Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A visit to Gorur

Ok, after one of those ‘mood swings’ of mine, I’m back to being normal, healthy and happy. It’s just wonderful I have a day off today, so I thought I’d blog something exciting. My recent trip to Hassan and Gorur was interesting, and I was waiting for time to document it. It was the week before last that we left for Hassan—it was an ideal family outing, with cousins with whom you can endlessly talk with perfect confidence because they are the sort of people who will really understand why academics is boring and why movies deserve to be discussed. We were cramped in a single car, all the seven of us, but that did not matter, what mattered was feeling the wind on your face, gossiping, and listening to the music blaring as the car sped past on the highway. I must say I was the most excited of all, because I would be visiting Gorur for the second time.

Anyone who is well into Kannada literature would have heard the name of Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar, a man who had a wonderful way with the pen. I call him the RK Narayan of Kannada literature….his writing is realistically captivating, and leaves a powerful imprint on the mind. This man was from the village of Gorur, which is about 22 kilometers from Hassan. Just like Narayan, who describes Malgudi in his imaginative detail, Ramaswamy too writes usually about his village with great fondness and natural pride. His writings were so powerful that they beckoned me to Gorur, and I somehow made sure I visited the place I had read about so often, last year. When I finished reading a marvelous novel written by him ( Namma Oorina Rasikaru), I just couldn’t stand the urge to visit the place. The same way RKN’s fans would feel if someone told them Malgudi existed, or Harry Potter fans were invited into the Hogwarts school of witchcraft. The place had changed over the years, as I observed from the car window. The book written by Ramaswamy Iyengar is half-a-century old, and the vivid description of the village and it’s people stayed in the depths of my mind as I made a quick comparison between the old and new faces of the village and I realized that the little village nestled in between the refreshing greens of the Malnad region of Karnataka was on it’s way to change---with modern bus-stands, trendy new buildings, this was not the village I had read about. But still, the visit was not all that disappointing. We did visit the temple on the banks of the river Hemavathi---it was one structure which remained unaffected by the constant changes and even didn’t forget to peek into Mr. Ramaswamy’s house!

This time, there was in additional bonus—we visited the Hemavathi dam, the waters were surging because the river was overflowing with water this monsoon. The Hemavathi Dam, I think is one of the best places to visit in Northern Karnataka, especially during the monsoons. The atmosphere of the Malnad region is truly magical. The cold winds will heal and revive you, the unpredictable sun who plays hide and seek in between the clouds can mesmerize you and the breathtaking view of the turbulent and vigorous waters of the Hemavathi river will numb your senses. The silent beauty of Hassan and surrounding regions will command respect and you’ll find yourself falling in love with this region, it feels better than home. This region is characterized by Abundance, and even the weather suits people like me who prefer the cold and wet kind of a climate. It is a stark contrast to Bangalore, and you can lose yourself in nature, all the elements here are free and strong, with nothing to arrest them---the winds, the water, the thick emerald forest cover….you will not see meekness, even Hemavathi river is a ferocious, you cannot swim in it when it’s overflowing, she will drag you away. For all those dare-devils, a visit to the Dam can invoke a rush of tingling excitement. Just stand around looking at the water, and there will be an unexpected surge of cold water, and before you know it, you are drenched to the skin, shivering, and waiting for more of it. It’s better than the fun rides at GRS! I got really wet, and to top it all off, it started raining the next moment, which made it all the better, of course. I am secretly proud I have no fear of water or the rains, I welcome it, (I think I could still go get drenched once more, even after falling sick, because I stayed out in the rains too long on Thusday!) Hey, and I forgot to mention! I did a bit of bird-watching too! Malnad is a bird-watcher’s paradise! I spotted the Indain Roller once more, the blue-tailed bee-eater (One of my favorites—I haden’t seen one in a long time), the common tailor bird, cormorants and plenty of cattle egrets. I was dancing around, trying to get pictures, which the adults did not appereciatet too much. The photos too did not come out properly, because it was raining outside, or I would have surely posted them. That ended a memorable weekend, a weekend that I am sure not to forget.


Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

I think, Mr. Seenu, you would be interested in Gorur. I went through your profile and saw that Namma Oorina Rasikaru is one of your favorite books too. I'm planning on posting pictures too. How is the book Hemavathi? I haven't read it. I wish I could.

narendra shenoy said...

