Thursday, June 23, 2005

Kerala – Welcome to heaven’s neighbourhood

Posted by Hello nature at its best!
Unlike a lot of people who flaunt on their t-shirts the pride they derive from being born in a particular country, I kept my mouth shut. I guess it is time to give vent to all that was suppressed.

Lived in Kerala for nearly 2 decades without realizing what I was blessed with. When the time came to cross the borders in pursuit of education, I was thrilled to leave the cage which had held me captive for over 20 years. Kept me away from the wonders of the northern, eastern, western and to some extent, southern part of India, I relished the departure. The frog had managed to jump out of the well. ‘The grass is always greener on the other side.’

The moment I stepped out of the train, 3000 kms from the apparently detestable land, I realized how wrong I was. The moment I put my foot on the Nizam-ud-din railway platform, I started missing my homeland. Every time I tore a ‘roti’ apart, I missed Kerala; every time I drank a ‘lemonade-masala marke’(spiced up lemonade), I missed Kerala.; every time I talked to friend in Hindi, I missed Kerala; every time I listened to a song about rain, I missed Kerala; every time I hailed a taxi, I missed Kerala; every time I closed my eyes I missed Kerala; every time I took a breath, I missed Kerala; every moment I was alive…I missed Kerala. I never realized what I had before being miles away from it.

They did not name Kerala ‘god’s own country’ for nothing. Kerala reminds you of a pampered child, in this case, one pampered by the almighty with all the beauty of nature one could have asked for. One of those rare dreams that came true, you have to be there to believe it.

The oldest medicinal form in the world; the pungent aroma of spices in the air; the shrills and cries of 50 men tearing through the backwaters in never-ending boats; Lovely damsels who visit the temple, in the evenings, with jasmines in their hair and clad in ‘Kasavu Mundu’ giving the mermaids a complex; resplendence of, arguably the most colourful festival on earth – ‘Thrissur Pooram’; the toddy shops which serve the best sea food on the planet; Coconut trees which outnumber any other living plant form around; An early 70s melody playing in one of those shops where they serve you hot ‘Puttu and Kadala’; a procession which is studded with red flags; a language which only half a percent of the world’s population can speak, which has the most mind boggling tongue twisters as alphabets, still loved by over 45 million; a few things that await you as you travel across to this little state, in the south western corner of India. 5000 years of culture preserved in just over 38,000 square kms, Kerala brims with heritage beyond frontiers.

You will find it hard to find most of the things that I’ve mentioned, if you visit Kerala. These are some things which no boundary can hold, no tour guides can lead you to. These are things that you can find only in warm corners within this state - the hearts of Keralites; No…in the hearts of ‘Malayalees.’

‘God did not rest on the seventh day. He was busy working on this.’


Dinky said...

Hey Nikhil,

Boy, u made me nostalgic!!!
These are the very things that I miss here in Texas :(

Dude, i 'hope' u remember ur senie Dinakar from school..

So, hows it going..

So long,

saritha said...

hey nikhil..

u have made want sooo much to be back there..KERALA..never said this i guess..but u do have magic in ur words !!!


shahin hyder said...

Hey Nikhil,
So long since I have been to Kerala but everyday, every breath I remember the beauty of Kerala. I missed it like more than anything in the world. My school, my friends, my lovely girl; oh why did I left all this behind to stay here in the US. I still don't know why but I do know one thing that I am craving to go back to my Kerala. Your words are so legit and nostalgic. Thank you for reminding who I am really. Thanks again.
Shahin from Michigan