Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Long Day

Today was probably one of the longest days I've had in a while. After staying up till 1am to finish an enormously disappointing novel, I couldn't sleep. I'd tried to read something else to take my mind off of the unsatisfactory ending… but everything involved something romantic… which I couldn't stomach at the time (I love romance).

After trying— and failing— to fall asleep, I decided to write. And the words flowed… I finished a chapter of Riddle Rose and another— and instead of the half hour I'd given myself to get things out of my system… it was two and a half.

I thought after that I'd be able to sleep— it was 3:30am, after all, and I'd had a long day before. And while I fell asleep, I had weird, disjointed dreams at woke up precisely three hours later, with a knot in my stomach and a terrible conviction that today was going to be a horrible day.

It wasn't. At 9am we headed towards the Kesava temple from the Hoysala era in the 1200s. It's carved in stone, but despite this, I found myself realizing that the elephants on the supports weren't just plonked there one day… they were carved. Someone actually took the time and the worry to carve all these scenes… to chip away the stone and smooth it… and this was 800 years ago, and it's all still there!

There's a god with a fish's head on one of the outside walls… and inside there are domes with stone men on horses and flowers. The six sets of columns inside are all different— some look like they've just been on a pottery wheel and someone pressed a groove into them— it's as if there are welded discs of varying thickness composing these columns, but they were all carved by hand, with medieval-age tools.

As we walked around, Mom and I had a long talk about a lot of things as we stopped to take pictures of the various intriguing figures on the outside walls.

If I've already mentioned this, it bears mentioning again. The outside walls are covered in carvings. The bottom layer is often elephants, following each other counter-clockwise around the building… then men on horses, then various scenes from Hindu epics, then what I assume are depictions of gods (there was a fish-headed one), and then more and more carvings until the top, which is just as intricate as the rest of it.

After reaching home (after all… home is where our luggage is), we watched various parts of movies that were on. At 6:30pm we headed toward the Mysore Palace, which has a sound and light show on days I can't remember.

The palace's 97,000 lightbulbs switched on without any warning— the crowd all gasped (and I missed it… because I was checking my watch to see when it would start)— and the band started playing.

We took pictures twirling in front of the palace, and then headed home… to sleep!

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