Honavar Bunder

Photos of fishermen on the Sharavati at the Honavar Bunder by Arun Shanbhag
When we were kids, Honavar Bunder was an intriguing place. We’d spend all morning just hanging around the folks mending nets and running around upturned boats. The fishing boats fished at the estuary with the Arabian sea and usually came in just around lunch. If you had the patience for a late lunch, you could always get some very fresh fish curry. Walking across the Kasarkod bridge over the Sharavati river was the highlight of most evenings. Continue reading “Honavar Bunder”

Video: Weaving Jaaii Flowers

During recent travels, I was visiting relatives in Honavar, Karnataka – a sleepy coastal town south of Kumta (see google map below). I had stopped by a family store to add money to my pre-paid cell phone. There, this older gentleman was weaving these delicate pink buds called jaaii-che kaLo. These buds only sprout after the monsoon rains (June – August), have a delicate fragrance and are highly sought after during the festival season in July-September. It was a simple, yet mesmerizingly beautiful weave and he agreed to let me record it on my flip video. Continue reading “Video: Weaving Jaaii Flowers”

Dhanya in Honavar

My cousin brother is a bhat-maam (priest) in the small konkan town of Honavar, 15 miles south of Kumta. His parents had insisted he get a college degree – so after his BA in Economics he still decided to follow their priestly traditions. They live in spartan accommodations beside the temple. I have fond memories of visiting them during my school summer vacations. Every morning we herded cows to a distant pasture. There we would bathe in a local stream! 🙂 O, what joys for a city brat. Now I only visit during my India trips and don't herd cows. Can't forget my roots, which need constant nourishing!

His daughter, Dhanya is the cutest girl I have seen. Here I had to interrupt her doodling on the kitchen floor. The beam of light is from a makeshift skylight. A couple of terracotta tiles in the roof are replaced with a sheet of glass. Wisps of smoke are from the burning wood embers used for cooking. They have a gas cooking range, but my aunt grew up using a wood fire and rarely uses the range. The old-style door has a sliding latch and the open pantry is lined with steel dabbas.

What do you need to be happy? You'd be right if you guessed – a divine daughter and a row of mithai-filled dabbas! I am currently batting zero for a million!

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