By Daphne Clarance:
Summer holidays are the best. They are like the TV commercials after a prolonged monotonous movie, a video game played by a 10 year-old after a day’s homework forced by his mother, it’s like David Phelps swimming in a clear ocean, or shopping spree for a shopaholic, or maybe a High School Musical movie for a teenager. They are those holidays that have the power to procrastinate project deadlines and homework. Whether you’re going for a tour or going for a relative’s wedding in a new city or just plunge into a rubber inflated swimming pool in the backyard, those days are kept like treasure. Those were the days when I went to three most beautiful places I have visited. It was a journey through trains and cars and buses like I was an Australian wildlife photographer searching for the right scenes.
The sky seemed a perfect blue with mystical sorts of white transparent bubbles bursting on my skin as my mom cried behind me to pull myself backwards or else the waves would just drag me into their unfathomed depth of water. It had been six years since I went on a holiday with the family and now I actually had time to embrace nature so purely and majestically. I was in Goa at the most amazing Calangaute Beach, which is often treated well with visitors throughout the year. And we were here in God’s glory of nature to engage our attention wherever we wanted, to collect naturally designed and seemingly large seashells near the sea shore. My dad took us to a quieter place where we just sat on the high raised sand mountain with careful attention (partly just to see our slippers weren’t washed in the sea). Sitting on the beach without even saying anything for hours was something even my mom couldn’t make me do. I thoroughly enjoyed the pulchritudinous gob-smacking biosphere of the sea and the horizon that was but a scene I always saw in the movies. As a family we never went on a holiday until that day when we spent two days and one night on a train and must I tell you, the wait was worth it. The grub was indeed fascinating to look at but not as fascinating to eat. There was one dish in particular though that we all loved. It’s called ‘Sarpataul’, which is a very different kind of fish very rarely found and eaten. We spent a day and a half at the beach just staring at the great wonders of nature, as we pushed ourselves to the next destination, Bangalore.
It would seem quite obvious for a Delhiite to transfer metropolitan thinking into this place, but I must tell you Bangalore is the best place for opportunities, hang-outs, visiting and growing. People there are quite fast-track but generous. The only barrier you see is language. It took us two hours only to explain the driver to take us to a place that was just two kilometres from the railway station. The city is clean and beautiful with glitterati everywhere. It has many streets that look like you are in New York City, with those old lamps on lampposts and neatly paved sidewalks. I was busy clicking photographs while we were on our way to Lalbagh Botanical Garden. I must say, the main attraction at that place were the trees that it preserved for so many years. Tree names were assigned to each, seeming as old as its name. There was a tree that looked like a giant in front of us since it was three hundred years old. I just couldn’t get enough of it. The fountains were great. We were riding in a CNG van as walking around the entire garden would take three hours. We had a guide who told us all sorts of things about the trees and plants with hybrid fruits and flowers. Half of the time I was just enjoying the magnanimity of the place and the canopy that surrounded the entire garden. It is a place that must be visited by every nature lover. I was appalled by the artistic way the branches were designed, the roots could be seen growing on the surface. After Goa, Bangalore is the right place to see ground and trees when you have a handful of days of plain open sky. We then left for our journey to Mysore, that I would call a place to settle in.
When it comes to rioting about food, scenery, weather and luxury, Mysore should be ticked on your places-to-roam list. Drinking coconut water after every hour and walking down the streets at night makes you feel never to leave this place. There might be nothing to visit but the city itself contains vibes of satisfaction. The one thing that Mysore is famous for is St. Philomena’s Church, the highest church in India, and the dancing Brindhavan Fountains. First, we went to see the famous grey St. Philomena’s Church that I had a hard time to get it into one frame for a photograph. Alas! Its peak was cut on the picture. The place smelt ancient and reminded me of Israel (that I saw in pictures on the television). The Brindhavan Garden was just a memorable visit I can never erase from my mind. With lushes of water gushing up towards the sky creating patterns congruent with the background music was just awesome. The music contained light music with tones of semi-classical and classical to tune up the mood and after full five minutes of swinging with instrumental tones of the sitar, sarangi, veena and tabla, the ten minutes were a sudden blow of pop music mainly film songs and then that immediate change of the water flow like a jazzing swing and swirling of patterns across each thin stream of water hitting through each other and forming dancing moves like you’re watching a movie along with music. I just couldn’t capture any picture as it started at night and me with a digicam, it was difficult getting enough light to see. The only thing visible was the fountain dancing with colourful lights. Mysore wasn’t at all a disappointment as I thought it would be. It has people who have the civic sense of crossing roads and not littering the ground. The one thing that really amuses is that the place is quite cheap. The grub is almost the same but with South Indian food which one would taste across entire South India.
Summer holidays are a time to go out and explore. One should bury all troubles and tensions and free themselves from the terrors of workload. With these three wonderful places that I saw were pictures in frames hanging on the wall of the living room. Never to be forgotten.