🎄💚 Acres of Life 💚🎄
Sometimes a retreat is all we need to slow down, refresh and get a perspective of Life, which as we know, can get monotonous no matter how interesting a job you are in , or how settled one feels ,so travelling is a sure shot remedy for many of life's blues.
Glimpse of sunrise
This time we decided to make some interesting choices. We zeroed on Acres Wild Farmstay , Coonoor run by famous filmmaker Mansoor Khan and his family. It's a Homemade Gourmet Artisan Cheesemaking Farm & Farm stay with bed and breakfast.
Well , Coonoor is always close to my heart as I have lived there and have had the some of my happiest childhood memories in these magical mountains, so it wasn't really a difficult task convincing my better half who himself loves travelling.
We reached our destination at 10 pm on a Friday night , and were allotted a very neat and beautiful cottage room which had glorious views of the mountains.
Early morning sunrise was divine with fresh chill breeze, we soaked in the golden warm sunrise beams. After some warm up exercise , yoga and relaxed morning tea ritual, we were ready to face the day, full of no plans, no goals ; as we had the time to stand and stare at the lovely mountain views all around. There was also a road work leading to a roadblock outside which gave us a very good reason not to venture out.
Yoga Time -Not posed , as ever a great shot by Arun.
I take the PIC credit , the piping hot tea and the tea lover 💕
The talented photographer in Arun resurfaced during our impromptu , fun and posed photoshoots in this scenic place. After which we went down the hill towards the dining hall , hungry and hoping to meet Mansoor khan as well.
Life without a care!
We were up for a double treat with the yummy sumptuous breakfast that included dollops of freshly made mouth watering cheese, butter that melts in your mouth and delicious apricot jam to name a few and were delighted to be joined by Mr.Mansoor Khan ,an extremely wonderful host. An amazing ,humble person with absolutely no airs about his stardom. The initial introductions and pleasantries gave way to bigger topics like Adwaita ,oneness ,duality, symbolism and civilization , he also generously presented us with his book The Third Curve.
In conversation with Mr.Mansoor Khan
Arun had to start his new batch for Robotics so excused himself , while Mansoor and me conversed for sometime. He has such a passionate ,unapologetic take on Life , our civilization and what we call growth. I will definitely need another blog to write down our conversations.
Well, my head full of new learnings and insights from this intriguing conversation ,I decided to explore the place on my own.
Blue skies above ,green grass below , passing mists ,smell of pine trees , whiff of eucalyptus ,vibrant wild blooms all around , mountain peaks penetrating from the clouds made me wonder about the so-called ‘busy and productive’ life we lead. All this reminded me of the poem “Leisure” by William Henry Davies .
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
Stunned by the beauty all around , I am not even sure how long I stood still , till I heard Arun calling me ,waking me up from my dreamlike stupor.
We decided to visit the cheese house and also the cow shed. The cheese house is again a very non descriptive cottage ,where cheese making workshops are conducted , 15 varieties of cheese are made. Once inside ,we are greeted by welcoming smells of freshly made Cheese ,a stunning view of the valley and an ever smiling Mary Akka , who manages the cheese house under guidance of expert cheesemaker Mrs.Tina Khan (Mansoor’s wife). A cheesemaking workshop was on, in full swing, conducted by Ms. Tina ,however Mary akka generously offered to show us around and explained the various processes. Interesting ,new learnings there , we promptly bought a few varieties of cheese for the family ,wondering how we could keep away from the yummy cheese as we were generously adding a few pounds to our weight😜.
The cheesemaking process
One of the cheese varieties getting prepared