Toy Soldier - a Monologue

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The Night is cold, freezin cold. It’s some goddamn cathedral. All tht is left of it were the pillars and the obliterated walls. Some one had smoked the holy lord right outta his cross. I’m sitting near where the altar was before and I looked up. I could see the stars. Such scenery! I have always loved gazin at the stars back home with Irene. She was the one who would always guess the correct constellations. Truly I never acted being wiser with her. She knew every bit bout me. My past, my ambition to join the force, my dream to have a hood of my own…she knew it all. Surprisingly it was hers as well. With her backing me up, I never had the problem to convince my hommies when I got posted to Iraq. Being a shrink; she knew exactly how to convince them. She promised me tht she will be there to take care of them. She was always stronger and more levelheaded. Pity why she chose me!

The air was warm and smoky and all I could breathe were gun powders and petro-canisters. I am tired. My ankle is swollen for good. Walkin our way through the plateaus for the roundabout I must have been badly wounded. They were expecting us alright! It was the longest evening of my life. Everyone I came to know of in these few months fell to their knees one after the other. Even Charlie! Or tht’s how I used to call him. He was pretty messed up when I found him in the bunkers holdin tight to his gewehr 33/40 breathing hard. Blood oozin through is vocal. He was in pain. Or at least tht’s what the scream meant. When I reached for him, he must’ve been half dead or was getting there. I eased out his helmet. He wanna speak but tht shell in his chord was only making things worse. He searched his pockets and handed me his wallet. I opened it to find a photo of a dame and a nine month old. Charlie probably wanted me to let his lady know tht he wasn’t coming home. Or may be he wanted me to see how his baby boy was looking. All innocent and cuddly on his momma’s lap seeing straight into my eyes. I wouldn’t know for sure. I held Charlie close till he was gone.

I lay right next him exhausted and sleepy. I couldn’t take it no more. I wished it all end. I wished I could go back! Back to Irene! I looked around and nothing seems to make sense. How did I get my self into this? I wasn’t too sure. I checked my cartridge and had almost exhausted my pack. I was thirsty. I checked for the cognac. It was empty. I remember! I hadta give it to Marv when the infantries found him in the gutter. He must’ve gotten ejected outta some land mine explosion. Both his legs looked like minced meat.
Hell yeah he was in pain! The medic had not seen such a mess. We hadta tox him so the medics can do their work. Marv was a brave man. He knew what was coming. Taking the cognac,in one shot ol’marv smiled at me and said “Tis ones on ya sarge!”

Its tht same chill feeling again! Only this time much colder! I must be blackin out. My head was spinning and I couldn’t see clear. I was hungry I guess. Funny my stomach was paining and my hip was wet and warm. It musta been so, for an hour or more. Must’ve been a leech suckin away my blood and withering off before I could even realize. All I could sense is some kinda punctured mark. A nauseating feeling crept in. I…wanna...Close my eyes!...I wanna...go back!...I...



Oscillating thoughts
Swirls and unswirls into,
The arduous conundrums of mind!
Second after second
Anonymous commotions are born
Nude and convoluted,
Abstract and factious as
Parlous parodies;
Phony metaphors;
Obstreperous conflicts,
Dictating Contradictions,
All seem too complex
Such as the mind in itself;
That bears them into an
intricate mesh of quagmires.
Never known too vivid
Like the anchored question
That I keep asking myself
The why? The who? What?
When and where and how?


I learn and unlearn striving to
Reflect my Outlook,
Foster my Thoughts,
Assume and presume opinions!
Taught to see, hear and learn
from mistakes of others and that of my own!
Realizing possibilities from
Why? To why not and can I? To I can…
All through the way seeking truth from within!!

....preguntas y respuestas


Belated Wishes..

To Those of you who were alone on 14th february..happy Independence day!


Thadiyendamol – A Travelog

“It is the not the destination that matters; but the journey you take towards it”

With that note on I would like to share my reminiscence of the place my friends and I trekked last weekend. Thadiyendamol which means “the highest peak” in kudagu a regional language of the south Karnataka, India is a must see for all nature lovers, trekkers, and just about anybody who would want to be as close to mother nature as possible.

