This morning, my back didn’t hurt. I was slightly taken aback, for it was seldom that my irksome habit of shifting constantly in my sleep, decided to leave for a while. As they say, flaws take time to fade but goodness is slow to embrace. However this morning, it took me time to comprehend if I was at all on the bed. It wasn’t one for sure. Was I building castles in the air or did the younger one push me to the floor? Well, marble hurts. But today, it didn’t. I forced my lids open, even though it was a ritualistic struggle each morning. As astonishing as it was, I saw cumulus clouds all around, as if I were surrounded by gigantic, fluffy, white cotton candies. I knew I loved them whenever mother took me to the fair, but today it felt I couldn’t take so much in. I got up in a dizzy state of mind, walking in an improper fashion, when suddenly I froze midway, baffled to the core. Beneath me wasn’t the marbled floor, nor was I sleepwalking on the bed. I found myself standing on a pedestal, the one made of white, fluffy clouds. They weren’t fragile, nor fleeting but powerful, serene in a bright blue summer. Far away, my eyes spotted something. I could hear the rush of free flowing water. As I sprinted towards the source of the sound with excitement at heart, I stood in front of a beautiful lake, which glistened in the time of mid-summer. I paused for a moment, as I looked up to see a vulture or two, towards the east side. Yet some others grouped together and roamed the heavenly ether. Where was I? Just then, a sudden call from a distance distracted my trail of thoughts. I turned to see a woman, dressed in clear white apparels, shimmering in the light of the day. I thought I saw a halo around her, but weren’t these supposed to be nothing but fantasy? I walked towards her, slow but cautious. Her brown locks fluttered in the warm air, as she stood there, smiling. She leaned forward and softly whispered to me, “Welcome home”. At that moment, I simply couldn’t understand what that phrase meant. I looked around, as if in a way of searching for something. Yes, I was looking for Dave, my little brother. Last I saw him, was when we stood hand in hand, until that unknown figure grabbed my hand and pulled me to a corner. I remember he panicked. I could feel a pool of thick, black blood form around where I lay. I didn’t know what happened but I knew I was hurt. But didn’t mum reach in minutes and bring me back home? Didn’t she say, “You’ll feel better after you wake up?” I still can’t find them. I didn’t hear the alarm burst my ears today. I didn’t feel mum caress my tangled hair. I didn’t hear Dave hurl funny but irksome abuses at me. Was I yet to wake up? Or will I never wake up again? I looked around one more time. There’s an unmatched peace all around, the birds hovering above seem like little angels guarding me. The murmur of the water now sounded like a harp from a distance, as if the Gods were singing me a lullaby, the clouds underneath felt comfortable and silky. I slowly walked back from where I had come. No, it wasn’t home, but the place where I lay. I now, loved my new home, an eternal state of bliss.
My morning ritual is usually to wake up and rush to the shower after the regular cup of black tea and think of every plausible or far-fetched circumstance that would in turn wreck havoc in my already shrinking mind, as the cold outpour of water trickles down my face, washing away the free-flowing tears with it. The funniest affair however, that bewilders me almost often, is how a sudden half-smile appears on my lips right after I step out of the bathroom door. It is as if the mind has set it as a custom and the face instantly comprehends the urgency of it. The audience that watches me therefore is easily duped into thinking it’s a natural occurrence. Even though I cannot help myself and let out a short laugh, I immediately step back grasping the irony of it. Just like every other morning therefore, I encountered the same episode even today. But surprising as it has been, a sudden stroke of cognition ran over me. And my dear readers consider yourselves fortunate for its early in the day and you already have something to read about! I sometimes wonder if everything that the heart of a writer carries, serves as a feisty content to the reader’s curiosity. Nonetheless, I must continue with my story.
