The one dedicated to the tiny champs of the Happy land.
Hampi is my happy place. They have t-shirts with “Happy in Hampi” printed, for God’s sake. But apart from everything that has been written, documented, photographed and filmed about Hampi, they’ve missed out one thing. One quintessential factor that just won me over every time I was there.
The tiny tots.
The happy-hippy-in-the-middle-of-nowhere Hampi had me head over heels, no doubt. But today I’ll share what else made my trip more special. Each time.
Presenting to you, The Tiny Humans of Hampi.
- The best friends trio: Irshad, Mowgli and Chinna
I met these 3 quirky little fellas on the first day, during my first trip to Hampi. It was around noon when I was convinced that I’m lost somewhere in Anegundi village. So I paused and rested under an arc like structure to figure out my exact location. After about 2 minutes of brainstorming into the map, I look up. I find 3 little ones in their school uniform looking right at me from a distance and giggling in unison.
I had an impression that (like all kids) they too might shy away if I try the over-friendly “Oh hi”, “What’s your name?” . Instead I just waved a “Hi”. To which, the three came running of two of them hopped on my scooter, while the third stood beside carefully examining my camera.
I was with them for a little over half hour. There was no language barrier as they spoke broken but well-practiced foreign accented English. That’s just a Hampi thing.
I needed no ice breaker as they never let me. They explained me how life is in the village, asked me spontaneous questions and amazed me on how effortless it is for them to converse with a stranger.
They narrated tales from their school and emphasized on how recess is the most important hour of the day. Growing up together, as neighbors and now as classmates, they have been partners all their life. At one point, Chinna almost went breathless while chuckling and describing how Mowgli once ate the two remaining chalks from the teacher’s table just because he was hungry. I got to know how Irshad is great with numbers while Mowgli and Chinna enjoyed Science more. Also, they whined about their teacher who never lets them sit together. “That’s a bummer”, I exclaimed.
They smiled with a sigh, somehow knowing that I understood their gargantuan issues in life.
At last they all hopped on my scooter and I dropped them home along with a deal of one hug each. That half hour with them, I still cherish. Who wouldn’t?
2. Virupaksha a.k.a Viru
I met Viru on my second trip to the Happy-land. The 8 years old who had, very confidently asked me for a lift from Sanapur till the ferry point. I couldnt even ask for a candy bar at a shop when I was 8.
Mr. Smarty-pants tells me that he went to Sanapur for “business purpose”. Yes, those were his words for selling postcards. Show off Viru!
Now, I was relieved that his education is on and this is just an additional help. He further told me how his parents named him after the Virupaksha temple and how all his siblings are too named as such. The chatterbox kept buttering me on how good a driver I was. Also, waved proudly at all his friends we saw on our way. Awww!
But hey, amidst all the stories, do you see his smile?
A charmer, isn’t he?
Shine on, Viru!
I hope to see you again.
Third on my list of tiny tots from Hampi is this mini clown. One fine evening, I came across Puttu on the banks of river Tungabhadra. I watched him from a distance while he was engrossed in chit-chat with some foreigners over a cup of tea.
While I was setting up my tripod to capture the sunset, I might have as well captured his attention too. Soon after he came to me and offered a cup of tea. I asked him to pose for my camera and well, he sort of knew I would. So he just kept his kettle away and hopped in. And then he never stopped. About 30 pictures (some with very questionable poses) later, I ran out of poses and asked Puttu boy to let me have a cup of tea instead.
Meanwhile he kept checking out his pictures thoroughly, zooming in and out, this and that, I couldn’t help but watch him smile.
He was filled with joy, one could easily tell. So was I.
But still, kids in Hampi are crazy. Like amazingly crazy. Like make you wish you were this crazy. And sweet. And so witty. What else?
They’ve been so amiable..holding their simplicity and anxiety like its no one else’s business, living a childhood away from the toxic technology and yet dreaming big.
I love these mini superheroes. ❤
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