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Dura Pahada Sundara [Far-away Mountains are Beautiful]

I realize how seriously we take a place we visit specifically to see it – an event in itself, and how much taken for granted are those places that we can hop in an out with regularity and ease.

Interestingly I had never wrote or thought of writing about Puri or Konark or Cuttack. Places for which reams have been and can be written. The history, the culture, the cuisine and the local chutzpah [espl. Puri / Cuttack]. Even more interestingly, I have never pondered enough on these places and their unique niceties to have them simmering in my cerebral consciousness. They are somewhere deep there sedimented at best; and at [likely] worst, I do not have the desired ammunition to do justice to write anything substantial. Probably, I will have to resort to the frivolous flourish of the might of the language as a cover.

A point to note - I have never seen the Bali Yatra [Cuttackis don’t faint please]. The Puri beach and temple I have always felt is my backyard [so had the taken for granted attitude], its like doing Jags a favour by stopping by. Konark many times got the miss – like the base of the golden triangle, getting lost in quagmire of time management. So much for having spent 25 years [not in one stretch] of my life in BBSR with a rich circle of 60 KM radius. Mind you I have not been to Satpada yet and Chilka have been only once – that too almost 30 years earlier.

Thanks to ICSE curriculum, I have had exposure to world and Indian history and geography – but in the process Orissa has got the slip. I concede without any pride that I wont be able to rattle off all the 30 districts and their capitals. Not to mention of gaps in awareness of the kings and their kingdoms. Most certainly I don’t have a structured assimilation of the 13 festivals in 12 months [bara masa re tera parba]. The Odia flavor is limited [literally] to the cuisine and the occasional golden tunes.

So much for being a proud Odia. There are so many places with exquisite beauty and appealing history dotted all over the Orissa. Time to explore all these places and ponder over them. A short 2-3 day break every 3-4 months wont do much harm. To walk the talk, I have gotten myself booked at Satkosia tent-houses early Jan as a new year gift. That should be a wonderful to soak in and write about.

22/26 Nov, 2010



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