Part 2: A peek into Hawaiian History

Second day in Oahu, Hawaiian Island.

30th Nov

We woke up as early as 4 in the morning to visit Pearl Harbor Memorial. In holiday season tickets for USS Arizona memorial tour are limited and are sold quickly. The park opens at 7 but according to my hubby the queue starts as early as 6. We got ready and had ‘everything bagel’ and coffee at a cafe in front of our hotel. It was dark but not very cold. By the time we reached there were already 30-40 people standing in the queue. The tour hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.. In each tour a maximum of 100 people are allowed. After waiting for 30 minutes we got tickets for the first tour. We bought a self guided audio tour. For the next 40 minutes we followed the audio tour. We were shown a short movie for 20 minutes about Pearl Harbor history. After the movie, a ferry waited at the exit, in which we were taken to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. During the World War II, Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and  USS Arizona ship was hit with a torpedo. Arizona sank and became a final resting place to nearly 1177 soldiers even to this day. This catalytic event led US to enter World War II. A memorial is built on USS Arizona that still sits under the water. Traces of oil still seeps from the ship, families of soldiers believe that it’s the tears of soldiers trapped in Arizona bubbling up. Here are some photos:

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We came back to the park and went around to complete the audio tour. There were many more interesting tours but that would require a whole day. We decided to leave for Iolani Palace that is located in Honolulu business district. May be because of Saturday morning, the road was empty and very few cafes and restaurants were open. Those that were open had no vegetarian options. The Denny’s at Kalakaua Avenue was the nearest. We drove back to Waikiki for breakfast. Vegetarian is not just difficult to find but very expensive.

We drove back to Iolani palace after breakfast around 11 a.m.. Iolani Palace belonged to King Kalakaua and his sister and successor Queen Liliuokalani. Iolani stands grand and majestic. A big banyan tree stands next to the palace, as grand and huge as the Palace itself. We didn’t take the tour inside the palace.

Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace

In front of Iolani Palace is the Statue of King Kamehameha I or Kamehameha the Great. A brave and powerful warrior, he is said to have conquered all the Hawaiian islands and established Kingdom of Hawaii.

Kamehameha

Kamehameha

Lunalilo, unlike his grandfather Kamehameha I, is said to be the most liberal king. Below pic is the tomb of Lunalilo. He requested a burial at Kawaiahaʻo Church with his mother. His mother Kekāuluohi was excluded from the royal list and was not buried at the Royal Mausoleum, which was mainly for the chiefs.

Lunalilo

Mausoleum of King Lunalilo

Nuuanu Pali State Park Lookout. Battle of Nu’uanu was fought here. Kamehameha 1 fought this battle to unify Hawaiian Islands. A information board displayed warriors falling of the cliff during the battle. For that reason in Hawaiian language it is known as Kalelekaʻanae, which means “the leaping mullet”.

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It was terribly windy at the Nu’uanu Pali Look out. After spending 20-30 minutes photo shooting, we headed back to Waikiki for food. We had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen at Ala Moana Center, Waikiki.

The one thing we were desiring to see in Hawaii was Hula, the traditional Hawaiian Dance. Polynesian Cultural Center has a packaged tour including Luau, a traditional feast accompanied by entertainment. The feast comprises of mostly pig, salmon, chicken and other food. There were Luau at other places but we didn’t find it reasonable to pay an exorbitant amount simply to watch the dance. We dropped Luau and decided to spend rest of the evening at the beach and Waikiki Street.

While exploring each store, we stopped at a huge crowd at Royal Hawaiian Center. In an open garden there was a stage arranged with lights and microphone. After a couple of minutes dancers in native Hawaiian costume showed up. We managed to find a seat at a corner. The Hula dance, which we most wanted to see, began. It was a wonderful experience to see the Hawaiian Hula Dance. I managed to take some videos. From where I sat, there was not enough light for recording. The video recording is shaky. With the help of YouTube I stabilized and auto corrected which is bearable.

In Hawaiian, Laka is the goddess of Hula dance. It is said that the hulahula dancing in Hawaiian was not so much of dancing in usual sense. The dancers act out of hand gestures and movements to convey the meaning of the song. Dances were named from the nature of accompaniment. Like, ka-laau, in which the tune is marked by the striking of sticks, hawaiian puili sticks, the Hula Pahu accompanied by drums.  Dancers wore Pa-u dress with wreaths on head. 

Though the following videos are shaky, it is worth watching. The first playlist has 7 videos, showing Hula in traditional Hawaii fashion. The singer uses the instruments Ipu and Hula Pahu. She beats it for rhythm. Dancers use sticks I believe to be puili sticks made of bamboo.

Second single video is of an artist dressed as Elvis Presley and other dancers. I thought this is modern form of Hula.

Third playlist has 4 videos. We managed to find a seat in the front for this performance. The singer uses a guitar kind of instrument called Ukeke. Dancers use Ipu and puili sticks.

Reference: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~anu/pdf/Brief_History_1891.pdf

Interesting read: http://www.bishopmuseum.org/documents/govdocs//PAM_DU_HIST_8.pdf

Other references: Wikipedia

Submitting for : http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/multimedia-storytelling-challenge/

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Everyday of my life

First attempt on Haiku. Written for Weekly Writing Challenge: Haiku Catchoo

YOUR CHALLENGE, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT

In the words of Ray Bradbury, “Just write every day of your life…”. Your mission is to write five haikus — one for each of the five days leading up to this Friday.

waking up like a
snail, slowly crawling, lazy
mind, a lazy day

feeling little good,
like a tortoise, moving
relatively faster

two days to Friday
something to cheer me up, like
a Sloth, walking fast

come Thursday, hopping
like a frog, jumping hyper
all around my world

holiday begins
from mid Firday, running home
Sweet home, like Emu

Ghastly Ghost

Driving alone,

On a New moon night

Car broke down on a deserted road,

Wolves howling Owls Hooting in unison,

Encompassing spookiness

Thick dense trees by roadside,

Creepy wind

Rustling leaves and Creaky branches,

Unanimously awakening an old Spirit ,

In a nearby cemetery.

Beneath the gravestones,

Rising from it’s tomb

To quench it’s thirst

With long black hair and teeth like Dracula

Dressed in medieval clothing,

grinning like a Cheshire cat, advancing in excitement.

I stand freezing and shivering, grinding my teeth perspiring

and Inspiring  the Spirit

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Destitute Soul

Uncle said he’ll buy me an ice-cream and be back in a jiff and let me play the merry-go-round. I love ice-cream. Mother wouldn’t buy me one from the ice-cream seller. She says if she buys, there won’t be enough money for vegetables. All my friends eat ice candy, once I had borrowed a half eaten candy from my friend and tasted. It was so cold my teeth froze, my tongue became numb and orange colored. I went home and showed my orange turned tongue to my two little brothers and scared hell out of them. I told them that Goddess was in me and hence my tongue was orange, and if they did any pranks, the Goddess in me would punish them, I couldn’t believe how silent they were for the rest of the day.

A banyan tree in rural Karnataka, India

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This merry-go-round reminds me of the funfair at our village. Every year there used to be a funfair with lot of games, toys shops for kids. My otherwise brave brothers were scared to sit in giant wheels and other rides unlike me! I was not easily scared. My grand mother who died last year narrated brave women queens, warriors and Goddesses stories everyday at bed time. Sometimes those stories came in my dream.There is a big banyan tree in our village, next to cemetery. Village folks say all dead people in our village are burnt in that cemetery and their soul lives in the big banyan tree. My friends even in day time hesitate to go there. Once we were playing hide and seek in the evening.I wanted to hide in a place where no body could catch me and searching for a spot to hide I got lost. After exploring for a long time, I ended up near the big banyan tree. It was moonless night and in distant forest I could hear wolves howling. The branches of the tree that were suspended looked ghastly. I remembered all the brave queens and warriors, mustered all my courage and ran towards the village.