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A group of four including myself left Bangalore last Friday with not much interest to leave the Friday night parties and late night televisions. And yet we did. We took a bus to Veerajpet which is about 250 odd kilometers from Bangalore. Veerajpet is a lazy small town down the south western tip of Karnataka. A town with a sensible mixture of the natives, tamilians, malayalis etc. We waited through the early morning to catch a bus to Kabinakkadu. A one hour journey (about 20 Kms) to this village through the serene mountains and hutments was very inviting to the contrary busy roads and concrete structures of the city. We arrived at this place and were welcomed by Suresh Chengappa of the honey valley estate.

Note: Regular buses from KSRTC are available everyday to Veerajpet. With 185 rupees per head the journey would last about five hours. Once in Veerajpet go to the local bus stand to take a private bus “Anuradha” to Kabinakkadu. The ticket cost rupees twenty per head. More about Suresh and his honey valley retreat here

Honey valley estate:

“You fought your way through,
You struggled hard to follow,
You grew weak walking,
You endured all to be with her and her entirety”

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Honey valley is a small estate owned by Suresh in kakkabe in Kabinakkadu. He lives there with his wife and two daughters and had converted the whole estate into this beautiful resort with small rooms well equipped (with clean toilets) for people to stay and spend a day or two. The estate directly faces a comb of mountains of the Western Ghats. The Estate is aesthetically located on a small valley surrounded by mountains. We met quiet a lot of trekkers and tourists of Indian origin and otherwise already staying there and were setting out on their own interesting expeditions.

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We had a quick breakfast prepared by them and started a little late loading ourselves with lot of water, chocolates and instant noodles. We were given a map book by suresh Chengappa to help our way through the mountains. Thus our journey to Thadiyendamol began.

Note: Our group decided to take a room to accommodate four people which costed us thousand rupees. Good Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner is served in the retreat(mostly vegetarian. Non-vegetarian food is available on request)

Saddle rock:

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“You looked in awe at her beauty;
Trying to concoct your senses!
With arrogance in voice you mumble:
‘I came just to see you!’
The rivulet hisses back in mockery
For she has always been there”

This is a pit stop mountain right before Thadiyendamol where trekkers usually tent and spend a night before climbing the peak. People who reach here can realize the breathtaking multitude of the peak.

Towards Thadiyendamol and beyond:

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“She bears you, the way she bears
her trees, her mountains and her oceans!
You, her, them existing in perfect harmony
You try and reveal your naked self
And hence becoming her own”

The path we took towards Thadiyendamol was a five kilometer stretch over small valleys, mountains, streams of rivulets and plateaus. The Trek was pretty challenging given the fact that we all were carrying heavy backpacks with water and food. But the experience was nevertheless thrilling. We witnessed true incarnations of nature in the form of forest flowers, tall trees, synchronous mountains and hard rocks. The streams we passed were inviting for a dip.

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We walked our ways following paths already been made by fellow trekkers in the past. After three hours we struggled to reach the top. The scenic view of the Western Ghats can never be explained or written about. The misty clouds foams down and merge into nothingness with the mountains afar. Wherever we turned, it was greenery at its best. Here and there hard brown rock sprouted out of the greeneries adding to an immaculate contrast of nature’s effervescence. The silence of the mountain and the mellifluous hiss of mountain grass to the western wind were very soothing to the ears.
Selfishly inhaling every bit of clean cold air the mountain had to offer we took few photos, prepared and ate our lunch and rested for a while before starting our journey back down to saddle rock and to the honey valley retreat.

All in all it was a very memorable experience for our group and personally a spiritual one. Hope this would be helpful to you and your friends if you wish to make a trip to this beautiful peak and have a memorable time.

Note: Start early! We were cursing ourselves for not being able to spend much time on the peak. So start as early as 5.30 to 6.00 hrs. Carry enough water (2 liters per person helps) and lot of snacks, chocolates for stamina. It is advisable to carry torch light since it gets pitch black at night. If you need further clarifications contact me at vidshank02@gmail.com and Praveen at SrinivasPraveen@hotmail.com