Sounds like a fun trip. I've been to Haasan and Sakleshpur. It is truly beautiful. Some of my friends went bird watching, something I seriously need to bone up on. Apart from crows, sparrows and hens, I cant tell one bird from another. Even my sons are better than me. Ten year old Gautham spotted a blue jay on TV the other day, impressing me out of all shape.

Have a good day, and keep writing!

Nanditha Prabhu said...

hi lakshmi ,
i came across your blog thro my grandmother's from"khayals"
enjoyed reading abt you!
keep writing!

may all your dreams come true!
will visit often!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just happened to come across your bog on Gorur. My family is from gorur and I'm part of the Ramaswamy Iyengar family. Thanks for sharing your experience of Gorur.

Baldwinian said...

I just returned from a trip to Mysore and had the opportunity to visit Gorur. It is a beautiful village and remind me of the fictional Malgudi. I do not have the fluency to read kannada but I can well imagine the descriptions that the famed author would have penned!

The temple by the river is beuatiful and the river itself is so inviting.

I had the good fortune to talk to a gentleman living ina 250 year old house and was fascinated by how well the house was maintained.

I have some good pictures but do not know how to post them to this site.

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Thanks everyone for the comments.Mrs. Radhika: I am delighted to find someone who's from the ramaswamy Iyengar family actually reading my blog!!! :) It's a wonderful privelage to how you here! Im so excited. Just wanted to tell you that many poeple in my family are a great fan of Mr. Ramaswamy Iyengar's writings. A most humble man, he was. One of his books "Namma Oorina Rasikaru" has also been prescribed by the karnataka board for the 10th std ICSE. That is how I came across his writings. I thank you for commenting, I really appreaciate it.

Mr. Baldwinian: Welcome to my blog, and thank you for the comment. Delighted to know that you had a wonderful trip! Malgudi!! Isnt it? your absolutely reminded me of Malgudi too! Wow, and you visited that temple also...its a beautiful place, agreed. I remember the climate was funny when i visted the place...mostly cloud cover, a little bit of rain with the sun playing hide n seek...thats why I wasne't able to click many photographs. If you do have good pictures which you wish to share, I would be very happy to post them here, acknowledging your wonderful contribution. I would be delighted to put them up. If you wish to see them on this blog, pl do leave a reply/comment, and I'll send you my email ID!!!
thanks and regards,

Unknown said...

Idiots, can you people help me write a review on Namma Oorina Rasikaru ?

sandeep said...

I want to read the book namma oorina rasikaru by Gorur ramaswamy iyengar. where i can get the book.pleas any one help me to get this book.

sandeep said...

I want to read Namma orina rasikaru. so please any one help where i can get this book.

surya hatti said...

Read blog of Lakshmi Bharadwaj about Gorur, accidentally, just now, as I was feeling intensely nostalgic of the place and read of 23000 cusecs of water inflow into the dam since thursday in the HINDU and stumbled on to this blog.
I write to state that, the picture of that house at the top should be that of GORUR RAMASWAMY IYENGAR.originally.I cannot be mistaken, for I lived in the adjusent house (which one can see partially in the picture) belonging to Sri Keshavmurthy, from 1977to85.
This place creates mixed feelings in me.
The awesome river, monstrous dam and deep canals evoked fear in me, living single in this picture postcard hamlet.The spartan living entailed here and forced self-reliance put steel into me.
I was previleged to be in the audience when Goruru entertained us with his humour and he was himself the picture of merriment with tons of laughter.
I cannot forget also the Moonlight
Dinner we enjoyed on a full moonday, travelling in a two bullock drawn cart along the canal, eating mosaranna puliogre etc on a kaane and then, after midnight, the ride of a lifetime with the cart racing adjusant to the canal at breakneck speed, my heart nearly jumping out of my mouth, the deafening roar of the huge wheels on rocky road.It was truly a Night to Remember.
Certainly, I vouch for the fact that I lived a kind of malgudi type or huck finn tom sawyer type life.I would like to upload a picture of me at the YOGA NARASIMHA TEMPLE B/W, shortly.There is lot more to write.
Some othertime.