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๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ’š Acres of Life ๐Ÿ’š๐ŸŽ„

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 ๐Ÿ’•

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 โ€˜busy and productiveโ€™ life we lead. All this reminded me of the poem โ€œLeisureโ€ 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 (Mansoorโ€™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 weight๐Ÿ˜œ.

The cheesemaking process

One of the cheese varieties getting prepared

Well ,we visited the neatly maintained cow shed , cows were away grazing in the lush meadows. There is something enchanting about the mountains ,the dense forests , delicious mountain air ,everything in nature invites us constantly to be who we are.

Just as we were wondering if we should explore the rest of the place (we had hardly explored half the place in this vast 22 acre property.) , it was already lunch time , a quick run to our cottage , we refreshed and went for lunch, again sumptuous and very filling. Life in the mountains was magical , we felt childlike ,seeing every scenic sight with wonder ,something deep in us stirred.

After taking a quick nap, we walked around the less explored spaces. Mansoor had casually told us โ€œThere are leopards around , they aren't interested in Humanโ€™s , there are Bisonโ€™s around , just don't disturb themโ€ ๐Ÿ˜ข, well hoping that we don't meet any of them we went for a walk. It had started drizzling , I don't think any amount of words or pictures can explain the vision of green all around ,drizzling skies , misty scenes , tunes orchestrated by birds and squirrels.

We were too full to even have dinner , late evening was spent exploring the library in the cottage , I found my ever favorite Famous Five by Enid Blyton , aah, childhood memories refreshed , I snuggled into the bed comfortably to read this book (for the nth time),its was all I ever needed , Life is indeed beautiful.

Arun did peep out of the window many times with the hope of catching a glimpse of a Bison, which we heard visited this area often.

Our next two days flew in this heaven on earth with some more intense conversations with Mansoor , getting to know the two new guests who had come to attend the cheese making workshop from Chennai and contemplating on the beauty all around.

Finally , with a heavy heart ,however loads of gratitude we bid adieu to this gorgeous piece of heaven on earth.

Acres wild Farmstay has something for all , I highly recommend this place to reset , rejuvenate and realize what a wonderful world we are in.

So what did we learn ?

Life Lessons.

We are back feeling richer, happier, with a realisation that nature is enough! Gratitude for the experiences we had ๐Ÿค.

Nature is not a place to visit. It is home. โ€”Gary Snyder

Indeed, we chimed in.



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