The Sound Of Music

Posted: July 20, 2011 by Jinkchak in RVCE, Short Stories
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

“Just one more step to go,” thought Dexter, as his right foot made contact with the base of the final step.

“Phew!” he said, as he stepped down. It was raining heavily, and nothing but an umbrella shielded him from the heavy downpour. It had been raining for the past hour, but that didn’t dampen his spirit as his gaze fell on the scene before him.

Nature always has a way of creating the most spectacular scenes, and even though Dexter had encountered this scene many times in “Far Cry 2”, this experience was much more immersive. This was what he called “Real 3D”. To Dexter, the hills were alive with the Sound of Music.

But, wait a minute! How did Dexter wind up here (whatever “here” means)? To answer that question, let us turn the clock back by 24 hours.

July 15, 2011

It was the holiday season now, and Dexter had been sitting in front of his computer for hours on end, for the past month and a half, with only an occasional break. Due to this, he was suffering from every kind of body ache and repetitive stress injury.

Thinking that it was high time that he severed the connection between him and his computer, Dexter decided to go on a tour. Packing up, he made his way to the KSTDC department, where he selected a package tour – Lucky for him, there were seats available.

July 16, 2011

After travelling for about 8 hours, eating at some 1979 restaurant inaugurated by a certain Leach Bombay and hitting his head in the doorways of that restaurant around 4 times, he finally arrived at a 15th Century Keladi Nayaka Temple. Due to the intermittent rain and the fact that it was unfrequented by people, the stone steps leading to and inside the temple were covered with moss, and hence, offered very less friction. After slipping a few times, he finally made it to the interior.

The architecture of the temple reminded him of the architecture of some structures in Hampi. Exploring further, Dexter came across a deep well. To satisfy his curiosity, he peeked inside. Some strange leaves he had never seen before protruded from various parts of the inner walls of the well. The leaves were strikingly similar to a trishul (Indian Trident).

A little while later, he was on his way to the top of the Ghats. The rain was playing games that day. It would rain for a short while, and stop. No sooner would the Sun come out from behind the clouds, than it would begin raining heavily again. Then, it would stop…clear….rain again. Dexter didn’t realize that this pattern would be repeated the rest of the day – Say Hello to the Western Ghats!

During his journey, Dexter gazed out of the window, and observed his surroundings. All houses had roofs constructed from Mangalore tiles that allowed water to slide off. A few people even collected this water in buckets, forming their very own rain-water harvesting systems. The major mode of transport was cycles. Almost all pedestrians as well as cyclists carried umbrellas in one hand – (Guess they are pretty used to this rain). A few wild boars and goats here, a few cows and bulls there, scurried here and there, trying to escape from the downpour.

On the way, he passed over a bridge and the guide proclaimed that the Kannada Film – Mungaru Male was shot at that very spot. Continuing on their way, he finally reached a British Bungalow. The spot was quite high up in the mountains. As he walked around, Dexter was surrounded by clouds in all directions. At one point of time, he couldn’t even see a few feet in front of him. The clouds reminded him of the sublimation of dry ice.

A pleasant sound reached his ears; he knew what it was but he couldn’t spot the source of that sound. Walking down a stairwell he had found, he stopped and as the clouds cleared for a moment, he caught sight of the most beautiful scene he had encountered. Moving further onto the rocks, he ventured even closer to that beautiful scene. After awhile, he halted, since he had no intention, whatsoever, to risk his life that day – any other day would have been fine!

Looking in front of him, he was reminded of a song from “The Sound Of Music”:

The hills are alive,
With the sound of music
With songs they have sung
For a thousand years


The hills fill my heart,
With the sound of music
My heart wants to sing
Every song it hears


My heart wants to beat
Like the wings of the birds
That rise from the lake to the trees


My heart wants to sigh
Like a chime that flies
From a church on a breeze


To laugh like a brook
When it trips and falls
Over stones on its way
To sing through the night
Like a lark
Who is learning to pray


I go to the hills
When my heart is lonely
I know I will hear
What I’ve heard before
My heart will be blessed,
With the sound of music
And I’ll sing once more.

 

But wait! Don’t go anywhere! This ain’t the end. I haven’t told you what Dexter saw. If you want to know, read on…

After spending around half an hour at this site, Dexter was taken to another viewpoint – Watkin’s Point, which provided a better view of that beautiful scene. But, beauty seldom comes without a price, and neither did this. Dexter was confronted by a task he had never ever done before.

