Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Those summers in God's own country...

Piping hot ‘chaaya’ cups in hand and golden yellow banana chips piled on a plate…. That’s the picture evenings in Kerala bring to mind… And pray why this ‘evenings in Kerala’? Well I just talked to my people over the phone…

My mother’s place in Kerala must be one of the most beautiful places I have seen- true I have not seen many… But who said, beauty is comparative? Or if anyone did- I beg to differ.

We have this huge house there, huger fields, a small pond, a shared stretch of river with our neighbors and the whole of the other places the river feels like traversing, snakes and toads, throw in a few hundred frogs…. A toilet separate from the house… a well with the coolest and sweetest water ever…trees I have climbed up and not been able to climb down…

Oh I almost forgot the animals… hens I’ve run behind, hens I’ve sat beside patiently for hours, willing them to lay an egg… and then as soon as they start clucking lift them up and hold the warm brown egg… carefully carry them over to grandma who saved them for the evenings when we would be served omelets with porridge…

The clean stables where our cows ‘Parvati’ and ‘Lakshmi’ slept…. Cows would come and cows would go- but the names were perennial. While I was young and did not know death… it seemed natural that they lived every year. And once I was older and knew death, I questioned to which I was answered; “oh- the old Lakshmi died. This is a new Lakshmi”

The pesky goat of our ‘Christian’ neighbors that eats everything... I’m telling you- everything. I used to be scared of falling asleep on the armchair of my grandfather’s that was placed in the courtyard… away from the sweltering heat, under the sunshade…what if the ