Date: 31st July 2009
Place: Chamundi Hill, Mysore
It had been close to 3 months since I last visited Mysore. A visit to the Hill was a natural consequence of meeting a close friend like Jayanth. He shares the same enthusiasm and eagerness to visit the Hill right from college days and has walked to the Hill from NIE college hostel many times; of these impromptu visits even I have accompanied him once. Well, those were the days!
It was a rainy day in Mysore – though it was not pouring down heavily the rain was playing hide-and-seek which prompted us to visit the Hill on a four-wheeler. The Hill top from a distance was seen to be wrapped in thick cloud cover and as we drove up the Hill, past the half-way point, visibility was down to a few metres; there was not much anyone could do other than drive very slow – the cars fog light was useless too. In all my visits to this Hill this was the first time I experienced this level of haze which I relished to the very last moment.
After reaching the top the first thing we did was, ahem, drink hot ‘chai’. The chai-wallah was a cheery guy who was cracking stale jokes, but in a way tolerable because of the up-beat ambience. After the chai we headed towards the temple steps. The temple had its usual line of devotees queued up for a glimpse of the almighty Goddess Chamundi; the queue had been lengthier than usual owing to the auspiciousness of the day (Vara Mahalakshmi festival).
Business was usual for the ‘Bajji’, ‘Bonda’ and ‘groundnut’ sellers but there was an eerie feeling to their makeshift stalls because of the mist and the bright incandescent light.
We spent considerable amount of time seated on the steps behind the temple talking about random things – mostly about the past and a little about the future. The air, though gave the appearance of a chilly night was not so, it was extremely pleasant and gave the promise of staying so for a long time. But as good things are never meant to last even this one passed, it was time for us to leave.
Me and Jayanth. The streak of light at the bottom left corner is that of a passing motor bike.
On our way back we tried the various ‘bajji’s’ on offer. Yeah, a visit to the Hill is not complete without having the ‘mensinkaayi bajji’ (chilly bajji). Again, another hot ‘chai’ later we started our way back down the Hill.
This visit will stay in my memory for a long long time to come.