I stepped towards the mirror and looked straight into it. The reflection stared back at me, as if it were a whole another person. I wondered how it had such glimmering, bright eyes that stared at me so intently while my own blinked every nano-second as they struggled to keep still. It was as if a bottle was brimming with water and the liquid would gush out any moment, and yet you try to tighten the cork with might and main, only so not a single drop would spill. Suddenly I could hear footsteps, as if someone was coming to check on me. Not because something could’ve been unusual, but because a chore needed my notice. I now desperately tried to imitate the reflection, I had to look as fine as it. Suddenly it starts to laugh, more like in a hysterical fashion- as if it was mocking me that my struggle was all in vain.
I sat down on the marbled floor, as I continued to rub those eyes. Horror struck me when they began to swell, what will I answer I wondered. Just then, my cell phone lit up, a friend had written something. “It would’ve been okay if it was just a phase, but for you it seems like forever”, it read. I pondered for a second until I began to comprehend in bits. The reflection was the self that I was yet to become. This existence of today is the consequence of uncertainty and inhibition, a tale of years, a story of a kid.
I shut my eyes and plug in the earphones. Didn’t they say music was an escape? In an instant, I traveled to a world that was yet all fiction. Perhaps fiction was now my only tranquilizer until reality brought me the comfort that I’m yet in a search for.
The calendar read 15th August, 2021 and I stared out of my window, to the nearly empty street outside. I knew it was a national holiday and as the custom goes, most families would be at home eager to listen to the Prime Minister’s speech or watch the military parade being telecasted all over news channels or simply remain glued to their phone screens watching random forwarded clippings of children dressed in the tri-color theme, singing the national anthem with an overwhelming sense of pride and enthusiasm. I could spot a motorbike or two, with the mini national flags attached to their handles. I smiled. This was perhaps the one in a billion days that the people of my country felt an affinity with each other. A kind of affinity that many would call unity; today was the day when all realized we shared a common past, which dates back to a decade of unified struggle against oppression and colonization. How ironic does it feel to know that it required a day to be marked out specifically in the calendar, so people could recognize, remember and revere the struggle for independence and the triumph of freedom over forced suppression?
Centuries ago, the countrymen vouched for an unparalleled unity. The concept of “Unity in Diversity” gained credence and our countrymen took immense pride in spreading the message far and wide. They say our country is diverse (it sure is) but why is the vision of a ‘unified nation’ slowly fading away, I wonder. No where do I claim to be the pantomath or even an erudite individual, but given the certainty of democracy and the truth of free speech, I believe no free man would turn a deaf ear to stated facts and hard-headed ‘arguments’.
The contemporary generation comes with the characteristic trait of dissent, outcry and challenges. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been taught the importance of education and realizing that imperfection is a basic human quality and not an erroneous trait. At the same time, I also agree that disapproval in a democratic nation comes as a must. However, does that validate a cliché-ridden belief that is held by a significant group of the society who consider half-baked materials of the internet community at face value? Well, I leave that to your fine sense of judgment. My aim isn’t to specifically ‘target’ any group of individuals or even a community of members but to simply bring to light the reality of a society that is camouflaged by the persistent egotism of a section of the country. My aim is to try to understand why a nation that has continued to pride itself on its unmatched unity and mutual cooperation; today stands largely divided and polarized.
The country that we live in, has now been forced to take a side, people no longer identify as a professor, a student, a minister or even a capitalist. They are now either ‘rightists’ or ‘leftists’ with no individual opinions but ‘ideologies’. This is the story of a land, the people of which is oblivious to the culture of their soil and instead created a term that never existed in the texts. Today this term has transformed itself from a ‘way of living’ to a ‘religious faith’ and the credit shall go to the very bachelors of the internet community. To the man who understands, that the term is only an indicator of the inhabitants of his land, and never meant a theology that is maligned brutally by the ‘intellectuals’, I empathize with your miserable existence. Let me also make it simpler for the readers who aren’t familiar to this entrenched system of persistent dismissal, the term is ‘Hindu’ and the meaning is just a name given by the Persians to the people of my land, (at least that is what they say, for it were originally the Greeks). This country claims to be diverse (it sure is, like I said) but unfortunately the essence of unity is what seems invisible to the naked eye, for I am afraid I will be severely criticized if I stand for my identity and tell them my reality.