In front of him lay man-made steps constructed on the slopes of this mountainous area. All Dexter had to do was go to the bottom of this site with the aid of these steps. Everything would have been fine had there not been over 1100 steps! He was warned by passers-by that going down was easy, but coming back up was a Herculean task.

Nevertheless, Dexter was determined to accomplish this task…After all; he didn’t want this journey to be for naught. With an umbrella shielding him from the heavy onslaught of Monsoon rain, and Gravity aiding his descent down the steps of irregular spans, Dexter headed down, to meet whatever awaited him in the depths below.

Along the way, he passed many stalls that had been set up on the blissful landings, where he replenished his food supply with good ol’ Tiger Biscuits and quenched his thirst with good ol’ juice (and sometimes, rainwater). He even escaped being attacked by a family of monkeys that looked more like a family of baboons.

That beautiful scene looked awesome from the steps, but Dexter sought the view from down. Braving the forces of nature, he finally reached the bottom in about thirty minutes.

“Just one more step to go,” thought Dexter, as his right foot made contact with the base of the final step.

“Phew!” he said, as he stepped down. It was raining heavily, and nothing but an umbrella shielded him from the heavy downpour. It had been raining for the past hour, but that didn’t dampen his spirit as his gaze fell on the site before him.

Nature always has a way of creating the most spectacular scenes, and even though Dexter had encountered a similar scene many times in “Far Cry 2”, this experience was much more immersive. This was what he called “Real 3D”. To Dexter, the hills were alive with the Sound of Music.

Before him was the highest untiered waterfall in India – The Jog Falls created by the Sharavathi River, falling from a height of 253 m. Dexter remembered from his Geography text book of years ago that each track of the waterfall had a name.

  • Raja (extreme left)
  • Roarer (the small fellow jutting out (if I may use that term) next to the Raja)
  • Rocket (the fellow in the center, whose many jets of water seemed to be racing with each other)
  • Rani (extreme right)

Since the Monsoon had just begun, the water in the plunge pool wasn’t filled to the brim. Dexter made his way into the plunge pool of ice-cold water that made his feet numb. To Dexter, the water felt like a knife piercing his skin. Due to the immense amount of spray around, Dexter didn’t take many photos or videos, as he wasn’t in the mood to get his camera spoilt. On the other hand, there was an enterprising chap maneuvering himself on the rocks of that plunge pool, with an umbrella perched on his shoulders, and an SLR camera in his hands, and for a fee, taking photos of tourists, etc. What was even wittier was the fact that, underneath a rock, he had placed a portable Epson printer. With this printer, he managed to take prints of his photos and instantly hand them to those who asked.

Depending on one’s perspective, the rocks that were being eroded by the river, resembled anything the viewer cared to imagine. For one, Dexter could make out a man with a pointed chin with his lips curled up in anger. The illusions were amazing. Dexter wondered whether these falls would exist a thousand years or million years later, due to the effects of erosion, etc.

After spending lots of time there, admiring the work of nature’s forces, Dexter knew it was now time to face the truth. It was now time for him to begin the climb to the world above. After huffing and puffing, and pausing at every landing for approximately one and a half minutes, Dexter finally reached the top, and when he turned around, he was shocked to see that the beautiful sight of the falls had disappeared from view, obscured by the clouds and the loss of the Sun, for, you see, it was dusk now, and Dexter had taken an hour to climb up.

Dexter headed to a restaurant nearby, and had a few snacks. Besides that, he also knocked his head 3 times (accidentally, of course) in the doorways of that restaurant, bringing the total count to 7.

It was now time to return home, but Dexter knew that this was an experience he would never ever forget…

Watch the Jog Falls in action by clicking on the following videos (the videos are displayed in standard low quality if not resized to full screen).

Dexter’s Version (Dexter Soundtrack)

 

Indian Version (Nityotsava – Kannada Soundtrack)

 

Written by

Me…yeah ME!

Back to Computer Addiction…

Disclaimer: Any resemblance of the protagonist of this article to the actual “Dexter Morgan” of the Miami Metro Police Department is purely coincidental. However, this article is based on an actual experience.

Comments
  1. Ravikiran says:

    superb. . .

  2. Jinkchak says:

    Thanks a lot, Akon!

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