Wednesday, May 31, 2006

palaayil enna okke ondu viseshangal..

I am blessed, for I was there when the monsoon showers washed on to the Kerala shores. My trip was pre-planned and I had to attend the marriage function of my friend philosopher Mr. Shimmy Thomas, but monsoon came unplanned and I haven’t even taken an umbrella to tackle her. He lives in the beautiful terrains on the border of Kasargode and Kannur, the place called Cherupuzha. On Thursday morning as I woke up, I was greeted with the lush green mountains of Sreekantapuram – Naduvil (Native place of TP, a place which he boasted of being Kerala’s Ooty - It is true mate) - Aalakkode route which finally ended up in Cherupuzha. I have been to his house before, but the route I took always was from home. This one from Bangalore (without touching Kannur) was narrow, curvy, and scenic. At one point I could see on my side, a deep valley with rubber trees and clouds touching them just below me.

Rain at that time was scattered, raining at one place not at the other. But I could see the real dark side of her, when we were at the church. It was getting dark, sun had hidden as if being afraid of the downpour and there was a marriage to happen. Then it poured, up there from the top, he the creator of all inverted the huge bucket of water.

It rained thick and hard. And in that wet atmosphere, the bride arrived. The driver had to make a great effort in parking the car close to church, so that she won’t get wet.



Next day, I drove the car alone for the maximum distance ever. I was off to my mom’s place, Pala, for a house warming function there. This time there was no dad in the front seat to irritate me with his advices as my parents had another program and had to leave early. J . As I drove freely, I enjoyed the new bye-pass from Thondayad to Ramanattukara on the way. The Thrissur Angamali sector has become even busier, not at single time I could drive past 80Kmph. My Uncle, who came along with me with his family, at times said – “Whenever you feel a need to change, just tell me”. I felt, but never told him ;).

Then it happened somewhere near to Perumbavoor, a White Chevy Optra over took me and a kid from its back seat said something at us. “What did he say?” was the topic in the car was the discussion in the car for the next few minutes. My aunt even suggested that he might have been kidnapped to which my uncle replied in the typical Kozhikkodan Sshtyle – “Pinne Ooloru budhi, Kidnap Cheyyan varunnavaru Optrayilalle vannu kidnap cheyyunne”. But I knew what he said; as the vehicle was not behaving the way I wanted. It was loosing its power and developed a new sound from the rear. It was punctured, and we had driven a few kilometers for now.

As we fixed it, it got dark again and it poured heavy. Then my uncle suggested that it would be better that he drive now and I obliged. On that Main Central Road looking through the window shield, I saw the lush green Kerala. Someone’s comment on the blogosphere is really true; Kerala is at her beautiful best during monsoon.

I should say I was very much relieved to be back there at my mom’s place. It’s been a long time I visited them, mostly due to distance I was myself from my home, physically. I did meet my chittas and cousins in between but was never been to Pala in years. My cousin complained, the last time I met her was at her marriage and now she has a kid of 2 years, and that makes 4 years of gap. Hmmm.. That is too much. I know, but happened mainly due to the fact that whenever I came come from Pune/Mumbai I came for 5-8 days and those days I fully wanted to enjoy at my home .And with a menu given to my mom, I could get every dish I liked. :-)

I and My Uncle got engaged in the daily chores, putting up pandals, bringing in stationary items for the sadhya, pulling up current from the old house to the new house, cleaning and washing the tanks, the usual stuff. The evening before was the interesting one, we were off to Pala town to get something for the next day and since it was evening and my uncle was getting bored he decided to visit his friends shop. There they decided to have a few drinks. I could smell the air that was of conspiring how to avoid me. My Uncles discussion went this way:

Uncle: “We will sit sometime here; I haven’t met Mr. PR for sometime. I hope you don’t get bored.”
Me: “No it’s ok, or else I will go home.”
Uncle: “Will you take the car alone.”

After a thought

Uncle: “Then what will you say if Chitta ask where am I. No no, we will go together.” :-)

I was worrying whether he will put in the question – “Do you drink?” Thank god he didn’t put that, to him I am still a kiddo, I guess. And he had very much difficulty in the gulping the spirit as I found him turned his back towards me when I entered the shop after my purchase. I too was in a kind of weird atmosphere, where my uncle and his friend are drinking and I watching it. I cannot even ask for a sipL. I always say this that sitting amongst people who drinks, without you drinking is the most boring thing on earth.

On the way back, of course he promised me not to mention anything about the visit to Mr. PR’s shop, because if my Chitta knows he visited PR, then she knows what would have happened there. And that night it rained so heavily. The wind was blowing at it best. Then the right most pole that held one end of the tarpaulin came down and along with it came down the huge tarpaulins that were there covering the right side of the courtyard. I ran to save the table and chairs from being wet and tried holding the pole. But I lost, for the wind was too heavy, it was coming down hard on me and the rain too. My uncle too joined me and then he tried to hold it and asked me to tie the ropes. I ran out to tie the rope to the tree, and at that moment a huge wind came in and rain lashed harder. I lost the grip on the rope and my uncle lost the grip on his mundu. The tarpaulins went down and we both were wet.

And when rains subsided, we began the rescue work. The next day it rained again and the same pole misbehaved again, but luckily the function was far from over and now we have to return them. So we didn’t do the rescue work. I sat there listening to the sound of rain that danced according to the different tunes of the wind. My cousin was telling all the news that was pending for four years. I sat silent. At the end of it, she said “Ee Chekkan Onnum Mindum Koode Illa” and left.

