Fourth for this Week

It had to be the Pudumund Marlimund Road today.  We lived on this road long ago but never ventured too far down the road. Of course it had grown and changed. Lots of small houses around Forest Gate , each with its set of drums and basins and tubs kept ready to catch the water tanker . The road stretched and curved  beyond the fork to Anikorai into more pastoral reaches.

Houses became more  scattered. While the presence of large bungalows with glimpses of colourful gardens added grace. Suddenly at one corner  opposite Adyar House was the brightly painted  police station of Pudumund. At the side were a dozen bashed and broken up cars , swept up from Ooty’s roads.

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Somewhere there had to be the Marlimund lake, for which the road was named. Probably dry and swampy. Still I had to see it. And discover it I did. A beautiful sweep of water near the small dam. At the back, where waters must have collected from springs and rain, cows grazed peacefully on the green cover. Even the pipe drawing water from the reservoir stood 2 feet above the water level.

Lets hope and pray and believe in the good monsoon,  predicted.

Third Day

‘Go around the lake ma’, suggested my daughter. Right around being rather ambitious for me I thought I would walk on the less crowded , far side of the lake.

Starting a little further down from the Arboretum which the tourist vans seem to have discovered, I walked down the road, which ran parallel to the railway tracks for a short while.  Quiet prevailed as I passed West Mere, where we’d stayed as children; host to a hundred memories, looking rather forgotten now.

Further on was the Deer Park, barred and barbed , allowing no one to get past the bramble and undergrowth. Disturbing a young couple looking for quiet, I had to hurry on with glimpses of the lake through trees and wire. Finally there was the second Boat house with colour and sound .

Time to turn back.

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Second Day

Zoning in on a quiet,  level road to walk on Day 2, wasn’t too difficult. The road from Fernhill to Avalanche via Kundah has always been a  favorite. Smooth to drive on, tracts of cultivated land lining one side, passing through numerous small villages; this road leads to many interesting spots.

But since I was going to walk, it was doubtful whether I would reach even one.

Passing the bend at Cairn Hill, I met some monkeys  sipping water from a small muddy pool near the road left behind from the rains. They eyed me warily while they pushed each other aside for their turn.

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Later, I met some cows grazing happily at the side of the road. Besides us, there were no other pedestrians on the road, it being more of a highway. On one side were verdant green tea fields and on the other, fields being freshly sown for the next crop.

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Further on was a carrot washing shed. Always delightful to watch the carrots go in muddy and come out a fresh orange. Why dont’ they do it for radish or potatoes ??

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30 minutes later, I was gazing on the slopes of Mullikorai., a prosperous looking hamlet. A stream flowed through the valley below cutting through fields of cabbage and carrot. The school was freshly painted and gleamed in the evening sunshine.

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The charm of small houses always attracts the eye. Brightly painted, the areas outside swept clean and tamped down,  the bare sparseness speaks of simple living and one imagines, contentment.

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On my way back as I crossed the Bhavanieaswari temple;  I watched a mother sitting outside the house attached to the temple, in sweet ease with her children . How many mothers Ive heard , wishing to live again  those  simple, busy days  when their children were young and life less complicated , although life’s material riches are now more in abundance.