02 May 2006

A small walk into the past....

A glory in the tragedy.. Please read onnnnn on this forgettable page.

I was roaming through that street... I heard "Illi Banni. Muthu tagolli serige
nalakku kaasu!!!!" (Please come Sir. Buy the pearls from my shop. They are cheap here). "Ee kade banni swami... mooru kasige bangaara ondu seru..."
(Please come here Sir. gold one count is just three units of money)!!!

I saw the street full of life... full of activity... full of people...
buying diamonds... gold.. Pearls... silver.. corals.. and what not!!! It was a market where the sellers were ordinary people… selling these valuables in hunks called "seru"!!! The buyers were not extraordinary either!!!!!!! They were normal villagers who work hard and be content at their two-meal-a-day kind of life!! Buying and selling these metals was a part of their lives here.

None of them... buyers and the sellers.... none of them were really afraid of a raid by un-ruly crowd... there was no policeman with big mustache and a larger than him banduk!!! There was no fierce environment. It was all active, happy and embracing.
I couldn’t believe my eyes... I felt as if I was roaming in the Heaven.!!!

Then suddenly, I was taken aback by the sudden rush of people... horses frowning... elephants screaming... women, little children dispersed in that sudden awful moment. There was tension allover, spread in no time. People were rushing out to save their lives!! Everyone was sensing something bad.. They were showing it on the faces which were clear of thoughts, a moment before. The sellers were murdered in an instant.

There was no screams of "Togolli..." "Banni..." anymore. It was all sudden...!
The place was turned into a graveyard in one flip of eye. Gold and diamonds spilled everywhere on the street... some people trying to run-away were chased and murdered... murdered ruthlessly...

"Hey Shambho!!!" "Ayyo Parameshwara...!!!!" "Dayasindho..!" were the screems, then. I was the witness for such a change of time in that split moment.

The destroyers moving onnn came towards me...
They were nearing me... one of them so near that his sword reached my hand.... I screamed...."Bhagavanta!!!!" and lost my conscience!!!

When I realized.... There was no invader.. there was no market...
there was not a single seller... no buyers either.... the place empty... no gold... no diamond... no pearl... There was no blood flow either... the place was calm... The moment was neither active, as it was two moments before, nor was it cruel as was a moment before. It was dull, calm... It was turned into a place that told the story to the visitors... The pillars of the bazaar was chopped to the extent possible, but the destroyers could not possibly do any further damage as the place was huge and real... some stores still existed as they did... some of the stores half cut... still standing.

I was angry... sad... tearful at what happened... I was alive... but the liveliness was no more... I was sad at the loss of the glory in front of my eyes..
I was tearing at the cruel behavior of the invaders...
What was the need for them to destroy the hard built place...
what was in his mind when he ordered his force to destroy the heaven!!
Didn’t he see the beauty at which the market was organized...!
Was he jealous of the glory of this place...? No answer...!
I was surprised... shocked... taken aback... hurt... My emotions then were stateless...
I cried my part. I then realized that what I lost was a part of the past.
And that I have to live with what I see now... pillars standing,
with no people interested in buying anymore... none selling anything there.... But just a barren land with the glorious story of the past.... Yes. I have to live life this way... But, is there no way to walk back to the glory? Hope there was one... but as of now... present is cruel... We have to live with this fact.

I was walking around the Vittala Bazaar of the great Vijayanagara Empire’s capital city Hampi, when I witnessed such a huge run of emotions in my mind as I've mentioned above.

It had been a marvelous time for us to listen to those stories depicting market scene of the past. But it is really painful to see the mindless invaders chopping off whatever they can, in an end-less misery of the place. We have beauty in one hand and the tragedy of loosing that un-parallel beauty to the cruelty of some mindless beasts on the other.

I was really saddened at the way the idols of the temples destroyed, gopuras of those temples chopped off, the way in which the destruction stands as a mockery of the Indian faithlessness called secularism. To live in presence filled with agony, is all that we have today; But to touch the Hampi's soil is a pleasant journey inside the glory of our own past...

If not for those mindless barbarians and the crooky beasts,
we could have been living in a world where :
The mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action.

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake, again...
(With due respect to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore :))

My salutations to those who created Hampi
and my salutations to those carved it with artistry,
And also to those engineers who crafted the story of brilliance and intelligence.
Also to the Mother Thunga-Badhra who has blessed this land with the constant shower of affection
Also to Lord Virupaksha and Mother Bhuvaneshwari who, in spite of the ruthless destruction around them, stay there blessing everyone, blessing even the invaders..

Truly, Hampi is a mixture of three things Good, Bad and Ugly.
Lets hope everyone will take only Good things from here and bring the nation back to a position where the sounds of the Bazaar will be fearless, glorious and fascinating again.

Check out my photo and video album
Hampi trip on May1st 2006!


Shruthi said...

Hi Srik, welcome to blogging :) That was excellent imagery, could almost see the scene before my eyes! Just a small suggestion - after you write a post, just run it through a spell check - it will make the post much better! :)
Keep blogging!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sri, the blog is really good and worth reading. The concept is really thought provoking. Please keep blogging, will share this with my friends too.

Srik said...

Got this link from a friend.
Its takes you on an excellent tour of Hampi.

Srik said...

Forgot to post the link, here it is : http://www.world-heritage-tour.org/asia/in/hampi/map.html

praneshachar said...

your post on Hampi is wonderful you have narrated the past as if you have seen great imagination and thoughtful narration hats off to you for such nice post on Halu Hampe the pride of the nation for the way it was ruled, the bazaras where muttu ratna bhangara was sold in open without any fear the thoughtfullness of the people in construction of so many canala like rani kaluve basavanna kaluve etc., to help people to get water to their nearest places,the way the city was built the way culture art litereature etc., were encouraged.
sri sri krishnadevaraya a great ruler indeed.
thanks a lot for such a wonderful writeup you need lot of patience energy to go through the ruins of hampi

Anonymous said...

Hampi.Golden empire .. :( :( Huen tsang's narration, abdul razak's description of the prosperity of hampi made hampi popular and invaders rushed to loot with jeleaousy,

Wish archealogical deprt with UN could do little better in efforts of restoring the hampi temples and forts

Good post Srik


goodpeapul said...

Hi Srik,

This is one of the best articles that I have read till now... You have good imagination... Keep up the good work and keep posting similar kind of articles even in the future...

(P.S.: I am the one who had requested for details about Mallalli falls in aminus3.com ... thanks a lot for sharing the same... planning to visit Mallalli some time in near future...)

Srik said...

Thanks Vinay. That was a flattering compliment! It will do real good to me. Thanks again.

Jus Suba said...

A good one ...shrikanth.

I hope to visit Hampi Soon.

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Oh yes, Hampi is such a great place with such a wonderful history...it was so nice that it was at it's cultural peak so long ago...how we wish to bring those glorious days back! Nice post...do keep blogging, will visit often!

Jaanamari's appa said...

Revisited this post from Tiger Pran's post :)

Anand Balaji said...

Srik, I reiterate, your imagination is precious... worth more than those diamonds and pearls. This post tugged at my heart strings and left me teary-eyed.
If you were to be a movie scriptwriter, that film will be a super duper hit!