16 February 2007

Meghane trek log - III

In the pics : A few snaps of the descent from yesterday's post.

06:20 PM :
Myself with Nayana and Ravindra reached the residence of Mr. G, family head. The house consisted of a small cattleyard at the entrance, where a few buffalos and a few cows were residing in. Further down there was an open bath room with a big container called Hande, with fire burning the logs under it. This is the water boiler. The bathroom was opening to a very huge porch or an open veranda. This porch was totally covered with thick coat of cow-dung (sagaNi). The porch had an entrance to the house which opened into a backyard and then the jameen (lands) extended till the compound.

A dog welcomed us with its tail movements and the phenomenal eery sound. A small puppy came rushing to us with a waging tail, kissing our feet. We sat down in anticipation of others, and thought of getting freshened by washing our faces. A lady was washing some utensils at a small pipe from which water was flowing. I asked her where shall we get water to wash our faces and get freshened up, she instructed us to use the same pipe with running water. We freshened up, I then asked her where the water was flowing from, for which she answered that the water was flowing from the mountains. After the use, I asked her in a very urban way to hand over a stopper to stop the flow of water in the pipe, she said, “let it flow, we wont be closing it”!! “Save water” slogan has not reached this village yet, I thought.

Everyone came, tired and exhausted. But one thing that made us all happy was the fact that there was no more trek that dayJ. As soon as we all assembled, first thing we did was to spread the mats, fasten the shoes and sit on them in a very leisurely way.

Lady of the house also told us that the village had 54 families living in it. It recently had a few provision stores opened, and all in the village belonged to same caste called Kudubis (tribals living there), who spoke distorted Marathi with Kannada words in abundance in between. G came and he continued the story. Meghane was geographically situated at a different part, in Sagara talluk itself, though. When Linganamakki dam was built as a Hydro-electricity project across the river Sharavati, Meghane was submerged by the backwaters. Government allocated this declivitous down-hill region for their living. These people accepted it gracefully, de-forested the region and shifted whole of Meghane here. It had been 60 years since the move. His is the second generation to be living here. His father generation had to live there without electricity, road, school or any other civil facility. It doesn’t mean that the current generation is exposed to all the urban things easily. They still don’t have electricity.

Yes, those people who sacrificed their everything for the sake of power generation to be supplied to whole of Karnataka are devoid and deprived of elctric supply!! What an irony of our lives. We cherish their sacrifice, and they are compelled to do the same sacrifice even today, again and again.
But they have no complaints. They’re happy about it and their lives. Probably these people are the inspitation behind the Bhagavadgeete of Vyasa Maharshi.

Realising all these, govt. very recently distributed solar power generators to each family there, it seems. Stating the fact that maintenance would be a problem, if they laid electric lines amidst the forest, these peopleare given one domestic solar power generator per each family. This power is used by them for lighting the household for a few hours in the evening. They can hardly light four lamps for three-four hours. Once the generated power is lost, they have to use batteries for rest of the night, for everything. And in monsoon period, when Sun is out only briefly in the region, they must spend the nights in darkness.

The village is at a 5 KMs distance from a main road where there is not so frequent transportation to Bhatkal, the nearest (a coastal) town. So, these people have to trek 5KMs in time or wait for the next bus for hours and visit the city for everything, and come back before it is late. Can some urbaner imagine such a life, at least for a day? We cribble for everything from traffic to medical facility, from the distance we have to travel to office to a short power cut. Would we have lived bearing such a great negligence?! We might have not. But these people are very much content about how they live. I rate their lives superior in terms of quality and contension.

We went for a stroll inside the village, to a small provision stall, where many men of the village had assembled for a light evening discussion. All of them seemed out of control, heavy with alcohol. Reason behind it could be attributed to the lack of any other entertainment programmes. These people, we learnt, would prepare sarai (alcoholic drink) in their backyards for domestic use after a day’s hardwork.

We had a magnificent dinner prepared by the duo of Nayana and Madhu, and went to sleep in the porch, in front of the house . We slept at 10 o’clock, against very nature of us all. Thus ended one of the beautiful days of the year.

We slept cherishing the beauty of Meghane, forest, the hills, the peak, magnum view from the peak, villagers with good humility, their hospitality and their never-say-die attitude.

06:00 AM :
Nayana screamed “Tea ready, get up you all”! We had a relishing hot tea at that cold morning, then finished our morning duties in nature’s company and then waited for the break-fast. Yummy Upma was being prepared and by the time we changed our attire for the trek, it was ready. Had the break-fast and started on our journey up-ward.

Here, we had a problem. Sharat’s swollen ankle troubled him and he wanted to go out of the team and return to Bengalooru. Sampath tried convincing him, but he didn’t seem to be moved. Nayana announced, “If you are going back, then all are. If we are trekking, then you too. We can not break the team”! Sharat agreed and continued to stay on. It was accepted that Sharat’s luggage will be shared by the team to make his journey easy.

To be continued…………..


Anonymous said...

Hmm .. Good one...

I was so reluctant to get up in that morning , nice weather... If it was not that hot tea :) ....

At one point it looked like everyone had decided to call it a day, but when sharath made up his mind .... we were able to proceed :)

Mundina bhaga?????

Anonymous said...

nanna hesaru barililla : previous postnalli


Prashanth M said...

nice pics & same question - mundina bhaaga?

Vijay said...

Srik: Excellent.. waiting for the next post

Srik said...

Next post will be up on Monday.
Usha, Prashanth, Vijay,
Thanks for your comments.

Please do come back for the next episodes.

Srik said...

Pictures would've been even better, had you be with us, Prashanth

M O H A N said...

Good pictures srik.
Awaiting your next part


bellur said...

These people, we learnt, would prepare sarai...
avrigella SHARAI illdidru ok...SARAI irle bek guru!

very good pics and post.

mouna said...

yes, we do crib about every measly thing, something that's passed down through generation. the amount increases from generation to generation, i guess!

praneshachar said...

wonderful narration and a very good write up on your trekking expedition. Always it is like this when you have everything you crib for small things and when you dont have anything you feel any small thing is a boon

when HMT was doing good every employee was looking for what extra benefit he can expect. today with their present state all are happy if they are paid salaries on due date forget about revision etc.etc., so pathetic. yes ofcourse if it were to be a private industry all these people would have been on streets long back.
looking for next episode today is monday will ww get it

Srik said...

M O H A N,

I liked that SHARAI SARAI analogy.

Probably, our English education is far from their reach, so they're happy??

Wow!! What a scholarly description! Thanks to you for that extraordinary analysis of basic human nature.

Yes! It will be out in a few minutes.

mouna said...

i wouldn't blame 'english education'. it's just how ignorant we've become with time, the fading sun.... the colourful flowers... the chirping of the sparrows is no longer appreciated by us.

Anonymous said...

In Karnataka we call 'Upma' as Uppittu'. So, you would have had delicious Uppittu, not Upma. Upma is not a Kannada word. It would be good to use the local word/s for such things.