Yesterday around this time, I was playing on the bank of the river Ganga with my usual friends. We make paper boats and leave it in the river to see whose boat comes first. Especially after a heavy rain when water flows with full force.We all loved rain and the smell of the earth just before the rain. We would get drenched in rain and run all around the village. Hills looked so fresh, as if they just had a bath! Rain water dripped from leaves of the tree, seemed as if God watered His plants!

In the  afternoon I went home for lunch. I heard a loud argument inside my house, I identified my father’s voice, mother’s voice and another one. My father has a very loud voice,he works all day and spends the day’s earning in drinks and gambling. I went inside to see a stranger who smiled at me.

That night my mother came to me and told me I would need to go with the stranger, for he would take good care of me. I was confused, my mother said the stranger was her brother. He would take me to city , give me good education, buy me nice dresses and food. I cried protesting for I wanted to stay here in this village, even if I had to wear torn dress, not go to school and had to fast. My father came to my room like a thunder and even before I could react, he slapped my face so hard that my cheeks turned crimson red , he hit me from behind, there was a sharp chill in my head. Words failed to come out of my mouth. Tears silently poured down my face, alone I slept thinking of brave queens and women warriors, thus consoling myself.

The next morning, my bag was packed. Not that I had many clothes, I collected my broken dolls, marbles and other playthings. The new uncle gave me a new shirt and pant to wear. It looked fancy. My mother sobbing, applied oil on my hair with deep affection, kissed my cheeks and hugged tightly and quickly ran inside. I told her I would soon come to visit her. She never came out again. I saw the uncle giving money to my father, suddenly his face bloomed with a big smile. My two little brothers stood in a corner in utter confusion. They waved at me, I smiled.

We boarded a train. I had never traveled in train before. We would all run towards the railway track in excitement, hearing the train’s whistle from distance, waving at the train.The train passed by the place where we usually played with paper boats. As the train moved, I bid a good bye to my world hoping to come back soon.

Ganga was as silent as ever. Ladies of the houses next to railway track, had just begun their morning chores. Uncle bought me tea and breakfast. He didn’t speak much. I didn’t either for my cheeks were swollen and still hurt.The train brought me to an unknown and crowded world. Everything  changed in one day. Yesterday I was playing with my friends and today I sit here awaiting for my destination.

-Dhriti

Written for: Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words

Angel in Disguise

It was one beautiful night, with bright moonlit sky and a gentle zephyr kissing my face now and then. I crawled slowly like a snake not to wake up people in the house. That was an ugly house with patches all over, well, I thought this might be sufficient enough for my tomorrow’s expenses. There were no windows open downstairs,but for one in the first floor. A branch of the tree beside the house reached the broken window. I went on to climb. Opening the window slowly, I entered the clumsy looking room and noticed a boy sleeping. His face was clearly visible in the moon light, those innocent eyes, it melted my heart!

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As Time Goes By

DSC00447

His first ever gift on Valentine’s Day

I met, I liked, I married

He came to my house, we spoke for few minutes, he was perspiring which to me was inspiring! He was simple, I was simple. I liked how he spoke but I didn’t understand what he spoke! He asked me if I smoke or drink which made me laugh! I thought he was funny! He said he earns just enough money to take care of me which impressed me! OK I said, we got married. Continue reading

A day in MY kitchen

I remember the day very well. It was such a wonderful and bright day with not much work to do. I had ample time and finished my morning routine and got to my workplace, my kitchen, to see awaiting orders. There were not many orders either, just one, surprisingly. I thought to myself, this is the time to show some of my skills. I got containers of all ingredients and started putting in a wok.

1 cup of humor

1 cup of politeness

1/2 cup of friendliness

1/4 th cup of patience

1/2 cup of  loyalty

1 table spoon of lot of sleep

2 teaspoon of indifference and stubbornness

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