In the mean time I found some time to capture the snaps of rain too. I dedicate these to Victor George, a Photo Journalist who worked with Manorama, who loved rains and chased them, and captured them in his frames and also died along with them. Don’t raise your eye-brows; I am no match to him. I don’t even know him personally, neither did he know me. He is the role model for me, when ever I try capturing rainy days.

On my way back too it rained. As my bus crawled through the MC road, the rain water flowed over the big glasses of the Volvo. It formed a blurred vision and the scenery across it was completely blurred, but beautiful. I could see the lights of the streets, some rubber estates far away, children playing in the rains, people trying to get back home, a Maruthi Omni head-on collided with a Lorry and a lot more. The rains never stopped that night. I followed them and enjoyed every cent of land that View through the Big Volvo Glass Window brought me. I wanted to capture them on the frame, but this time I decided to capture in my mind. It was awesomely beautiful.

5 days through Cherupuzha - Kannur - Vadakara - Kozhikode - Perumbavoor - Moovattupuzha - Pala - Ettumaanoor - Kottayam -Moovattupuzha - Perumbavoor - Thrissur. Back in Bangalore from the roads of Madiwala to the bye-lanes through the Christ College, to that small dingy place called Taverekere – life sucks. Now its all memories.

Mom called me up in the morning, they have left Pala. It’s still raining there.

I quote Silverine here (With your permission, Silverine) “We are indeed blessed to have that special place called Kerala, to go to during vacations :)

Let me modify a bit “I am indeed blessed to have that special place called Pala and Vadakara, to go to, whenever I want :)

15 comments:

Immigrant in Canada said...

I don't know what to say, except that I envy you.. that you were lucky that you saw/felt the monsoon in Kerala.. I am still a vezhamabal..
Sarah

Alexis Leon said...

Your mom is from Pala. A lot of bloggers seems to have connections with Pala. My home is not very far from Pala. In fact, I belong to the Pala diocese.

Nice narration and excellent photographs. Your dedication is very apt.

yetanother.softwarejunk said...

Meet my uncles!!! They started this question right after my 10th.
"Do you drink beer?" followed by
"don’t tell about this to your aunt";-).

But I never interested to drink with my cousins or uncles.
I drink either with my friends or with my dad :-)
And my mother knows how many pegs I had in my life.

Last weekend I was there in Thrissur. two functions. both events were disturbed with rain. But no complaints. coooool life.

Lekshmi said...

Rain always brings a nostalgic feeling. You can never find the rain as beautiful as that in Kerala anywhere else.

Nice post Dhanush, waiting for my short trip to Kerala to enjoy the 'mazhakkaalam'.

Suneesh said...

Nice read! And thank you for the kind words about my village :-)

On a rainy day, sitting in the verandah of my house in native, with a cup of hot coffee in hand and watching the rain - this is one of best moments in life...I miss kerala monsoon so badly :-(

Dhanush said...

~Sarah - Hmm.. Come Back :-)
~Alexis - Thanks Buddy!. Yep, my mom is from Pala. And may be we can meet some time on the KottaraMattom :)
~Joju - Nee Pande Kudiyanalle;)
~Lekshmi - Smitha Evide Poyi? All the best Lekshmi, and make it soon. Its raining 24 hrs these days. My parents had a tough time reaching home.
~TP - Ninte gramam athi manoharam. Nerathe Varendathaarunnu. Ahtngane Neeyeppozhenkilum Kshanichittundo ;). Chettante Kalyanam Sunday Alle, Njan Saturday Ehtikollam -Nee kshanichillellum ;)

Dhanush said...

And TP - Ninakkum Thirichu varaan samayamaayi :-) Avide ennum Ice aalleda peyyunne ?

Seema said...

Dhanush...thanks for your comments on mah blog.
Your post...Beautiful writing n photographs along with explicit description of the place, rains and yr trip...5 days in God's own country with the rains..lucky u !!! I too belong to same place..Mom comes from Perumbavoor!!! wish i could fly n go on a vacation soon...

silverine said...

We are also from Pala and that dark green greenery reminded me so much of home. Nice post!

Thanks for linking the qoute though you have linked the wrong blog and post :))

Anonymous said...

It was raining when we came there too..maybe 5 years ago...

pophabhi said...

Back to the memory lane. Wind, rain, darkness, cold - with lots of time to think. I think monsoon is the time when you enjoy loneliness. Its time when it rains in your mind too.

Dhanush said...

~Seema - Thanks. Do that Soon, The monsoon came in earlyu this time, who knows it will leave eraly too. But isnt it raining in Mumbai Too.. Mumbai Rains are Yucky. I suffered one omy monssons there.
~silverine - Oh thats nice. I have corrected the links now :-). Thanks for pointing it out. Somehow your Poomanam is more famous it seems ;)
~anonymous - Yes, it was raining that time too.
~abhi - absolutely

Suji said...

You are right, we are so lucky to have Kerala. :)

PAVAMPAYYAN said...

dear gopinath,iam a resident of cherupuzha.u make me feel proud.contact me mc.pramod@rediff.com.

tell me how to add image to a blog like urs.my pathetic blog is keralablogpayyannur.blogspot.com.please visit and give hearty condolences

maithreyi said...

Nice blog!I also hv nostalgic memories about my beautiful hilly native place near palai.