Don’t Go South – Stay in Kudla

Dearest Younger Self,


River Netravathi (seen from behind a bamboo clump)

You have always wanted to go south, haven’t you? If someone asks you to describe your childhood and youth in one word, you wouldn’t hesitate to say “Boring.” And you badly wanted to escape that boredom. You fondly believed that your life would become colourful, interesting, and exciting if only you succeeded in changing your address. You strongly felt that fun was not in Kudla, but somewhere else. You were absolutely sure about it, and so you went south twice. In other words, you made two unsuccessful attempts to run away from your life.

First Attempt – You went to Ujire to study Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences, but received an overdose of Tamil and Malayalam instead. The college you joined was overpopulated with students from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and you went deep into depression listening to all that Malayalam and Tamil for nearly two years. How can you, a girl born and brought up in Kudla, survive in the absence of Tulu, Konkani, fresh fish, beaches, ice cream, tender coconut, and sugarcane juice? Needless to say, you chucked Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences and returned to Kudla, much to the delight of your neighbours.

Second Attempt – You went to Bangalore to become a technical writer, but received an overdose of nasty auto drivers, pollution, confusing roads, corrupt home owners, and disgusting jobs. Bangalore may have its plus points, but it is just not Kudla. A year later, you packed your bags and returned to Kudla for good.


One of the most fascinating sights in Kudla – Photo by Niranjan

You soon realized what I know very well. It is no use heading south. In fact, it is a futile exercise, a waste of precious time, energy, and money. There is no escape, no exit point. The best you can do is quit acting like a caged tigress and gracefully accept the fact that there is no place like Kudla. It is indeed the best and the most beautiful.

A change of address cannot change your life. You may enjoy the change for a few days, weeks, or even months, but one fine day, your old feelings will return and you will want to run away again. There is simply no escape from your own self, no escape from your life. So, the next time you feel like heading south, don’t pack your bags. Instead, try one of the following:

  • Get a new hairstyle.
  • Get some new clothes.
  • Get a new hobby or interest.
  • Get a new schedule.
  • Introduce some new words into your existing vocabulary.
  • Get some new friends.

I think you get the idea. Instead of trying to change your address, change the way you do things or change the things you do. Change your thoughts and ideas. Change yourself. You will be happier, believe me.

Your Older and Wiser Version (OWV)


3 thoughts on “Don’t Go South – Stay in Kudla

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