Part 3: Mahalo Oahu, Aloha Maui

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1 Dec

In the morning Inland Air plane, we left for Maui, the second largest Hawaiian Island. When the plane took off, we got a good view of Diamond Head Crater, colorful beaches and the Honolulu/Waikiki city. The flight from Honolulu to Maui is about 40 minutes. On the way, we get a good view of Molokai and Lanai Island.

While Oahu was crowded and commercial, the part of Maui that we saw was naturalistic. We had rented a cottage at Halemano estate, down Hana. We rented a car and started driving on Hana Highway. There are many beaches, hikes, look outs, gardens, on Hana highway. We stopped at Paia, a little town, on the way for breakfast. The small restaurants and grocery shops blend in the nature. We had breakfast at Cafe Des Amis at Paia and bought grocery at Mana foods, an organic food store, to cook for the night.

Our first stop was at Ho’okipa Beach Park followed by a small hike to Twin Falls. Drive on Hana highway is very scenic, but the roads are curvy and narrow. On almost every one mile we encountered a water fall. It is a scenic drive in the middle of mountains with lush green trees and water falls, on a curvy and moist road. The leaves of the trees were fresh green and wet. The light breeze carried fragrance of the mud. All these reminded me of my native town and the drive to the town.

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Halemano estate: http://www.halemanomaui.com/index.html

We reached Halemano estate by 6 in the evening. Halemano is located in the middle of the nature, with a nice view of the ocean. There were 6 or so cottages, a kitchen and open bath (no doors and glass window). There’s a good view of the mighty ocean from the kitchen area. Upon entering Halemano we heard a feeble flute music. The melodious music, the sound of the ocean, smell of the trees and mud, beautiful silence took us to pensive mood. For many hours even after the music stopped, the tune echoed in my mind.

We went all around the estate,walked in the garden and the Yoga Hall. I sat at a bench on the edge of a cliff watching the ocean and waves. While my husband took some photos I wondered about the place. The place, where I sat now, what was it like thousands of years ago? How was the ocean and who lived there? Weren’t the waves tired and bored of hitting the land? How long has it been playing this game? It was a drastic change from Honolulu to Maui. Honolulu and Waikiki was all happening and worldly while ever since we arrived at Maui it had been a different world. A world that is so natural, a true Hawaii. I always go back in time and think of the world thousands and thousands of years ago when I listen to a fine soothing classical music and when I am amidst beautiful nature. I ask myself how people in those times, our ancestors led life, what life meant to them and other stuff. 

At Halemano there’s no electric line from outside world. They generate at the estate using biodegradable waste. We had this kind of a system at my granny’s place back in India. The tank where they fed all waste would stink and I would push my little brother towards it to scare him. At Halemano there were no electric appliances not even coffee maker or toaster. We were asked not to use any hair dryer or other appliances that draw more power. It was totally a different and isolated world with no mobile signal or television. A world that brings one close to nature and shows what life of our ancestors was.

We both sat on the bench and stared at the ocean and waves with the music lingering on in my head. We were hallucinating. The flute music blended that well with Halemano estate. We wished we had spent more time at Maui, had we known Halemano was that beautiful.

The next day when we were about to leave we met the owners Meero and Siddho. It seems both were in India for a decade in 1969  and were practicing Indian music during their stay. They said, in 60s, Mumbai and Delhi were quite affordable. For a rupee they could lead a comfortable life. I asked about the previous day flute music. Like we had guessed it was that of Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. They didn’t know the raaga. Ever since I am back from Hawaii, I am trying to recognize the raaga but in vain. I listened to many performances but am not able to identify the one that they played at Halemano. May be someday I will find it.

May be……

The photographs and my words are not sufficient to provide justice to the beauty of Halemano. I have embedded a piece of Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia’s flute to set the mood and to show how I saw Halemano, Maui and it’s natural beauty.

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