Waking up to the rooster crowing at 5am , Day 4 of our journey began. I was in my ancestral house and couldn't help but take a walk through the fields barefoot, placing my feet on the morning dew. We have around 10 acres of land, the expanse of which can be explained much more precisely by mentioning the fact that a national highway passes through the fields. It was 'All Souls Day' today , a tradition where we pray for the dead in the family. So we went to church , followed by prayers at the burial grounds of my great-grandfather and great grandmother. While I was at the graveyard, I couldn't help but notice the age of all the deceased. You would be surprised to know I didn't find a single male below the age of 90 years and female below the age of 85 years in any of the graves. It just goes on to show how life in the city has caused a drastic reduction in life span.
As soon as we were done with Church , along with my mother ,I went to Karkala bus stand to enjoy some fresh Mangalore buns. From there we went to the Gomateshwara statue , which is a place of pilgrimage for the Jains. After climbing 186 steps , we got to see an amazing view of the entire city , lush green with coconut trees. The statue itself was a treat to the eyes, almost 500yrs old and stood 42 feet tall.
From the Gomateshwara statue we made our way to St. Lawrence Church in Attur, which is a Basilica and holds a very special importance. It is considered to be a place where wishes come true and over the years the number of people who believe in the powers of this church have increased tenfold. Known for its amazing architecture and a beautiful backstory, this church just looks like a castle from one of the Harry Potter films. After offering a few prayers and visiting the miraculous pond which is a fresh water spring , we travelled east to visit Belman, a small village where one of my other grandmother stays. Here we faced a new challenge altogether. Google maps show Belman as a bus stand , no more no less. Inner roads are not shown on the map and searching for a house in an unknown location was difficult for me. To add flame to the fire, the network coverage was minimal. Thanks to people being so close to each other in villages we could ask the locals for my grandmothers house , whom the people knew by name , surprisingly. As we reached my grandmothers house through roads which were not actually roads but fields in which paddy was being grown, I could get the aroma of some amazing lunch being cooked. The fragrance of pork curry was so distinct that I could literally guess what's for lunch even before she welcomed us into the house. We ate a wide variety of food for lunch. It was a royal yet modest spread which comprised of pork curry , fish curry , boiled rice , appe (mini idli sized small sweet bread), muthli ( spherical balls of rice with jaggery and coconut) , Patoli (a mixture of jaggery and coconut , stuffed in rice batter and steamed in turmeric leaf) and pole ( thick dosa ). All this was followed by a traditional Mangalorean sweet dish called Vorn ( Gram dal cooked in coconut milk and jaggery). I ate for almost two hours with my grandma still not being satisfied with my appetite. She kept complaining that I ate so less. After a brief walk through the fields with Grandma , we met her daughter and her daughter's sons who offered us lunch again but we settled for just fruits as we were already full up to the brim. Around early evening we bid adieu to Grandma and Grandpa and made our way back to our ancestral home. But enroute my mother remembered a few other uncles and aunts who stayed close-by. Thanks to technology we could get their phone numbers from relatives , call them up, get their location and put on our map to navigate us there , all as we stood under the sun on the highway. After meeting everyone and taking a few selfies , we made our way back to our ancestral house, the roads at this point of time being dangerous, as the sun had set and street lights were just for show and didn't come on. With people driving on high beam , I found it very difficult to ride the bike as the light kept flashing through my spectacles into my eyes ,putting me in a brief moment of blindness everytime I passed a car on the other side of the road. Finally we made it home and rushed for a hot water bath. With bathing out of the way we ate an early dinner comprising of the same items from last night and dozed off early as that's what people do in villages.