It is Detroit this month at Virtual Paintout. When I saw this house, I knew I would have to paint it. I saved the Google Map link of this location. I had been very busy this month, working towards writing deadlines, and I thought I would not be able to paint before the end of August. I am glad I cleared time and painted this overrun, and burnt house. I am just in time. Here is my painting. Here is the link to the Google map , go to the site and explore around, which is what I did.
Here is the screen shot of the house.
The hills surrounding Kotagiri town in Nilgiri, are covered with acres of tea plantation. It becomes difficult to see a hillside like this, that breathes with species of plants and trees other than tea plantation. Most of Nilgiri has lost its indigenous tree cover of Shola forest, and has been replaced with tea plantations, plantations of eucalyptus and teak trees. The Shola trees have high ecological significance in protecting the waters of rivers by holding up of water received by precipitation, and they are home for several birds, animals and insects. A well pruned hillside is a scar and a threat to ecology.
Wind blows away pigments of the dream,
gash opens like tip of a leaf, beseeching.
In the lantern blackened with soot,
time has burnt night and darkness.
Passion eddies into a cavern under the sea;
echoes of memories, maps of pain
take aeons to fossilise, the fading watermarks
on stones are years we spent together.
The shell breathes with life: yours and mine;
the ribs and grooves: you and me.
Whorls in the pale underside move from
intensity to blur, love to separation.
The drive from Ooty through Avalanche Road to Avalanche Forest Reserve and Upper Bhavani is picturesque. Rolling mountains stretch on all the sides, they disappear at a distance into blue haze of the sky. Clusters of tile roofed houses are tucked between folds of mountains terraced for farming.
Just a stone’s throw from where I stayed in Ooty, St Thomas Church was located. Built in 1870, this is an imposing structure, breathing history in its presence.
During my morning walks when fog hugged the mountains I stood outside the closed gate of the church, on the road, and made several sketches. I made a few sketches from the side of the graveyard, I made these too from the road. If I had hoisted myself into the church by scaling the wall, I would have got a breathtaking view of the Ooty lake.
The graveyard at the church attracts visitors because a scene from the film adaptation of E M Forster’s ‘A Passage To India’ was shot here.