A trip to Mangalore after a long time is no less than an overdose of nostalgia. Events and memories that were hidden for a longtime in remote regions of subconscious bounce back. This time it had been more than 6 months since my previous visit. I had four days in hand and that seemed perfect to make up for all the loses. I had no agenda, like I never do when I visit home. Because the home itself is the destination I long for. The farm, the beaches and during Dasera, Yakshagana performances in the neighbouring temples keep me engaged. And of course those regular visitors to the house.
On Thursday (Oct22), the day I arrived, I visited a neighbour and relative for a get together lunch. I got to meet a few relatives after long time. In the evening, I watched a Yakshagana at one of the Mariguddis (Temple of goddess Mariamma) near my house. It was not very impressive, so I left midway.
On Friday (Oct23), I mostly relaxed at home. Went shopping in Surathkal and saw the old buildings still there adjacent to the new ones coming up. Not much has changed though here, I noticed. In the night, I decided to watch the visarjan of Sharada idol. Something I have not done in these many years. I walked to the beach at around 11:00 PM and waited for the procession to arrive and watching a few boys busy making an idol of a goddess with sand.
The procession finally arrived at 2:30 AM. A Tiger dance troop came tired and sat next to me. Their body paint had almost left their skin. Due to the itching the rest of the paint slowly but unintentionally began to scrap away. In a water bottle they had filled some local liquor and they passed it to one another for a sip as they discussed their issues. How much they are paid and how some of their friends had denied participating out of ego and things like that which would make up for a good script for a writer sitting beside them.
After the Sharada idol was worshiped one last time the jewellery and flowers were removed and the idol was taken to the sea. The tiger dance troupe danced for one last time. With her she is believed to have taken all the bad omen that might affect a city. At around 3AM, I returned satisfied of having observed an event.
On Saturday (Oct24), I took a morning walk by the beach and met my colleagues Sandeep and Pavitra who were in our friend Sadiq’s taxi. It was a mere coincidence. I invited them home for lunch. Later that evening I took another walk by the beach and returned home enriched by the empowering sound of waves that always fill me with zeal for life.
On Sunday (Oct 25), I attending my colleague Arun’s wedding and met Pradyumn, Rohit, Gautam and Anvesh there. After lunch, we had some ice-cream for desserts at Pabbas and then we headed to my house. We went to the lighthouse, had maggie oh sorry Yippee at the shack near by and then the boys enjoyed playing in the beach. They left by 7 and I took my bus back to Bangalore by 9:30 PM.
A trip to Mangalore is filled with experiences and stories. I learnt about the three tiger dancers who refused to participate in the event as they were not paid enough. I got to know about Daniel who is happy if the family members of the dead live abroad as he makes money out of refrigerating the deceased until their family arrives. Three boys from Bangalore had recently walked to the rock in the sea and when one of them got washed away, the other two had no guts to return back and called for help. Post a theft at my house a week ago, someone my mother knew wanted to sell roll gold jewellery to her as she had read in the newspaper that even those were stolen. Such interesting stories can happen only in Mangalore.
Every trip to Surathkal is one closer to nature, culture and tradition. Modernisation is definitely influencing the entire country but here, in Surathkal, it seems to happen in a slower pace. For now it has reached the animals.