Favoring one community to gain political success is what has continued as a tradition ever since the colonizers decided to establish a new rule in the land of unknowns. And thus, the fear of communal hatred stays just the same- like it had been centuries earlier. I wonder why there lies discontent when one envisions ‘Hindustan’ but not when another envisions England, Thailand or Indonesia. I wonder why is it normal for one community to perish and highly unusual for another to simply express dismay. Well, I now realize why unity is just a façade and polarization is the ‘new normal’. It’s funny how they say ‘secularism’ runs in our blood, when centuries ago the leaders decided division was a must! 1947 was the year and the calendar today reads 2021. They say everything progresses with time, but have they welcomed progress themselves as centuries passed to decades? I smile.
Graduating in History I was often told, that ‘history repeats itself’. On this day, my countrymen stand up to the tune of the anthem. The eyes of most turn moist, as a deep connection to the land resonates within. I wonder if it’s just an irony or a complicacy waiting to be redressed.
This land that I stand on is a land of a million dreams. It is a land that has witnessed the blood of innocents, the labor of martyrs, the struggle of inhabitants, and the quest for liberty. The nation is my pride and the struggle is my glory, our glory. I walked back towards the window and slid it open. I saw a child running with a tiny tri-color in hand, his face bright with a smile so overwhelming. A tear-drop fell on my cheek as I wondered, “Do not become like the rest, may you read and know rather than be fooled and made to believe”.
The significance of this day is something that requires a visit to history and not a blind eye to facts. Perhaps that would be the day when my country would actually pride itself on the unity that exists in practice and The Independence Day of India would mark as triumph over real subjugation, that continues to penetrate the soil even today.
Happy Independence Day to my India, may the glory remain.
1980s Alamo, TX
RELEASING THIS AUGUST!
Superstition literally translates into credulity, meaning a tendency to be too ready to believe that something is real or true. Superstitious beliefs stem out from widely held irrational notions in terms of something carrying a positive or a negative ramification or probably luck.
Looking around us, there still exist a multitude of individuals who have credence in such beliefs even today! Ironically, living in the modern era and yet being governed by the predominant influence of such beliefs, it rather seems nonsensical to attach ourselves to the fallacy and unfounded beliefs of the 18th century. Well, is there really any science behind it or have we already accepted their historicity and veracity without scrutinizing a second time?
The question here is, if we are the modern youth and these notions seem faulty to us, then why are we unknowingly adhering to its terms? Let’s dig deeper. Superstition is a subjective concern and hence what one might find baseless might appear something very deep and significant to another. Secondly, the individual psychology and frame of mind plays an important role here. Every individual is commanded by some “basic rules” and these beliefs form a significant part of it. “Believing in the unbelievable” has become a new swing. You might be wondering science runs in absolute contradiction to this “falsified theory” and scientists repudiate such theories. What if I tell you there are scientists who have their own manual of delusions and myths? There is a widespread conviction that space scientists are governed by superstitious intuitions. According to a retired official of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), scientists there have their own regard for superstitious mindsets. ISRO doesn’t start the countdown for a rocket at “RAHU KAALAM”( one and a half hours of planet RAHU), as it is deemed inauspicious to begin any new work. Also, preceding every mission, the officials make it a point to offer prayers at Lord Venkateshwara Temple in Tirumala and rest a model of the rocket at the almighty’s feet in order to be bestowed with blessings for the success of the mission.
Ancient Romans widely believed mirrors possessed pieces of our souls. I haven’t ever been a lucky witness to the striking, astounding sight of a shooting star, however I’ve seen people give credence to the idea that shooting stars make wishes come true! Is that really so? Some believe that the universe conspires to grant you your wish if you are a righteous man! However, how do stars affect us? This belief stemmed out from the Greek astronomer, Ptolemy who, around AD 127-151, stated that gods peered down the earth and stars slipped from between realms and became perceivable as shooting stars! They represented angels in late Christian heritage. Let us now delve deeper.
