Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Practicing Kindness on a road trip to Badami

My sister and I decided that in order to give ourselves a break, we should do a road trip. I have been driving a red Honda Brio for last 3 years, just after I finished my Teach For India fellowship and I recently completed the loan on it. So, it was a good idea to give ourselves a break, may be grieve together or redeem from it, and may be have conversations that we were not having.

So, we started from Hyderabad for this beautiful place called Badami, where the rocks are of color of Almond, and hence the name. I drove 8 hours, found a lovely room at Heritage Resort to get over the tiredness and slept all night to wake up early.

This trip for me was a trip of kindness and recovery. The goal was to help my sister and self to start over, so we both were very kind and harmless to each other, or may be a shared pain, makes you so. Anyway, we started next day at 6:00 am. Our 66 year old, MA History, Tourist Guide was waiting for us on a chair outside the resort.

The cheerful old man was very detailed about everything he showed. They say God lives in details. He was telling details of the Gods. There was a statue of Shiv and Parvati (half and half), beautifully done, almost difficult to make out, unless you look closely that reminded me how come they only worship Leonardo Da Vinci for Mona Lisa. After all they conceived man and woman as one in 6th century! Who cares what we have done till some other country apprecicate it, we don't appreciate ourselves.

We watched almost all temples and their museums all day. Even climbed over 600 stairs in the entire day, drove for a scenic drive from Badami to Aihole and Pattadkal. And loved every bit of it. The place is still not commercialized and so we were just very few tourists coloring the otherwise mono-colored temples.

The next day we drove back to Hyderabad. And Google Maps, in the manner of its habit, gave us a faster detour from the highway. (which is usually frustrating because it doesn't check for road quality). This road was completely deserted, almost handful of villages and yet full of golden fields of jwar and bajra and occassional sunflower.

My sister and I were singing songs out loud when we saw an old couple walking on the road and looking at our car as we passed by. I somehow felt like stopping. My sister was surprised and unsure. But on my rear view mirror, I saw them jumping in joy. They were so happy as if they found a goldmine.

We couldn't communicate with them as they could only speak Kannada but we all found a shared moment of happiness. They were going to the nearest bus stand which was almost 6 kms away to the nearest town from their village by walking! I couldn't believe people still do that when I all see overloaded autos in suburbs and villages if nothing else.

For my sister and me, it was a moment of reckoning. The way to healing is probably this way only.  Hindu mythology ask for serving 25 Brahmins. may be that made sense at the time it was conceived. But for us, it was simpler and untouched by a ritual.



  1. An act of kindness is a joy forever!!! Nice :)

  2. At times (in fact, always) just an act of kindness can do it for us. We feel that we are helping someone but the joy we get in return is unmatched. This is probably the healing balm/touch that brings some relief.

    Thank you for sharing some pages of your life. It often helps me to stop back, think and reflect on my own life.

    Take care