24 October, 2011

Travellers' Woes

You can classify travellers in these parts into two main categories, i) the indifferent local - born and brought up here, he takes his green surroundings for granted.
ii) the city dweller aka the tourist traveller- for him, every step is a moment to be clicked and captured.

And then, there is the 'in between i) & ii)' traveller like yours truly! As the number of years that I have lived here is inching closer to my number of years in big city, I'm neither indifferent to nature, nor do I gush over every other landscape.

Take this scene for example ....



The local traveller is speeding on his tractor. While the tourist traveller may have spent his few moments behind the tractor gaping at the unusual vehicle, I spent my few moments noticing the verse on the trailer!
Hudugiya hinde hodre goLu
Nanna hinde bandre dhooL

Loosely translated, it means
'Follow a girl, woe.
Follow me, dust'

Flawed rhyming, wrong punctuation and one of those mean- to- women things!
Well...it was a narrow stretch. And, for a good 5-7 minutes, we were the dust-receiving followers. At least, we had the option to shut out the dust!
As we overtook the tractor, I wished I had a marker, a sheet of paper and cello tape. The time too! To write & paste on the rear window......

Eega nimage dhooLu,
dhooLininda, goLu
Now... dust to you,
and, woe, due to dust.

05 October, 2011

The Umbrella Repairer



Over there! That man in the lungi! He is the umbrella repairer! A nomadic umbrella repairer, in fact! His dress, his paraphernalia and his sudden appearance in mid-June....make me wonder if he has hopped out of an R.K.Narayan book!

Calling out 'Koday repayri? ' (Umbrellas for repair?), he walks along the length and breadth of the town and repairs umbrellas at his client's door step, except, on market days. On this day, his clients come to him. You'll find him near the bus stand, the busiest part of the town on market days.

Now, if you live in the Malnad, the brolly is one of your most important accessories for at least three months. Mid-June to mid-September, everyone lugs one around. Losing/ misplacing umbrellas is a common occurrence.

When regularly used, umbrellas are prone to some common complaints. The most common one is of the cloth/ spokes slipping off at joints - such a nuisance!

A simple looking problem, but, try fixing it! Within no time, you'll realise that it is a job that is best left to an expert! No wonder, the umbrella repairer's a professional in great demand during these three months!

It's now October - the rains have almost disappeared. The umbrella repairer has disappeared too! Maybe, he has another vocation during the dry months. Or, maybe, he does live inside an R.K.Narayan book!!

Century on the Bronze Anniversary!

This is my100th post, and today is the eighth birthday of Alter Idem !! That's an average of a post per month......1.04 to be precise!!...