We often perceive black cats as harbingers of negativity and bad luck. However, historically, black cats were considered as signs of positivity in Britain and Ireland. Superstitions concerning black cats are varied across different cultures. Black cats are perceived as positive omens in Japanese tradition and folklore. Similarly, in Scottish lore, the coming of a black cat at a new house indicates prosperity and wealth. Contrary to this, black cats are considered analogous to witches and bad luck, in Germanic lore. In Celtic mythology, legend has it that a creature named Cat Sith could snitch an individual’s soul before the gods could lay their claim on the same, by merely passing over the remains just before the burial.
Wishing on eyelashes is yet another widely accepted belief that stems out from the same book. It traces its origins to mid 19th century. The core philosophy here comes from the tradition that believes that devils try to cumulate as much hair as possible in order to acquire control over man. Hence, it is believed, if we let go of a lash, we indirectly stop the devil from attaining control over us.
I always cowered in fear whenever I spotted a hairy black spider in my room. However, I used to boil in anger whenever mum used to refuse killing them. “We shouldn’t” was all she’d say. I never came to a conclusion as to why this was so.
Matt Bertone, in his article writes, in a survey of 50 North Carolina homes, it was found that every single home was an abode of the spiders. He used his survey to conclude that spiders formed an important part of indoor ecosystems. Mom never came up with a certain theory as to why she abstained from killing spiders at her home. I surfed through innumerable articles on Google to arrive at a valid reason for that.
And what I found out to conclude was nothing but the sheer fact that spiders dwell on houses as it’s a part of the indoor ecosystem. So it isn’t really some irrational belief behind it, or is it?
One theory I’ve always wanted to investigate was how can the breaking of glass invite a negative omen? After hours of research and careful scrutiny, what I discerned was the factual argument that said “broken glass pieces scattered on the floor brought along a belief that stepping on them proved fatal consequences. So basically it’s an argument that is based on actuality and reality rather than a mere falsified version of myth. It stems out from the same philosophy behind Roman mirrors!
So finally, the big question: how does science perceive superstition?
Think of it. Do you not say “bless you” to the person who sneezes? So now do you think superstition has completely left your thought process?
Superstition explained simply therefore, is a belief in the supernatural. Psychological studies and careful investigations have examined the fact that superstitious people form a connection between non-related events. Now one might wonder, ‘do ghosts really exist?’ Is there even a god? Religion mostly concerns itself with the idea of the formation of the universe, however superstitious beliefs comprise irrational notions concerning fortune or misfortune.
The conclusion here is the deceiving notion that “magical thinking” can be let go off. These beliefs are nothing but the sheer means to find truth in human world.
So the next time a glass breaks at your house or you see the number 13, well…if you’re into it, you know it!
Halloween or “All Hallows Eve” means a “hallowed evening” that has a hundred year old history to its name. Its roots are traced back to the ancient Christian Celtic Festival of Samhain, which defines a pagan religious festival that is celebrated on the 31st of October every year.
This day marks the end of summer and the start of a cold dark winter that signifies mortality. This idea stems out of a widely held belief among the Celts who believed that the worlds of the dead and living passed into obscurity on the night before the New Year hints at its arrival. Therefore on the 31st of October, they acknowledged and celebrated Samhain, believing the ghosts of the dead returned back to planet earth. The Halloween that is celebrated today was originally brought in by immigrants to the United States in the early years of 20th century.
One of the most interesting and delightful aspect of this eve lies in the myriad designs and dramatic, imposing themes of attires worn that often depict spooky aspects mostly centered around spirits, black cats, the moon or even pumpkins!
