Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Udupi Udaan :)

I was sad, I admit it. A perfectly good excuse not to write a post for almost 15 days :-p. Sadly, I can't put off writing a post forever based on that excuse. So its time for the posts of the India trip I promised and yet haven't been delivering. Its ironic as to how sometime ago I wouldn't have ideas for a post and hence couldn't post and now have loads of ideas but cannot post due to time/work constraints :-p. Anyways better get on with it :).

After the fateful Delhi trip that branded the visa on our passports, we were back in Bangalore. But certainly not to stay :-p. The very next day (or to be honest, night), we (Mom, Dad, Darsh, Susheela aunty, Hari uncle, Sri and me) set off to Udupi. The title is wrong, there is no way to fly to Udupi, but the drivers do drive the buses like they are flights. They are fast and the sudden turbulences are fairly common ;-). Thankfully, I had no trouble sleeping in the bus at all due to my jet lag. Only in the morning did I come to know that I had more reasons to be thankful. It seems the bus seats had bedbugs!! No one told those that they are supposed to live only in beds I suppose :-p. Anyways, looked like I didn't have any bites as such. These bedbugs are choosy man ;-).

The first day in Udupi i.e 4th May 2006, we spent fooling around. The heat was too much, as expected. But the house was cool and hence we spent time catching up with Gayathri aunty, Raaghu mava and Ammamma (my maternal granny). Evening, we headed to the beach.

To people in Udupi, beach implies the Vadabhandeshwara beach. There is also a beach at Malpe, but that one is stinky, believe me!! The fish stench is so bad that the only way to roam around there is with your nose blocked :-p. So, you are actually grateful if you have a cold when you are around there ;-). The first thing we did at the beach was to run to a churmuri stand. Churmuri is a variant of bhelpuri made specially in South Kanara, but I am not sure its not available elsewhere. After grabbing churmuri with both hands (we held the parents' ones too :-D), we headed towards the water where our parents were sitting and already enjoying thaali munji (I found out just today that they are called toddy palm fruits in English :-D, mainly because toddy is also collected from the same trees). We had a gala time eating, walking in water and snapping snaps :).

Just as we left the beach in a bus (private buses are plenty in Udupi, one goes another comes in the next minute :-D), the heavens opened up and it started pouring!! We had plans of going to to Diana, our favourite restaurant in Udupi, but it was still pouring when we got down at the bus stop. And we didn't even have an umbrella :-p. So we stood there almost an hour until the clouds showed us some pity and stopped throwing water at us. But Diana more than compensated for the rain, what with a delicious feast of bhel puri, cutlets, noodles and icecreams (Diana is famous for bhel,cutlet and dahi vada, but sadly dahi vada had already been gulumd, hehehe I mean consumed, by others by the time we went). We had no problems going back home at all.

Next day, May 5th 2006, we got up early morning, took head baths and headed to the first temple of the theertha-yaathra (:-D) in the Qualis that dad had booked. The Vishnumurthi temple at Aleyuru is a must in all our trips to Udupi as Vishnumurthi is the home-deity (manedevaru) of my parents (mine changed to Venkataramana after marriage). Our next temple of the day was the Anegudde Vinayaka temple of Kumbhashi. Mom had pledged the Akki kadubu seva here and we were able to fulfill the pooja accordingly :). The Akki Kadubu of South Kanara is a kind of idly cooked in containers made of coconut leaves. Its a very tedious process of making these containers. In the seva, about 100 (I think) of the Akki kadubus are made and offered to Lord Ganesha. After the pooja and mahamangalaarathi, we had a tasty lunch with the kadubu :).

Since the pooja and the lunch were over by noon, we decided to visit the Udupi Sri Krishna temple and retire for the day. There are 3 main temples in Udupi, even though we hear usually only about the Krishna temple. These are the Chandreshwara, Anantheshwara and Sri Krishna temple. Chandreshwara and Anantheshawara are Shiva temples (stating the obvious :-D). So we visited all 3, did some amount of shopping (flowers, hermaNe which is a complicated coconut grater for me to get to US) and left.

Later in the evening my little cousin Sanjana and me had a great time plucking Jaam fruit (also called Jambu fruit or Rose apple) from the tree at home. I didn't have a great time when huge red ants fell on to me from the tree I was trying to hit the fruits out of ;-). Nevertheless everyone enjoyed the fruits of my labour :-p. Hehehee :-D.

6th May 2006, early morning we left to Herga Durgaparameshwari temple (some details on the temple are available here), which is the village deity (graamadevathe) for my parents to perform the auspicious Chandika Homa. The rituals starting with the sankalpa and later the homa went very well as we hoped. This is the temple:

The photos of the homa came out a bit dim thanks to not enough light inside the temple + not enough sense to use the camera flash on Darsh's part :-p.

