Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pondadalli Manju - Fog In Ponda

This year winter just peeped in for a few days during mid November and disappeared giving way to a very humid and cloudy weather which lasted nearly two weeks. Since the last three days there were some signs of winter returning to Goa and I eagerly awaited its return. I feel happy and relieved when the seasons arrive on time. The way we are abusing the nature, I am always worried that the natural elements may one day decide to teach us a lesson and totally desert us.

There was some fog yesterday and I saw dew drops on the leaves in the morning. The weather was not very cool but not hot either. There was some hope. Today when I opened the door early in the morning, there was dense fog and the outside felt so good that I just could not stay indoors to carry on with my exercises. As soon as it was light enough, I stepped out with the camera in hand. I was not sure that this weather would be there the next day and wanted to make the best of it when it lasted.

As I turned round the corner, I saw my neighbour’s house, which I see dozens of times every day (wishing he had painted it something more pleasant than bright yellow) looking cooler and better, its brightness subdued by the fog in spite of being in the direct focus of the bright street light.

I headed for the hill side on the out skirts expecting the usually pleasant surroundings to be even better and I was not disappointed. I walked along enjoying the tingling feel of the fog on my face and taking in the new look of the old sights stopping now and then to appreciate nature’s magic. Bushes and trees which I see day in and day out appeared to have changed themselves for the better and clouds seemed to have come down to rest on the tree tops.

If this was the feeling, I wondered, the presence of a little fog on the drab country side of Ponda brought about in a person like me, what could have been the effect of the sight of real dense fog over the bountiful nature around Madikeri on a poet like Sri Rajaratnam? No wonder Sri Rajaratnam’s poetic heart came out with ‘Madikerili Manju’ on beholding the sight of clouds hugging the earth in Madikeri. Please, have no fear. I have no intentions of trying to imitate the great man and composing ‘Pondadalli manju’ for my next post.

Sri Rajaratnam is one of my favourites and his ‘Madikerili manju’, beautifully sung by Sri. Mysore Anantaswamy is always at the tip of my tongue. Remind me about it if and when you meet me next and I can sing it for you on the spot making you wish that Sri Rajaratnam had never visited Madikeri.

I continued my walk looking here and there and caught the sight of the usually invisible spider webs decorated with minute dew drops. Poor spider, it cannot come out and enjoy the sight. But I could and I even got some pictures. The spider remained immobile at the center of its web, hungry and waiting for its pray unmindful of the excitement it had created in me. A ‘Sthitapragnya’. I mean the spider. Not me.

I walked around the place, incidentally a hill side which is being cut and converted into housing plots and was turning back after my knees made their presence felt when I caught sight of this migratory egrets which visit Goa every year. I do not know where they come from or where they are going. I only know that they like to land here for some time during mornings and evenings to rest on the trees and search for some insects on the ground. I am glad that they visit us every year but feel sorry that they will have to rest on Syntex tanks on rooftops and search for insects in the garbage bins if they decide to land here in the coming years.My camera managed to get few pictures in which one can recognize the birds and as I moved a bit closer for a better frame, one of them took wing and the next second all of them were gone.

The fog was clearing and the sun was coming up making the weather hot and taking off the magic of the fog. I could see everything clearly in the harsh sunlight and I realized that I was in the same old dirty world that we have created and not in some piece of paradise as it momentarily appeared to be and I returned home feeling like the lame boy in Bommanahalliya kindarijogi who had a glimpse of the paradise inside the mountain but had to return because the cave doors closed before he entered.

Note: Madikerili manju , meaning fog in Madikeri, is one of the poems in the collection ‘Ratnana Padagalu’ by Sri G P Rajaratnam. Sri Rajaratnam is said to have composed the poem inspired by the sight of thick fog in Madikeri, Coorg, Karnataka. It has been put into music and sung beautifully by Sri Mysore Anantaswamy.

Bommanahalliya Kindarijogi is a classic poetic work by Sri K V Puttappa. He is said to have been inspired by Browming’s ‘Pied Piper of Hamlin’ and written this poem.


Ani said...

Some parts of your description were very Herriot-like :)

Ravi said...

Beautiful, Raghu. Loved the interplay of words, poetry and pictures. I had the pleasure of seeing 'madkerili manju' for myself when we visited Kutta (kodagu) some years ago. I still have some photos on my (now defunct) blog.... and I have wonderful memories of listening to Mysore Ananthaswamy singing madkerili manju - it was always his piece De resistance, and always kept it to the end of the concert.

M S Raghunandan said...

thanks Ravi and Ruddhappa.