Statistics show an increase in the number of people who buy costumes even for their pets. Primarily characterized by mystery, spirits and sorcery and spell working, Halloween has changed from the middle Ages to the present day world influencing people, their costumes as also the way of celebration. People back in the Middle Ages believed in witchcraft and every other dogmatic philosophy that centered on superstition and black cats.
Celtic priests used to make prophecies that helped guide their followers or community. This was also done by lighting bonfires where they sacrificed burnt corpses and animals to their holy almighty. Some details tell us that during these events, they would be dressed in animal heads and dance around the fire narrating stories and predicting fortunes.
Matchmaking and other beliefs were intrinsic to the idea of Halloween. I read an interesting concept somewhere a week earlier, that in 18th century Ireland, a matchmaking cook could’ve buried a ring inside mashed potatoes on the night of Halloween, in the hope that it will bring her ideal match to the dinner who found it.
The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of the Halloween night is of a spooky pumpkin staring right at you! If you ever wondered why pumpkins are so intrinsic to Halloween parties and dress up styles, then this is when you must know the ballad of Jack-o-Lantern! This term ironically, was first attributed to humans and not to pumpkins, usually referring to a “man with lantern”.
Over a period of time, they came to represent “spooky lights” that were seen in the dark swamps and marshes. These lights were known as “corpse candles” or “hobby lanterns”. Legends talk of “stingy Jack” and millions of stories emanated from the idea of these “ghost lights”. In Ireland therefore, natives began carving demonic expressions onto turnips so as to ward off Jack’s wandering soul. However, after the tradition moved to United States, there was a shift from turnips to pumpkins as it was indigenous to American soil.
Legend has it that a 16 year old Japanese student encountered the worst when he accidentally rang a wrong doorbell when he was on his way to a Halloween Party. He was shot down by the person who opened the door! Another story talks of a man who usually never stepped out on Halloween as he thought it was “perilous”, however gave into the demands of the situation and encountered few men who threw eggs at his car. After he confronted them and was returning to his car, he was shot dead by one of the men who were involved in the prank.
The idea of “trick or treat” is a dual concept that talks of candies as the “treat” and any form of mischief as the “trick”. Historically, people impersonated souls of the dead and accepted offerings on their behalf. This stemmed from the belief that rewards were given in return for the blessing of a good fortune.
Well, if Halloween is all fun, frolic and celebration, let’s not forget there is a phobia along with it too! Yes, it’s called Samhianophobia. It affects people every year and is associated with anxiety, shaking, chest pain and whole other phobias. For those who have witnessed such a phobia would know that it occurs after your Halloween has turned into a dread!
Well, while the Halloween season is once again at the door and people world over are immersed in the joyride, here lies a peek into the deeply engrossing and bewitching milieu within which the tradition of “trick or treat” grew into the Halloween of mystery, bats, pumpkins, superstition and sorcery that we celebrate today.
Extremely delighted to let my readers know that my second book, a suspense thriller is now out on Amazon for you to read! .
Set in the West Midlands, Birmingham, the story revolves around the family of Masons, the most prosperous and reputed family in town. Things take a setback as on the evening of Christmas Eve, Maria Mason, the daughter in law of Barbara Mason, goes missing. Authorities find no evidence worth suspicion and the Masons are left in agony and distress, especially Maria’s husband, Jacob. It is however after nearly half a month, that the authorities confirm about Maria’s whereabouts, however what awaits the Masons leaves them baffled to their core!!
What happened to Maria on the evening of yuletide? How did she go missing? Why did she go missing? Where did they find her? And how?
To uncover the most unexpected reveals, grab your very first copy from Amazon today, in the LOWEST of price. Don’t forget to check out the Notionpress book store for the extremely new READ INSTANTLY feature, in which you can start reading the story even before it’s shipped to you!!
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No wonder I await your reviews! RUSH!
Links to the stores are attached below-
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I’m extremely delighted to let you know that my very first horror fiction is now published on Amazon as a paperback! I’m highly overwhelmed by the constant support of both my family of readers and loved ones. I’d like you to go through the link below to know a little about the book and it’s plot. Keep supporting, this couldn’t have been possible without y’all! 🙂
Tonight my pages seem devoid of worthy phrases, the ink in my pen refuses to spill out.
