Monday, August 14, 2006

The Blue Mountains

An exhilarating drive uphill on a beautifully laid out picturesque route, and at the end of it, a place high up on the hills where it rains eight months in a year, and white water rushes out of every orifice in the skyward rocks. But it wasn’t the scenes that surprised me. It was the mutiny of smells - Of eucalyptus, of tea, of cloves and cardamom. Eucalyptus – not eucalyptus oil, and spices not dried and packed in plastic bags (which have to be kept out of children’s reach as there is a choking hazard); but fresh, and green and yellow. (I had come to believe that fresh air had gone extinct.) Tea - not the kind that you brew at home, not of the dried and rolled black leaves. This is a fuller aroma. Of green leaves being washed / ground / sorted (I don’t really know what they do in a tea factory) on the other side of a moss-covered wall.
And it keeps coming at you almost at every turn you take; and turns are plenty in this part of the world, and so are moss covered walls of tea factories.
It is a world painted in shades of green and brown - Green of tea, green of the grass, green of the moss on the walls, green of the rock ferns; and shades of brown – brown of the soil, brown of the flaking eucalyptus crust, brown of the Tamil tea-pickers.. And the greens and the browns had a blue tint.
The rain would flush these colors down the car’s misty window, as if colors from a painting, and when the rain cleared, the clouds would cast shadows on the blue mountains, and before you know it, the same clouds would pour down on you.
The rain ruined my plans for a debut wild life shoot, but the trip was quite an experience.

Check out the drive to munnar collection here

Friday, August 04, 2006

Aw crap! not another screwed up ending!

This is a sequel to my previous post.
Somebody told me at the restaurant the other day that the guy who was found dead in the gutter was hit by an early morning train, contrary to many popular stories that have been in circulation.
And the train being an inanimate, that this qualifies more as an accident, than a murder.
Apparently, the departed was waiting for the first light of a fresh Sunday morning which did not come on time. He had caught forty winks (sitting on the rails) when -surprise, surprise!- the Salem mail came on time and the poor fellow didn’t even know what hit him. (The man was deaf as a post, I am told).

Moral of the story: You thought the railway line is a good place to take a crap when no one’s watching? You have good reason to think twice – the Engine driver isn’t watching either.. ;)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Just the usual.. They found a body..

On a Sunday morning there was a dead man by the rails.
A rickshaw driver saw two black feet protruding out of the gutter and the gate keeper found him whole..
Where the slime had to be, there was a pool of now-dried purple blood.
So, he must have dived head-first into his own warm blood? Maybe it was too cold out in the night?

And the cop pulled him by them two feet that the rickshaw driver saw protruding out of the gutter. He was laid out (respectfully) between the steel rails (with his trousers down to his knees - That was how he was found) for the deceased to be identified.
On the road by the railway track, people gathered in a dynamic crowd.
They would come, look, stay, cover their mouths, and leave to make room for a new passerby to see - A perfectly disciplined lot.

Bangalore's safe!

[I had started with my tax tirade, but I found this dead man after my Sunday morning breakfast.. Does anyone know where I could get myself a gun?]