Now, the government in all its wisdom, has announced a minimum support price of Rs. 2/kg of tomato, which might be laudable if it weren't for the fact that anyone who brings tomatoes can avail of this generous offer and not just farmers. Which has led to middle-men buying produce, at fire-sale prices ranging from Rs. 0.25 to Rs. 1.25, from interior farms (also from outside the State) where news hasn't trickled in as yet, bringing the produce to the Kolar APMC yard and flogging it to the government. And others are loading their vehicles with stones to add weight, and still more, recycling the discarded tomatoes to collect reimbursement a second time. Oh, and what is the government doing with the tomatoes? The pictures will attest. So much has been discarded that even the cattle and sheep in the district refuse to eat it anymore. Stupid, stupid, stupid. The happiest people are the weigh bridge owners in and around Kolar as they have been nominated to weigh all the incoming produce. The net result is that Kolar District pretty much smells like a ketchup bottle or a rotting mound of vegetable waste, depending on the freshness of the tomatoes of course. Chamique's suggestion, La Tomatina of course!
I also visited a nearby temple popularly called Dakshina Kashi. It's one of those adverts for the myth of Indian communal harmony what with it being sandwiched between two Dargahs. It's a very long climb to the top all the while being pestered by monkeys and the occasional deer. The stand-out feature of the Nandi Temple at the peak is that it has a perennial water source irrespective of the aridity of the countryside. Of course, the ASI might be having a good laugh what with the ill-diguised masonry work behind the spout, a maze of pipes and the too many intricate valves for something that is apparently divine! Skeptic? Me?
Rant: Why do we treat our cultural heritage so shoddily? If it isn't the ASI making half-witted attempts at preservation/renewal, it's half-assed tourists/pilgrims making half-witted comments of the Dinku *hearts* Tinku variety.