I wonder if my mind has given up on artistry, until I realize it’s the bitter taste of realism I must embrace.
Poets often imagine utopian scenery, existing in extremes of either love or hate,
But this night I failed to envision one, for I knew now that the world couldn’t be perfect.
I had stumbled upon persons of different hues; some lived to laugh while others envied the end.
But little did I learn, every affinity had a lesson to teach.
Some became my confidants; I named some others as soul mates.
Some fell in love with me, while others feared my vulnerability.
They all stayed until a time had come, when reality revealed in phases.
Some let go of their customary wisdom, while some turned unfamiliar to me.
Each had a reason to speak of, but I knew I was a loner now.
The one lesson I wrote down, was to never again let an alien know me,
For I could never tell, when a friend turns to foe,
And so tonight I’m at a loss of phrases, words or any poetry,
For I cannot elucidate upon unreal love, imperishable friendships and shatterproof hearts,
I cannot recite a malicious poem, which paints a perfect abode of man.
Though I still hold on to my pen, I know not a word is left to be told.
I’ve always wanted to travel abroad and do nothing but explore and eat all day! Even though traveling for twelve long hours in a flight only to reach the other side of the world, feels slightly tedious and exasperating to me (given that I’m averse to being inside a closed space for such long hours and obviously subjected to prolonged periods of an already existing odor of the air conditioning inside!). However, for those of you who are comfortable taking a few hours flight to any country you think can be amazing, I’d suggest India should be your first choice among many! Not because it’s my nation and I’m overwhelmed by an emotional outpour but because there are some not so known places in here which shall definitely bedazzle you. Having said that, I am about to talk of yet another fulfilling trip years ago, and the disclaimer here is, get to your coziest space and put your reading glasses on or your headphones plugged because you are about to be enthralled in minutes!
This particular trip was not to just one place but three places intertwined. We were to reach Bangalore (a city in the Indian state of Karnataka and also known for being the center of tech-industry and nightlife), from where we’d travel ahead to Mysore (yet another city in Karnataka), and lastly the famous hill station of Ooty, a small hill town in Tamil Nadu, a South Indian state. Before I get into our whereabouts, historic details, place of stay and food, let me first talk about how we got there.
As I had earlier mentioned in one of my previous accounts, I was doing my under-graduation from New Delhi, the capital city of India and it was during that time, when this trip was planned. So as obvious, my family had come to Delhi a day before and we had lodged in a hotel for the day. The next day, we were to board a regular flight of 2 hours and 45 minutes, to the tech city of Bangalore. The Bengaluru International Airport is located at a distance of nearly 40 kilometers from the main city, and therefore we had to book a cab that would take nearly 45 minutes to get to the main city. If I recollect correctly, our stay in Bangalore was not more than two-three days and so father was firm and set to visit only the top tourist hot-spots and get his DSLR flooded with infinite heritage and landscape pictures. The top sights that he had chalked out for us were the Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Cubbon Park, Bangalore Palace and Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace. Though the city is home to infinite parks and gardens, Hindu temples, Forts and Palaces and obviously sprawling local markets and savory South Indian cuisine, we hoped shopping and relaxing could wait until we got the best of our vacation from all the three places! (At least father thought so!)
We had booked into Hotel Rialto, one of the best luxury hotels of the city with commendable services and magnificent wooden furniture and modern amenities. It was located in close proximity to the Bangalore City Railway Station and added to our advantage. Should I also mention how I developed an overwhelming attraction to the most charming hotel receptionist who no doubt stared back at me? Well, a writer must maintain her image and so such itsy-bitsy details can be brushed aside!
