In a banter over email with the Doc, came the discussion about the places that needs another visit, which triggered me to go Hampi to settle with my ongoing drama in life.
I went on saying doc how it felt like in Hampi,
“Hampi is an emotion!!
like a kiss that doesn’t demand kissback but deserves one,
like a dream that I would conveniently forget to redream again,
a place where I built a house full of memories”.
Unlike the usually long addictive solo trips,
this time started out with a known company, a borrowed DSLR, and planned return date for the weekend.
With cancelled tickets, we boarded the train weaving different stories on how to plead innocent and get away with fine from the TC.
The TC fined us fairly and we paid up agreeing not to budge him for confirmed berths.I got used to the ordeal of rough beginning and a journey full of hiccups but my friend had to struggle.
The journey has begun.
A man with half-burnt face with his partner,
a racy couple consumed by the cold night,
a musician from Hubbali exporting his congo and dholak were the notable passengers.
There were these obvious statements. Again.
Why Hampi? Go Goa.
“Hampi has nothing but ruins”, came a travel advice from the musician unasked for.
He went on with his free-advice of assessing what’s in Hampi, what to watch out for and I stood there listening his tourist knowledge while my friend was struggling for a suitable position for the night with the packed congo beside him.
Eventually, the discussion boiled down to what he was transporting. Congo, Dholak and several percussion instruments as I’ve guessed earlier.
He introduced himself as the lead musician mostly on tabla and congo.
I drained him with questions like, “who is your audience, won’t you find these instruments in your city, how is your income like, do you feel respected, do you get paid well?…. ”
When he asked my name and I answered, he asked if I was a christian, “My parents are” I’ve replied with a smile. He asked curiously ‘why hampi’ to which I tilt my head and smiled.
As we arrived Guntakal, he found a vacated berth.
He joined his hands with a faint smile and said “good night”, rather hinting goodbye to me and my questions.
A profound happiness filled in me, its been 54 days I haven’t been in a train or on a rail platform. There is something weirdly strange about train travel.
While the railway employees separated our coaches from others that are headed to yeshwantpura, I stood there as spectator to see the proceeding. Disengaging and engaging air locks, augmenting coaches to the other link. A ritual that I wouldn’t miss.
The train made its way into Karnataka in a few moments.
Though separated by territorial borders, governing bodies and telephone carriers, unified by language as majority speaks Telugu giving the feeling of home state.
Just a couple of hours and we’ll be in Hospet.
With camera in hand and good music passing though ear canals, passed through the foggy green farms of Toranagallu.
The news in 29th october read, “colorful procession (…) hampi utsav” has rekindled my sleepy eyes with excitement.
Just like that, we passed through the track of neatly plaited agri farms and coconut trees on either sides,
reached Hospet, end of yet another journey marking space for another travelogue!!