September 06, 2014



After getting down at Gokarna, Pavan Da took us straight to this small hotel right next to the bus stand to eat his favorite - Missal Bhaji. He had been here two years back and I was amazed to see him remember the directions to the place so clearly. To be frank, he is just like my dad; both of them have a great sense of directions. I and Bhabi ordered Masala Puri - another local snack which has a distinct sweet and sour taste. As we were munching on to the local delicacies, the afternoon sun was overwhelmed by a menagerie of grey crowds laden with vapor. In the next few minutes, what began as a drizzle gained momentum and soon enough, it was pouring cats and dogs.

These pictures of the daily life in the sleepy temple town were clicked from the hotel as we waited for the downpour to subside. The lady on the right in the first picture probably belongs the Halakki tribe which has substantial presence in the Karwar district of Karnataka. The Halakki women can be easily identified from their dressing, generally a bright saree worn without a blouse. The lady was selling flowers garlands, an occupation that is common in a town soaked in religion and dotted by a myriad temples. As far as I can recollect, the flowers she was selling include Champa and Mogra (Jasmine). The other lady in the snap was the owner of the house in front of which they were having their tête-à-tête. In a place which is interwoven by a million mythological tales, I wonder what stories the two ladies were sharing... As can be seen in the later snaps, a third lady joined them later. Meanwhile, in the neighboring house an elderly woman was busy reading the newspaper with a cow shielding her from the showers. However, as the rains gained momentum, she went inside and continued reading, unperturbed by the fact there was very little sunlight. I love these snaps because I think that the best way to capture a place in your camera is by clicking the locals while they are engaged in their daily activities.

After sipping on freshly prepared tea, we hired a rickshaw and left for our hotel - Namaste Cafe on the Om Beach where we had booked our room.

A lady selling flower garlands
In spite of the rains, the two of them had a lot to talk
An elderly lady reads a local daily even as the rains gather momentum
Do se bhale teen: A third lady joined the two of them
In deep thought...

For more posts in the series: GOKARNA DIARIES: AUG'14, click here (Link)

For more on the Halakki tribesmen, their lives and customs, I suggest you to read this excellent article from Tribal Cultural Heritage in India Foundation titled 'The Halalkki people of Uttara Kanara' (Link)