan gardens where I puked all what I ate on a
beautiful north indian lady, who was kind enough to bear it looking at me the tired kid, getting drenched washing my clothes with them fully on of the vomit (not pleasant, but
was a real experience), and walking like a zombie after all this in the beautiful brindavan gardens holding my mother's hands. The visit to the museum in mysore and the sneak
touch on the throne there... made me feel like a king, when I touched something where it was written do not touch!

The long haul walk to chamundi hills later, and the view of mysore from atop the hill...
Later the cancelled trip to Tipu's fort, due to some health problem of my dad, of which my brother had boasted so much about, and also the tall stories my brother gave about the
Tipu's sword which was so big noone could even lift it, which I never saw and coz of the trip being cancelled!

And who could ever forget the stay in dasprakash hotel, and also the finest vanilla icecream cone I ever had from that hotel... every trip was to end with that! I also faintly
remember that the best tea I had ever had in my life was from mysore... milky and milky was the key word there, but tasted best..

And who could forget my dad's "eege and oogee", which he said was "here and there" in kannada, the local language of karnataka where mysore is located. He used to direct all
autorickshaw drivers saying "eege eege and ooge ooge"

I later stayed in bangalore, the capital of karnataka for work for 2.5 years, and my dad visited us many times during this time, and myself and my brother both now fully grown
up and working, quizzed our dad, that till now we have never heard "eege or oogee" other than "illi and alli", which actually meant "here and there" in kannada, and he used to
escape saying was a local dialect of mysore... I am still unsure about that fact! My memories about my dad are so sweet and so boyish of him... he never grew up, he was the
biggest kid of our family!

Now getting back to london... what did I like about this city so much that it reminded me of the best memories I have had of a vacation in any place? I am sure I know the answer
to this...best of all I had my family back along with me for a vacation, me my brother my mother, my brother's kid and his wife, except my dad who was nomore with us to find the
local dialect of english spoken in london, and direct the tube driver (I am sure he would have done that too...) about the being punctual to the dot(not even the london tube can
be punctual to the extend my dad wanted it to be)!!

As soon as I reached london, the first thing I noticed was the place was filled with history, it had cruel and a tiring past, and its people pardoned thier forefather's atrocities with forgiving smiles to anyone who is around. I walked on the tower bridge only to find that poetry was composed for long on that bridge and many great poets found inspiration on it to give a heart of appreciation to the beautiful city which was called london! London is surely the bard's empire...

I was always surprised by the talent of the man called shakespear who was such a genius, but if you are in london inspiration is no more needed to be invented... The tube or the london underground, is filled with poems in each compartment, which I am sure very few londoners should have noticed called "Poems on the underground", I should have read around 30 poems in a span of 3 days...

I am sure I have never done anything like that in my entire life, except when I had an english exam in school and forced to do it! This round of reading in london, I thoroughly enjoyed, as it was leisurely and because I wanted to, first time in my life!

I was filled with a joy of knowing that people in that land was able to love with the same devotion, like once they had suggested thier imperialistic empire over the whole world! Thier love was flowing in those poems, in those many hundred old aged couples I had seen walking around holding each others hands... with thier eyes always upon each other! Alas I wish I was born there, where love was flowing forever!

The tower of london, where Issac newton the greatest man was just a mint master, the ravens (crows) who were considered protectors of the castle and still like a good football team a minimum number of six players with their substitutes are still kept! The jewels and monarchy of a nation displayed with splendour, not asking to look back at good times of memories, but better times which are ahead of them!

London is one place where thier king queen and all are not symbols of a prosperous past gone by, but a proud reminder of the current wealth and where it came by from, how much so ever in quantity or hegemony it has reduced till date!

A treasure island flowing with poems and art, with musicians on the subway playing thier instruments and singing better than the American idol contestants... The land is a place
of great talent, and as an art lover you can always stop from your hectic life and take a second to appreciate it...

I am sure very few londoners have read the poems or heard to a full song by an artist singing on the tube station... I could because I was a tourist! Hope my life will always be that of a tourist... just seeing the sights and walking along, never to rest, never to pain, never to stop loving anyone because they are not your race, religion or clan... and read on the poems of love!


Sreepriya said...

Nice one Sree....from mysore to London via delhi....ma travel thru ur words ws such a nice exp....expectin more!!!

Gaurav said...

Sreeku... Written nicely, I could not stop my self visualizing london. It reminded me my trip to mysore too when we were wandering to find the hotel !!!

Keep it up sreeku !!!!

shyju said...

cherished memories..
nice way of narrating..

Che Guevara on the Road... said...

really loved ur poetic way of writing a travelogue...very different from mine...loved the way u described ur Dad...

am expecting more from the London trip though from you...as the blog ended quite abruptly...

but all-in-all very well written (as expected from you)...

keep the buttons moving mate !!!


Sindhu said...

Hey nice one sree...childhood vacations are so cherished! Ur trip down memory lane in Mysore, with fond memories of your dad was very endearing!
Reminded me how much some small things mean to us.

G4 said...

It was really nice one buddy...mysore se lekar london tak..gave us a nice feeling of trip..

Venky said...

Ur truly going places man...Like the way u write and I appreciate the effort u have put in to capture memories in words which are not just etched in memories, but etched for an eternity.
- Venky

Sreedevi said...

You've very beautifully captured your precious memories. There's the subtle balance between humuor and sensitivity..... well done! Its been a pleasure to read!
And you're right, I've never actually seen the poems on the tube that you've mentioned, although I'm not strictly a londoner... but will look out for it the next time I'm on it!!

Dhanush said...

Felt like poetic musing of london rather than a travelogue.

Your Dad brings me a ever loving memory of getting a big packet of Kadukka Fry for us, to belt along with our dishes in Pune.

capsmongoose said...

long time since i have visited your blog, and as usual gave me a lot to think about.

i have never visited london, but i had ample opportunities to mingle with londonners (brits). i dispute the view that you have expressed, as them being romantic.... (may be they do that only in london, i dont know, as i can vouch that brits are teh most uppity snobs in the whole world. yes i mean the whole of them ).

the mysore part was simply nice...great work....kept me thinking whole night...