Just back from a trip to Kerala. For reasons that fall somewhere in the vicinity of ‘personal work’. For those of you that think of that as a well qualified oxymoron, well, it is very much in use. Just run a random sampling of reasons employees give their managers, when the need to take a few days off! Thats that.
Kerala is a place that one always looks forward to. Green. Clean. And ever so offering something new to be seen.
Wavy mountains, pristine plains, wonderous waterways, and always : awesome people. Cochin was where the aircraft touched down. A proud Kerelite calls it Ernakulam and the moment you say, ‘Cochin’, well, they dont give you a dirty look. But, my friend, life is slightly uphill for you after that!
Ernakulam, the metropolis it is seeking to become seems to seamlessly bridge the gap between the past, the present and the future. Its not as though I am new to this place. Some eight years ago, work used to take me every month to Kerela ! It was almost home.
This time around several things were new. Time had worked its magic. Villas and property advertisements jostled for space amongst the ubiquitous ones for jewellery. Roads were wider. At a couple of places where the mind clearly remembers a ‘dead end’ the road seems to have had a fresh lease of life, dutifully coloured by teeming traffic.
And then, there was this tender coconut vendor I used to frequent. Who was still there, vending his tender coconuts. At the exact spot where I had last seen him several years ago. It was surreal. Almost like a group of children playing ‘Statue’ and freezing a part of town. But I only had to look up, to realise how close I thought I was to ‘Statue’, yet how far I was from the truth.
For right above his head, was a new giant hoarding selling ‘3 BHK, 4BHK villas’ with a picture of a ever so happy family clinging together. Pandering to the great Indian dream of owning a house, even if it meant, paying an arm and a leg as EMI !
All the while the tender coconut vendor had been climbing up those slender coconut trees and bringing down those coconuts for the parched throat, ‘development’ had seem to have gone above his head, and completely missed him. For better or worse ? The jury is out on that one !
In other news..
Inbetween all the work that we had to complete, the greedy traveler and big city dweller that I am, took the time to soak in the clean air, fill up a few GB worth of photographs, take a peep into life in an estate etc etc ! Not to mention, soaking into the hospitality of friends and family. ( Which actually reads ‘eating like a shameless glutton.’ )
Posts and pictures follow.
Watch this space.