October 20, 2013
Mangalore, a city that I call “Land of Derived Dreams” is located on the coastal region of Karnataka. Cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and those in the Gulf get their human resources from this tiny yet fruitful city. Great traditions originate from this happy-go-lucky city from food to fantasy. When people picturize Mangalore, the mind depicts an empty ghost town whose events are either monotonous or unproud.
Here I am, writing this article falsifying the above statement and sharing my eye with you. Everytime I leave my town to join my college in Bangalore (I am an engineering student of BMSCE) I long to be back to the place I belong to.
Coming to the geography of Mangalore, two rivers flow through it, namely the Nethravathi and Gurupur rivers. Places that exist in Mangalore range from lush green plains to deserted sand lands. This article is going to be about the places that I’ve explored in Mangalore and a little beyond. By the end of this write-up I am certain that you will be convinced of how marvellous Mangalore is through my lens. So tag along and join me as I take you to my six years’ experience of a “New Mangalore”.
Since I mentioned lush, green gardens I shall therefore begin from there on. It is also chronologically the first place that I discovered. I still remember that day as if it were yesterday. It was a bright, blissful sunny afternoon with the sky bleeding blue. Three ordinary boys, which also include me, set out on an alien mission to find something extra-ordinary with the eldest boy being 13 years old. Three boys, three cycles and an unknown journey. This called for an adventure and that’s exactly what we were looking for. Marching from Swarnagiri Layout, we cautiously moved towards Shaktinagar where the road suddenly dipped so steeply, a little more of it could have made it a cliff. After solving the maze of roads, we reached a spot where I stood breathless!. There was before me, a stunning green pasture with vibrant green invading three fourth of my vision. The lush verdant grass spread generously over a land of no bounds. I was so awe-struck with innumerable emotions that my heart could not process them. I ran into the grasslands as if it were freedom; it was love at first sight. I found a part of myself sitting right there, waiting for me.
The three of us instantly started counting our precious breaths while we stood rooted to the ground. After three hours of this amazing experience, we headed back to our homes with a fire that burns within us to this very day.
After our first successful encounter with nature, my body burst out with an adrenaline rush, an appetite for adventure. So this time I dared to explore this quiet yet mystical river Gurupur. This river glides along the valley to meet the mighty sea. The adventure started at Padavinanagady and we headed towards Vamajoor through bumpy roads,spotting out peacocks, birds of vivid colours, on our journey with nature beginning to show its true self. From Vamanjoor, we took a small detour through roads that narrowed down by the minute. At last after playing hide and seek with nature, it revealed its real beauty to us.
Three distinct things appeared in this exquisite reality:
• The river
• A narrow bridge
• A train track
The moment just caught me into a soothing fit. It was an eye-arresting, a heaven on earth feeling!
Eyes to see the picture, ears to listen to the gushing of the waters, a sense of touch to feel the wind and the taste and smell of the coffee that we brought just perfected that moment. The static bridge and a speedy train running along the river made the scenery speak for itself. There stood I, by the bridge wondering about the origin of this wondering beauty. Places like these make you philosophical and connect with “The Whole”. Your wisdom and understanding expands tenfold and your senses stay as sharp as Bruce Lee. The feeling of finding places such as these, one after another is like getting addicted to a legal drug.
I stood there as it poured cats and dogs, felt every moment of Mother Nature’s love. I journeyed back home with thoughts which beckoned me to reason about life and its unanswered questions.
Chronologically, the third place that I have been to during the walk of my adventures was surprisingly within the reach of everyone but yet unknown. This place is called “the Pandava Cave”. I guess this was the only treasured spot which had a name. Located in the most obvious place i.e opposite Kadri Park this man built cave had gained my interest. This cave was used during war and is indeed a wonderful strategy. Legend has it that if anyone entered its myriad masked doors he/she would get lost forever.
Now the inner doors are closed except for two and people are not allowed to enter them.
Has anyone of you ever thought of how it would feel to stand at the bottom of an empty well? Does this ring a bell? “Dark Knight Rises” maybe?
Well, look no further. This place can give you this out-of-the-ordinary-experience. Placed close to the anonymous roads of Kulshekar, lies the Konkan Railway Tunnel. This two and half kilometre stretch is sandwiched between evergreen hills whose beauty abounds beyond measure. Halfway through this coal dark tunnel exists a wide hole, placed right above your head. When I saw it for the first time, it looked like a doorway to heaven and the warm rays of the sun entering the empty dark passage is beauty beyond imagination. Two trains pass by: one at 12:47 pm and 5-6 pm. You can expect goods trains too at any time of the day.
Thoughts tingling your brain as to where these places lie?
Is all this fictional or is it really true?
Continue reading this article and I will answer those questions along the way.
Moving on after finding these places, I must tell you that life was still like an empty sheet waiting to be filled. I was certain that I could carve my future with more exciting places and therefore I extended my search to the interiors of Mangalore. To my amazement, our next location,was in a place which I knew like the back of my hand. The mighty Lord has blessed this small isle near Padil with all the goodness of this world. After solving a knot of geographical equations, my eyes feasted on a hanging, unbalanced, flimsy looking bridge. Yes, my dear readers a hanging bridge. My dreams became a reality when I had a rendezvous with this bewitching isle. A magical isle, as I would call it had a homely church standing out from its surroundings. There lay a part of Mangalore, I had never seen before. The lifestyle of the people, the trees and the houses were simple and untainted by civilization. People were friendly and considered me a strange looking hippie boy. But the moment I started speaking in Konkani, they welcomed me with the purest warmth.
I would like to take this opportunity to describe the picture to you. From here, Ullal covers the latter of my view. Blue waters merging with the sand as though the waters are an extension of the land. The sand was so pure and the area was so spread out that it took me to I the Arabian Lands. The purity of this enchanting land stirred my soul. Oh, what a great joy I experienced! I could hear my breath whistle and it echoed back to me. I felt ecstatic as the time clocked four. Fishing was their bread and butter. Smiling faces lit up the place. Their fulfilled lives melted my heart and made me wonder how lucky I was to live to see this day. Thoughts and expressions stretched till the horizons; there I stood still, skipping a few heart-beats, forgetting that I was alive and yet feeling every moment with my senses. I did not want to go back; I stayed there till the sun gave up on me and returned home with all the boundaries of my mind broken down.
My dear readers, we have been the residents of Mangalore for years but these places have not been revealed to us and there must be some reason for it. In Wordsworthian language “the world is too much with us.” Nature is rich and has a lot to reveal and teach us, but we are not open to “the Giver.”. To find scenic places one must make time for oneself and understand the significance of nature in our lives. How much of Mangalore do we really know ? Let us move out from our cozy homes to meet and greet Mother Nature which so serene, life-giving and rejuvenating. We all say that we know Mangalore like the back of our hand and yet these places are kept far away from us. Similarly, we assume that we know our lives and never stop to spend time on ourselves, maybe if we do that life can surprise us with pure happiness and peace. So why not take some time off maybe a day, a few hours or minutes and spend time with yourselves and your loved ones and what better way to do this than be with nature, who knows you may find better places than I have found.
I hope you enjoyed this article just as I did while penning it for you. Thank you for your nourishing support and would be delighted for your feedback. My email id is firstname.lastname@example.org. This is me, Rainer Carlton D'Souza signing off wishing you fair weather and fair skies. Thank You.