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Home >> Pilgrim's Pages  >> Rich in culture and lush mountains, Coorg put me in touch with my inner self
 
coorg

Rich in culture and lush mountains, Coorg put me in touch with my inner self

No one likes a sob story. But what can you do when your own life becomes one, and you can’t seem to find a way out? You hope things will change, and when they don’t, you unwillingly wait for someone to show you the path. Strangely, for me, it wasn’t a person but a place, hidden in the mountains of Karnataka, which gave my sob story a happy, new start.

Rich in culture and lush greenery, Coorg put me in touch with my inner self , when the city life kept me too busy to look within. Now, when I look back, I can’t help but think about the irony of life smiling at me. Like many others, I came to the big city to give my professional journey a new direction. Underneath this ambition, there was an aspiration: learn to be happy from the inside, even without a reason outside. To my dismay, I could choose only one—professional ambition or spiritual aspiration. Or so I thought. I worked tirelessly, chased pay check like a deer hunter, hopped from job to job, gradually, climbing the ladder to success. But the more I progressed, the hollower I felt.

At 30, time appeared to move fast. Days turned into months, and months into years, and the only constants of life were working 60 hours a week, braving the daily traffic jams, and the feeling of exhaustion at night. Was this how life was supposed to be? I used to wonder. I wanted to travel, get lost in another world, meet new people, listen to their stories, and at twilight, have a conversation with nature. This was me, or at least, whom I wanted to be. But, in the journey of discovering my ambition, I forgot all about myself.

One day, I received an invite from a friend who was getting married in Coorg. It wasn’t the first time I was hearing about the place. I believe whoever lives in and around Bangalore is familiar with Coorg and its lush mountains. However, despite having lived in close proximity to this nature’s abode, the thought of exploring Coorg never occurred to me. What was more, here was my long overdue getaway just when I needed it the most.

While driving to Coorg, the first thing I fell in love with was the change of view. In no time, tall trees replaced the tall buildings, mountains stood in place of shopping malls, and smog turned into the freshest of air. As we neared our destination, all I could think was how a place so beautiful existed in its raw, unspoilt form so close to a big city?

Coorg is known as the Scotland of India

Coorg is known as the Scotland of India

Upon reaching Murnad, a small village in Madikeri, the first thing I did was gorge on a hearty breakfast. The cafe where we ate, had a small menu, but I couldn’t care less because my eyes were feasting upon nature’s bounty. The huge glass-wall looked down into a deep valley, with a narrow stream of river flowing through a trench. It was one of those experiences you can’t describe in words but can only feel them, as they get etched in your memory forever.

After breakfast, the next stop was the wedding ceremony and reception. The ceremony venue looked ordinary at first. A huge hall where the ceremony was to take place, a dining area, and an open bar. Happy, dressed-up people, laughing, dancing, and making conversation. But my mind was somewhere else. What was the purpose of my life? Where was I headed?

I snapped myself out of the reverie. The wedding hall was more than five decades old. On the walls hung portraits of people who got married there. It was like a sanctuary of happiness that had seen countless people starting a life together. My friend was one of them, and I felt happy for him. I felt happy in that moment when it had nothing to do with me.

It was time for some wedding rituals—a tradition to anoint the groom with turmeric and oil, showering on him grains of rice. The groom, my friend shone like the sun. As everyone congratulated the wedding couple, the thought of my own life struck me again. However, the feeling of being lost was slowly giving way to finding myself. As I stood next to my friend, I felt happiness was as much about others around us as it was about ourselves. In those moments of realisation, I felt like the helplessness I felt until yesterday was like a bad dream fading away.

Coorg, the abode of nature

Coorg, the abode of nature

As the buzz and the chaos of the wedding quietened, I joined a few friends to spend the evening at a cabin. It was located at the crest of a mountain, almost hidden in plain sight. We drove through multiple blind roads with the sharpest of turns to reach the quiet little cabin. It was twilight, but we could see the grand valley staring at us. Without wasting any time, we threw our bags in and stepped outside for an evening of music, a campfire, and endless conversations.

The morning felt like a dream. At night, it was difficult to comprehend how far we had climbed. But at dawn, when I looked down from the cliff, I couldn’t see where the mountain ended. Standing on the edge, there was no one but me and the vastness of the valley. I didn’t feel my life was a sob story anymore. I felt it was as grand as the view in front of me, and as genuine as those portraits hanging in the hall. I don’t recall how long I stood there. Lost in this newfound world, I had discovered a Coorg inside me too, where there was clarity of view, solitude, and happiness, waiting for me to look within.

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