Coming back to the trip, the next morning we were set to leave for Tipu Sultan’s Palace and the Bangalore Palace while day 2 was scheduled for the garden and park. A fine exemplar of Indo-Islamic architecture and obviously the summer resort of the ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan, and this palace had a beautiful front view and several engravings that can be dated back to the colonial era. Its pillars, arches and balconies are exceptionally decorated. If I’m to go into the historical nitty-gritty’s, this one diary won’t suffice all details since the heritage site is nothing but awe-inspiring. The first floor had four small rooms in each corner and they were called the Zenana Quarters (a place meant essentially for women folk). Rooms in the ground floor had been used as a museum that displayed his achievements and success. The “Vintage Gallery”, collections of inscriptions, replica of his tiger (which presently is housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum of London) and even his apparels, everything was a treat to the eyes!
The Bangalore Palace on the other hand, was a royal palace in the Tudor Revival architectural style and is beautified by picturesque gardens, fortified towers and many more.
The Cubbon Park is mainly revered for its abundant flora and fauna and the beauteous statues and buildings within the precincts. Outlined with luscious trees, rocky outcrops and expanding greenery all around, most travelers call it the “Garden City”. This place has an unmatched serenity that isn’t quite visible in Lalbagh but nevertheless each place offers a different surprise! The Lalbagh botanical garden housed the most unusual plant species of Tipu Sultan and comprised of several ornamental plants. The most intriguing part of this garden was the “Glass House” which was earlier used for flower shows and now it hosts two shows, each on Republic Day and Independence Day. In addition to this, you’d also find a plethora of wildlife and obviously a wonderful space of recreation!
Hopping onto the next destination, our trip to Mysore began with a train journey of 2 hours and 20 minutes (now you know why the proximity of our hotel to the station!). Our main excitement there was to visit the Mysore Palace and go for relaxing until Ooty summoned us soon! Mysore is a southern city in the state of Karnataka and is known for its palace, the Chamundeshwari temple, Brindavan Gardens Lalitha Mahal, St. Philomena’s Cathedral and many more. At an elevation of 770m, this place is located in the foothills of the Chamundi Hills.
Beginning with the royal residents of the Wadiyar dynasty, the kingdom of Mysore, the Mysore palace styled in Indo-Saracenic was constructed back in 1897, after the Old Palace was vandalized. Let me tell you that the Mysore Palace comes second in the most famous tourist hotspots of India, after Taj Mahal! If you happen to visit this heritage building during Dushera in India, do not miss out on the enrapturing Dushera lighting in the palace! The roof artwork and the audience hall offer a wholesome view to the eyes. The Catholic Church of St. Philomena’s Cathedral next in line, is styled in Gothic Revival architecture constructed back in 1936. The statue of St. Joseph in front of the Cathedral can have your eyes glued for hours without a blink! They say Maharaja Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar had built a church in the same location, back in 1843.
I don’t remember much about the other small visits here and there, but the Chamundeshwari temple is something I won’t forget easy! A Hindu Temple located on the top of the Chamundi hills is something you ought to see! Named after a form of Shakti, Chamundeshwari, (the fierce deity revered by the Maharaja of Mysore), the goddess is referred to as Naada Devi by locals. The breathtakingly gorgeous entrance gate (gopura) looks enthralling during festivals. The most important festival they celebrate here is Navratri. Considered as a Shakti Peeth (seat of Shakti), this sacred place is nothing but mesmerizing!
Though I’m yet to elucidate the pleasing welcome of Ooty, I think I’ll keep it for later as just a word or two won’t suffice for its grandeur! Nevertheless, Mysore was absolutely mesmerizing in the best of ways, be it the temples or palaces. Bangalore on the other hand, is exciting and adventurous. All throughout, you can picture father positioning his lenses amidst corners of palaces and climbing up the foothills, only to capture the breathtaking beauty of the places! (You can also imagine mother, brother and me passing irksome glances at him already, so we could move ahead and explore the rest!)
Also, this time none of us threw up and that marks a glorious achievement!
To be continued.
picture credits to- Aman Verma @Pinterest