Sunday, August 26, 2012

On a Sunday - A walk in the park

Located in the heart of the city, KBR park is like a beauty spot on the face of Hyderabad.  This is the park where you are more likely to find spirited senior citizens walking than couples sitting on the bench and holding their hands.  One fine Sunday morning as I was having a steamin' cup of coffee and preparing to read  the vivid and stately prose of P.G. Wodehouse in my favorite reading spot, my brother came bursting into my room and proposed we go to a walk since the weather was sensational.  Why not?

With the morning sun peeking from behind the palm trees and dragonflies hovering around like mini helicopters, we got into our tracks and tees and off we went to KBR park located in Jubilee Hills.  With no agenda on our mind and a Nikon camera in our pockets, we explored the 24-acre park.  It is very unusual to find a mini jungle like this in the beating heart of the city but here it is, the local flora and fauna in all its glory.

A family of flowers.

The park is well-maintained with few ponds, wooden benches, a duck here and a peacock there.  The air was fresh and the light was golden.  We came across many colorful sights and we were furiously clicking away on our camera.

Nature's supermodel.

Suddenly without warning a peacock appears out of nowhere and lands across the path.  With the attitude and swagger of a seasoned supermodel, he starts strutting around and showing off his colorful feathers; we were happy to oblige.

Old world charm.

After spending nearly 3 hours exploring, we rested our weary legs in the shade near abandoned garage somewhere in the park.  We knew that when we get home, mom's crispy Sunday special dosas will be waiting for us.  What a way to start off a Sunday.  So when was the last time you took a walk in the park?

The mystic bond of brotherhood.


KBR (Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park) is located near LV Prasad Eye Hospital.  The place is well connected by buses and autos.  The park opens its gate at 4:30 a.m. and closes at 9 in the morning and starts again at 5 in the evening until 7 p.m.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

In Wild Heaven - Kerala in pictures

It has been exactly one year since I visited Kerala.  Yesterday I was browsing through my computer and found these pictures that I took on my trip to Kerala last year.  Many would like to call it God's Own Country, but after experiencing the stunning beauty of Kerala firsthand, I would prefer to call it the Emerald State.  So last year around August we packed our bags to attend one of our Nair's wedding in Kozhikode (pronounced koi-koh-de).

Crossing the TN border into Kerala.

Our train journey was mostly comfortable.  At midnight we traversed through Tamilnadu and we just entered the Kerala as the sun was about to rise.  The landscape changes dramatically from a semi-arid flat landscape to verdant hills touching the clouds; we knew we arrived in Kerala.

Green grows the rushes.

Our friend's place is a little village some 50 kilometers from Kozhikode.  When we finally arrived at his place, we were treated to the typical Nair hospitality. Each of us were given a large glass of tea.  I took my camera and explored the backyard.

My friend's backyard.

In this village and mostly across Kerala, the houses are not cramped together tightly like in the cities, they are separated by a considerable gap allowing one house to have a luxury of a garden.  The weather is cool but damp.  Everywhere I look there is greenery, even the walls are covered with moss.  We drank plenty of tea and were waiting for a typical Malayali breakfast.

The moss covers everything.

A blue tent was set up in front of the house and the lady of the house got our breakfast.  This is "puttu", which is made from rice, coconut, few pulses and cereals.  It is delicious as it looks and has an offbeat taste.

Puttu, a breakfast dish.

Because of the dense moisture-laden air, the light takes on a magical quality.  It was like we walked into a Mani Ratnam movie.  After we had our bellies full, we decided to hit the beach.

Getting ready to hit the beach.

The beach was a 2-3 hour drive from the village and it was mostly deserted.  We had all the beach to ourselves.  While some of us entered the blue waters, others decided to chill out beneath the coconut tree shades.

An isolated beach.

After our day at the beach, we went home weary but satisfied and preparing for the wedding the next day.  This trip was particularly satisfying to me as with this trip I completed my journey of all the Southern States.  I cannot recommend Kerala highly enough, the people, the place and the food are all beautiful.  If you do get a chance, do not miss out on exploring Kerala.

A dash of pink in a sea of green.