durga rani and me

The next day morning she greeted me with the loving gesture of pressing her forehead against my knees (just the way she reacts when Renu (with whom rani lives) talks to her). It was probably then that she told me that i am safe to follow.

We left behind trails of paws and feet all over the durga - the rocks on the edge. devarayanadurga.

It roared, poured and the unpredictable lightning made the obscurity of the rock formations dramatically imposing, yet only more obscure. We were out on the deck ('deck' - after some debate on the right word for the space we occupied then) watching the rain. The otherwise sober rani and me were high on all the extra space no matter what the term. For us if it is 'no doors then we are knocked out'. [Not to forget the jackfruit that we dug into - literally !]

The rains came with an interval and an action filled second half that drove us towards the possibility of chasing some fresh earthy streams. We set out looking for the fallen rains. Walking in the dark of the night or in the moonlight and especially when the night isnt too chill - perfect and lead by the darker (than the night) bobbing patch - Rani.  Like a drop of water that seems like life while thirst, an hour of rain and we were thinking ponds, lakes, streams, swimming, boating .....hmm. Must watch, must revel 'The Rains' and the sequel.

The next morning - decided to follow Rani on the cycle (yes there's more to it - the trek 4300 too!). She was to take me on a circular trail around the house at the foothills of the Devarayanadurga - our first circle of trust. I promptly followed her and she lead me up a rock, up terrace farming patches, up a huge boulder. I decided to
spend some quality time with her. I sat down and had a word with her. Explained to her that the trek is an animal that comes to life only if i sat on it. I dont think she likes the trek, although she did piss on it after a while. She did her best !

Well immediately after this rock i spotted the tar road but there wasnt any cycleable connection to it.

We reached the road and then rani ran, i cycled and we reached home. Just in time to make some raagi rottis.

A new route other than the usual back entry to the temple up the devarayanadurga was the agenda. We took the almost straight climb uprockhill. Talked about the suddenness of a family of spider lillies cropped up on odd shaped lawn like formations of thick brown soil and grass., the strips of marble and black granite cutting across the homogeneous geology of 'chappadi' stone that formed the expanse of background. Reached the temple and the attention shifts to rani - all of 25 to 30 pack audience of the temple dogs devising strategies to get to rani, amidst protest from people (us included). Finally one in the pack makes the move - a quick shoot almost getting rani's back. But resulting in an equally quick retreat with rani making a rather 'yea whatever' look in the direction of the sniper dog. The smallest of the pups and all of the older dogs let out an anguished cry. 'Thats a resolution passed' - Dinesh's comment ! :)

Silence took over and we walked downhill (snacking on green chilli chutney mavinkaai, coconut) - all of the pack was at our heel. Silently following us - but pretty beaten down and lost, threw some biscuits in their direction but they ran scaretty in all directions. Dint bother us after which. we found shade and rani found a mucky puddle from yesterdys rains to sit in. after which she came and sat under the tree - we lay there chat, panting, silence...panting., the psychedelic mushroom spectacles idea ! And the bright orange fiery (coz of the bright burning noon) specks of gulmohar petals on the grey glistening rocks - on our way down.

Slept off the noon - heard some calling that i probably ignored/ refused. Woke up to a refreshing cool bath and cycled down the road. Did some car tyre racing with the neighbour kids. Tried to get another girl to cycle with me down some unknown track ! but the fear of the father (damn) - she offered only to help me with directions and warnings coming from the small men folk - 'akka alli haavu idhe hogbedi' !

Took some windy road and on my way back stopped below an indigo shower ! Some of the local youth were up the tree and below were plump fleshy indigos blocthed all over the road. You catch it or lose it. There were so tasty, got greedy (gave the best of my smiles and offered up the trek for free rides) - got a lot of extra naval pazham (indigo, nerle hannu). Even picked some quashed ones off the road and stuffed them into my mouth. Happy back and blue !

Went to sleep after a late into the night talk about random travels and exotic places, as we were lying down on the terrace and carving out images/ silhouettes in the dark and from the dark innards of dying brain cells !

To the lake : thats the glimmering (jewel like) centre  of the view from the mahadwara of devarayanadurga fort. And who's to stop rani from going to the lake. Inspite of being locked behind the gate and me taking the cycle to get away fast - she was by my side even before i hit the tar road. I slowed down and we went together to the lake - braved the dogs (with some collected rocks in my pocket). The cycle was a slushy mess before we reached the lake.

rani loves water and it was she who enjoyed more. She walked right into the waters and i could see that she was tempted to wade further in - maybe if she hadnt slipped on a rock a bit. She took a plunge and got back to sit next to me but as usual facing the opposite direction - like we were lovers but just had a silly fight. I thought i could get her a fish to pacify and waited for the coracle to get to the shore with the catch. In the meanwhile watching kids splash about and teaching the youngest 'dilli' some swimming. this time a sporty, happy go lucky dad encouraging his sons and daughter to swim.

I let rani smell the fish but she wasnt interested. I put a small one in my pocket hoping she'll be in the mood for it at home. We were back home safe but much to Renu's disapproval of rani's getaway behaviour. Nice hot raagi rottis again :).

The determined plan towards chitradurga - went up the ddurga (this time alone - rani cheated ! and me more). hitched a ride that could go only downhill (an old scooter which needs to be pushed uphill !) and then long jumped into a JCB (and muthanna the driver) that dropped me off a kilometer before the urudigere junction. I walked and found some men mango picking, begged for a mango and in no time i was up the tree picking mangoes. They filled my bag with mangoes and sent me away. Here i was stuck with a heavy bag of mangoes and my room - the only place to hide. I left it to luck and took the bus that came first. To bangalore ! I had even picked up a big chakotha fruit on km walk. Walking isnt more fun always....but walk i will, i wont give up on that. another durga another day.

Some pics here: https://picasaweb.google.com/shamalakittane/DurgaRaniAndMe


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