Kolkata, while I pen down the pieces of life at Dindi, I still hear the lazy spins of the bullock cart.
Our train from Hyderabad reached Palakollu at 7:50 in the morning. Dindi is about 20km from here. We took an Auto Rickshaw and just like any other place in India, had a bargain over price. The chauffeur settled for Rs. 250.00 and placed our luggage at the back. I was with my family – 3 Kids and Lipi, my wife.
Dindi has two well made resorts to host its guests – one from APTDC and the other from Sterling. The road to Dindi runs through lush green fields calling nature with both hands. The photogenic coconut trees and backwater were enough to keep our half-sleep away. We were hungry. On our way, the chauffeur took us to a roadside stall (not Dhaba), where we could find the commonplace morning staple of Southern India – Idly, Vada. Wow, hot and yummy @ Rs. 6 each, we had stomach full of idlies. Thanks to Indian Economy.
We had our booking at Sterling, which is comparatively newer and better maintained. It took about an hour to reach. The resort is situated by the Godavari, a silent river with little stories to tell.
Over decades, the villages of India have evolved. Those mud houses have been replaced by brick-walls, many having toilets in-built. Dindi is no exception. Electricity is irregular, water – health adjusted!! Just like every other places in the Southern part of India, you’ll find women actively taking part in earning for households. At doorsteps, some had small grocery shops managed by themselves morning till night, while taking care of kitchen and kids under oil lamps. I wonder why the country will not dedicate a Bharat Ratna especially to these multi-tasking Indian Women, whose backdrop-presence make India shine.
Outside resort, through local habitat, the dust road with the smell of cow-dung will take you to river Godavari. Time comes to an end while you sit by the river, watching birds, boats and the green. Only word of caution is the stray dogs. Hence, it’s better to be in, before light goes off.
At the far end of the resort, swinging on a jhula, I watched the night falling on the other side of the river. It seemed that the blue sky was waiting to lie down on the riverbed and make love with the shying Godavari. I was the odd creature out there, a stranger to the nature around, who probably ne’er liked my presence at those odd hours. It made me realise, what makes it so special to be a little uncivilised, to be in dark, with no electricity around, with less of haste and less of India Shining.
Antarvedi, where Godavari meets the Bay of Bengal is mere 35km away. We walked down a kilometre to a junction where we could get a bus to Razol. From Razol, we managed to get an Auto with a to and fro contract for Antarvedi. It was our last evening at Dindi, we reached a little late at sunset. Had we not been there, we wouldn’t have missed the sea but the Temple close to it. It’s historic. The Laxmi-Narashima Temple mentioned in Ramayana. It is said, Sri Ramchandra along with Sita Devi and Laxman worshipped here while coming back from Lanka. A lesser known temple, but a must see for all who visit Dindi.
We had good food at Sterling. Kebabs, Ice Creams, Soups, Pastas and what not. The people there are good, very cordial. Dindi is tourism in making and you find every sign of it. The only barrier outside the resort is language. There’s enough room for NGOs to work here and impart English language skills. As a tourist, however, with the basics of English vocabulary, you can still manage with or without Telugu.
For Visakhapatnam, we had to catch Janmabhoomi Express at 3.45pm from Rajahmundry. A cab from resort to station would have cost us much higher. We took an Auto to Razol, which we booked locally, a day in advance. Razol, 5km away, is the nearest town to Dindi. From Razol to Rajahmundry, there are government bus transports, leaving every 30 minutes for Rajahmundry. Nice journey by ordinary busses with no crowd at all. It took about 3 hours to reach Rajahmundry Station.
The bullock carts are off. Thank god, for making people remember things. Dindi, the nick name of Sylvila Telles, a brazillian singer, is a song composed by the famous Antonio Jobim. However, this has little connection to the place I’ve been to. With the green remaining on my eyes and the smell of twilight being all along, I’m still at Dindi, my kids playing around, Lipi vanishing in dark while voicing a Tagore song and here I’m, in silence, making love with the quiet, bewitching Godavari.