Laze

A journey through India is never complete for me without stopping by in Kolhapur. It’s a shame that I had a 3-year gap from the last visit to this one. Happily, not much has changed in our neighbourhood, except for the addition of many new neighbours. The lake is still visible from the terrace, and plenty of birds to be sighted and identified. 2 out of 3 was not bad for me (identifying birds… ahem… not my specialty).

First, I had to drive out to the Khidrapur temple (or Kopeshwar temple, as it is known), a 7th? 12th? century, ancient site that has been on my wishlist for a few years now. Baba told me about the design of the temple: how the natural light is gradually cut from the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum which is completely windowless. The idea being, your eyes gradually get used to the darkness, and at the most sacred spot you can feel one with God, with no further need for external light. However, the Archeological Society of India has put a dampener on this experience with strategically misplaced tube lights. Plus, the guard at the entrance prohibits photography inside, simply as a show of his power, I guess. The temple is beautiful, and atmospheric, and some other lucky people have made nice pictures in their blogs here.

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Besides the odd outing around town, there’s nothing better to do at home than loll around, breathing the fresh air, and walking down to the lake. Which was made even more fun this time with my uncles and aunts visiting, and college friends driving down from Pune to spend a weekend together.

There’s a happy family portrait from that time sitting in my camera chips somewhere. I must shake off the laziness and put it up one of these days.

 

Day 7-12: Kolhapur

No matter how fast I whizz through anywhere else, when I get to my parents’ home in Kolhapur, I can take a long pause. Power cuts, poor customer service (this time in fixing internet problems), and an off-beat location have a way of making you connect with basics – fish in the pond, the frog waiting its turn patiently without budging, birds chirping, buffaloes bathing in the lake and grazing on the green, dragonflies buzzing busily, and us yelling out for Kelu, our mongrel who pick fights with dogs twice his size.

Kolhapur, especially our part of town, transforms itself in the rains, turning into one big green carpet, with the most amazing tiny flowers growing wildly in the grass and mushrooms taking advantage of the nutritious cow-dung to mutate into various shapes and sizes.

My uncle was visiting us, and we had fun going on not-so-long walks to capture the flora and fauna around us. Look:

 

"Sri Ujalaidevi prasanna"