April 14, 2014

Thirthahalli - Relaxed and laid back

Thirthahalli has been on the cards since the time we drove down to Chitradurga, and saw what great roads the Tumkur route had. The plan was to cover Shimoga, but that was soon changed to Thirthahalli as we found a great place which we wanted to visit... Kolavara Heritage Resort. It is a home stay in the real sense, a family who invites you into their home for a few days. They spoil you with food which is delicious, freshly prepared and all through authentic Malnad. I am so thrilled that Vatsala and Nishcal took care to ensure that every meal had a Malnad touch to it. They kept to basics also understanding the need for simple foods which might be suited to kids. Personally was really touched that they dished out a fish fry for my daughter, as she is huge on fish in general!

The surroundings are quiet and peaceful and there are so many nooks which just invites you to sit and read. And this is something I keep hoping for time and again whenever I am visiting any place over a weekend. Kolavara fit into the reading bit completely. It was perfect for the reading and siting about with a drink in the evening. The sounds of the night and a water flowing somewhere near by will be all that you will hear. The property has ample space to walk about and it has so many wonders to thrill most city kids!

In terms of location, if you are looking to go about and see a lot of things, there are not too many places which you can visit easily. There is Kuvempu, a very famous Kannada poet's house and a hilllock atop where is last remains are kept. His home has been converted into a museum and the smallest of smallest things have been saved and preciously polished and displayed for the visitors. The house in itself is adorned with paintings, photographs of his family, books, certificates and diploma! They also have a small bookstore with many translated works by the poet. The hillock proves to be a great location for watching the sun set into the ghats and see the dry expanse of the northern regions of Karnataka.

I picked up The House of Kanooru, which is the translated work of an original Kuvempu novel. This was made into a movie by Girish Karnad, called Kanooru Heggadithi in the year 1999. He acted, directed and wrote the screenplay for this movie, and this movie won the National Film Award for the Best feature film in 2000.

Kuvempu's House, which is a museum now

Entrance to the Kavishala

Another view of the Kavishala

The dry beauty of the pre monsoon ghats

Sun set at the Kavishala

Another view of the ghats
On our way back we stopped at the Sakrebyle Elephant camp, as I was sure T would be thrilled to see elephants. In fact she had a choice to see either the Lions or the elephants, and elephants were her pick! Might just be the mallu blood in her! ;)

Clinging for protection

A mother and daughter

Entrance to the camp
It took us about 7 hours to drive to and from Kolavara. Shimoga is an hour less, and Shimoga would be better situated if you wish to go to Jog falls or the Lion Safari etc. One of the places we wanted to visit was Agumbe, which was said to be a great temple and again a great place to watch the sunset. But, alas, we overslept after the great lunch and then decided to laze around some more and finally just skipped it ! But, no regrets!

March 17, 2014

Child brides of Yemen

Child brides don't talk about it, but they suffer. A recent study in Yemen has shown that girls who have their rights taken from them in this way do not forgive their parents, and there is a breakdown of family relationships.
Back in 2010, I had come across a video on child brides of Afghanistan. And now, in 2014, things do not look very different. Why are these young girls, some even as young as 10 years forced into marrying men who are old and sometimes as old as their grandfathers!

Is this a way to ensure the women in the society do not ever gain independence, do not ever speak up in front of the men. I am sure that such small children are so scared of these men that they are forever silenced from voicing their opinion. Here is a voice of one odd woman, a doctor, on the child brides of Yemen.

...... girls under 15 are five times more likely to die giving birth.
But, who cares, right? Who bothers about their safety!

Too often girls have no voice, no choice, no access.

March 10, 2014

Caring through the day

When T was 2 I decided that I wanted to get back to work, and this involved going through many schools hunting down a day care which suited my needs. I did not know whether this was what I wanted for her, but I had gotten to a point where I did not know what I would do with a toddler who wanted to get out and do stuff, but I was a mom who loved my peace and quiet.

Now, its close to a year when T has been in day care and as I look back, one of the outcomes which I see is that she has certainly grown up with a wide range of activities which she has been exposed to, but she has also been exposed to many things which bigger children do, and she is merely copying them. I have also seen many characteristics which were not there a few months back and have suddenly started to emerge. Is this the 3 year old thing, or are these things which she is picking up now with school and she is at a more impressionable age.

I have had my share of issues with T picking up words and things from other kids at day care. But that is something which I had made my peace with, and now I see the stubborn, bratty behaviour and I am a little worried. Maybe a little more patience on my side is also needed. As she grows up and has her own way with things, I need to let things go a little and not control too much. I guess I should also be accustomed to be a guide not an enforcer. I keep reading about bringing in good characteristics and values, and at times I do tend to feel I am nit making the mark.

A long way ahead, and now the journey begins, as I talk to this individual who has a say in everything.

March 6, 2014

Update: Reading Bingo Challenge

Having had taken up the Reading Bingo Challenge, I thought I should also share what are the books I have been reading as a part of this challenge. I thought there would be many books which will help me check the boxes, but I decided I shall try to read a different book to satisfy each criteria. And, now I think this has made the deal more difficult for me.

Anyways, here goes...

A book with a number in the title: The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency
A book with a blue cover: And the mountains echoed
A book by a female author: C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton
A book with a mystery: D is for Deadbeat

Currently reading:
The second book in a series: River of Smoke (Ibis Trilogy)