After another delicious lunch (delicious lunches are usually the favourite and constant parts of Udupi and surrounding areas' trip :-D), we headed to the house in Herga (which is my native place) where my dad's cousins and doddamma live. We spent an enjoyable time there. I also grabbed a few of my favourite karande kai (its a sour berry that grows there - didn't find an English name for it anywhere) from the plants and enjoyed their taste after what seems a long time :).

After going home, I took photos of random things and people including one of my Ammamma here:

And that was it for the day :).

7th May 2006 was the last day in Udupi. Err, should I say Dharmasthala 'cause thats where we went to that day. Its about 2.5 hours drive from Udupi to Dharmasthala and thanks to our air-conditioned Qualis, we didn't feel the heat. We reached the Dharmasthala Sri Manjunatha temple only after 12 in the noon, which meant the Mahamangalaaarthi was over. We bought the ticket for the Rudraabhisheka and skipped endless queues through shortcut method thanks to my mom :-D. Mom lived in Dharmasthala with her sister and brother-in-law who were teachers there for quite some time in her childhood. The name "Rama teacher" (my doddamma) (Note that its Rama and not Raama) still wields a power over lots of people there, basically because most of them would have been her students at some point in time ;-). By the way, don't think of using this method next time you are in Dharmasthala, not because its copyrighted in any way, but because this method has to be used with the additional clause of speaking pure Tulu :-D. Otherwise its doomed to failure :-D. Don't worry, I don't know to speak Tulu either, though I can understand it :-D.

Anyways, later we were able to see Lord Manjunatha and do the sankalpa for the abhisheka. We also saw the idol of Ammavru (as Goddess Parvathi is referrred to there) and everything went satisfactorily. Wait, did I forget to mention that we had a delicious lunch there? Hehehe ;-). We set off immediately as we had to catch the bus to Bangalore in the night and we still had some amount of packing to do. But we did stop at a place in between to have some snacks. Me and dad went to have some tender coconut water. As I stood in the crowded junction, in the blistering heat, sipping tender coconut water and listening to my dad and the seller yapping away, I felt peaceful. I felt the way I never ever felt in US. I felt contented. What I felt just cannot be described in words. It was all so natural, oh-so-unrobotic (if there's such a word)...

Later in the night, after packing the goodies (varieties of papads, sandige and brinjals) brought for me by Raaghu Mava and the slurp slurp tasty Appi midi maavinakai uppinakai (Tender mango pickle) made by Gayathri aunty, we waved goodbye to them and to Udupi :). I carried the whole lot with me to US (except brinjals :-D) despite some looks of protest by Sri :-D.

I must add though that I was almost in tears as I said goodbye to Ammamma. She's already too old and she looked very weak to me. I really do hope I get to see her again :(.

And so ended the second phase of our India trip. Still to come are the Gruhapravesha, the Tirupathi and Hyderabad trips. Don't go anywhere ;-).


Thanu retorted...

looks like u had loads of fun.

we have the jam fruit u called too in India. we call it chambakka, and its pink in color

Soumya retorted...

Wow!!That was an eventful trip yaar...And as usual, a wonderful account of it also...

Nice to know that u could finish all pujes and harakes without any problem...Photos are very good...

Churmuri on the beach, eleneeru on a hot summer afternoon...Just divine!!Nothing to beat that feeling...

It has been aaaaagggggeeeeeess since I ate midi mavinakai uppinakai...Will u consider parcelling me some??(ha!ha!)

Waiting for all the other posts...

Deeps retorted...

>> Thanu >>

Yup, had lots of fun :).

Yeah Jaam fruit comes in white and pink colours and is a great thing when you are thirsty :)..

>> Soum >>

Hmm I can parcel you some midi uppinakai, but it might get confiscated by some ignorant US officials ;-) thinking it maybe some variety of anthrax or something...

Thankfully nothing happened to any of the uppinakai-s I got (I got 4 varieties :-D) in US customs, though the US officials did punch a hole in the sambar powder packet and a chilli powder packet :-p.

Thanks yaar :).

kruthi retorted...

Hey Deepthi,

This is Kruthi, just came across ur blog :-).......very nice pics....looks like u guys had loooooooooooooot of fun in India.

U should plan a trip to Atlanta before u finish enjoying all the delicious ethenic food u got from India ;-).


Deeps retorted...

>> Kruthi >>

Are you Uday's wife? How did you get the blog link?? :-D. And nope, I'm not shelling out my goodies to anybody ;-).

kruthi retorted...

Yes indeed!!!!! My SIL from India told me, she saw varun's pic somewhere on web and gave me the link and it turned out to be ur blog :-).

Deeps retorted...

>> Kruthi >>

Oh cool :). Sometimes it really amazes me that so many people read my blog!!