Pristine green hills, reviving winds, Vernal blooms bursting from the undergrowth, the mist of early morning enveloping the colonial houses….where am I? Where else but Coorg! My tryst with Coorg lasted for just two days, but within that time, I have unearthed so much. Once you learn to ignore the heat and bad roads, Coorg unfolds it’s infinite splendor before your eyes. Stretches of untamed forests, wild elephants, silent water pools hidden behind a thick shield of trees…there is so much to discover, and it tempts you to brave an adventure.
Surrounded by adults who don’t match my wavelength, and the absence of chattering cousins bought out the true observer in me. My eyes soaked in every detail of the landscape, and it set me thinking. We stayed over in my Uncle’s house—a pretty one on a hillock, with such a breathtaking view of the surroundings, that it had me mesmerized. I sometimes find inexplicable joy in simple things like the smell of wet earth, a babbling thrush on the pomegranate plants. This place was too beautiful for words. Spending a lonely evening on a terrace on the hillside can give you the true perception of the mystique and grandeur of nature’s creation. The spirit of the forest reverberated in the whistle of the winds, every call of the coucal in the distance. The magic of that environment can only be experienced. It gives you the sense of timelessness—where there is no past, future, or present. There is thrill of surprise every time something streaks past above your head. Visits such as these expand your horizons---to think a little beyond the life of marks, CET, and daily coaching classes. Coorg ignited my imagination and painted it with myriad colours.
This season, Coorg is alive with the vibrancy of life. You will find at least one feathered friend behind every silent thicket. There is no need to tell that it is very rich in it’s biodiversity. I have such a wide variety of birds here---all very exotic (excuse me, but even the common birds of Coorg are exotic in a Bangalorian’s dictionary!). I have spotted Sunbirds, Pied Kingfishers, Coucals, Yellow-billed Hornbills, Drongo (Jungle Crow), black ibises, tailorbirds, blue-jays, a woodpecker, wagtails, and magpie robins. I have spotted this butterfly called Malabar Banded Peacock Butterfly, endemic to Karnataka. Those 2 days, I have felt like I was living in a different part of the world with a true sense of belonging to it. I have seen wild elephants being tamed, seen the hesitancy in the eyes of a spotted deer when a car approaches too close, and even waited like a dreamer with an Umbrella in hand for that elusive woodpecker to return to a nearby tree (it never did!). I have drenched myself in a waterfall (Irpu Waterfalls), sipped coffee outside forest guest houses, and ultimately found deep contentment.. As I once again tackle my books, my mind cannot help but wander to Coorg, with star-sprinkled skies and beautiful flora and fauna and I find myself sinfully wishing for one more trip.
(photos from cousin Renu...)