Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Yin and Yang of it.

I do not know what will be the Ayodhya verdict. I am not even sure how the country will react? But I do know that it cruelly cut short my idyllic visit.

There were two school of thoughts. Some friends said that I was too inconsequential for anyone to harm me. I agreed. But others said that the frenzy of a mob doesn’t discriminate. So don’t take a chance. I agreed to that too.

But it isn’t a pleasant feeling to come back leaving your work half done. I left Manipal praying that things are good and I can return soon.

Manipal is a remarkable city built around the dreams and vision of one single man. I cant think of any other city with so many class educational institutions built with the vision of one single man. Its reputation brings an amazingly diverse student population from across the world. Old Mr. Pai can rest in peace. He did a good job.

There is something very endearing about Karnataka. The people are very charming and hospitable. I remember the last time I had stayed in Karnataka. It was another lovely town, Mysore. The year was perhaps 2008.Onal was doing her MBA and she wanted me to visit it once before she graduated.

Bengalaru is notorious as far as the traffic goes. It took me more than an hour to simply move out of the airport. Onal warned me not to take a taxi to mysore but board the bus as it would move faster. Smart advise. But I reached around midnight tired and hungry.

As I was checking in the hotel, the kind receptionist enquired if I had eaten anything. I told him that I was so tired that I wouldn’t mind a drink even if I had to go hungry. He apologized and said that their restaurant and bar was closed. My bad luck. I just grinned and said. He asked me to wait. He talked to the kitchen, I guess ,and told him that he had a guest from north and requested him to help. The man on the other side too was a thorough gentleman. He cheerfully obliged. I slept happily well fed. That is Karnataka for you. They would go the extra mile to help. I found the same hospitality here.

Coming to Manipal, it is a modern town yet uncorrupted by traffic and pollution. The eclectic crowd gives it a very cosmopolitan look. Yet it doesn’t have the ugliness of a large city.

The students are an active lot. I learnt it the hard way. A localite advised that ‘ The Blue water’ was the best bar in town. I decided to unwind there. Imagine my surprise when I found that the whole bar was reserved by some student’s community! That night all the bars had the same story. Finally I was banished to the annexe of the bar. A small room but very elegantly done. The good thing was that I had it whole to myself! The Yin and the Yang. The Chinese philosophy. The good and bad are two aspects of a single reality. How true!

I missed out the beach because it was raining. There is an added attraction to Manipal. Goa is hardly six hours from there. We have our roots in Goa. Its been a while since I have visited the Mangeshi temple, our Kul Devata ( the guardian God of our clan!). Perhaps I would be lucky enough to visit the next time.

Lata Mangeshkar, the melody queen is 81. She was everywhere on the television giving interviews. I was totally charmed. So much achieved and yet so modest. She has an aura which is hard to explain. There are so many octogenarians who look so graceful even now. I am sure they will bury us before they die.

Its all about Yin and Yang. They have more of Yang and less of Yin. I have more of Yin and less of Yang. Or is it the other way?

( Probably I must stop eating Chinese food! )

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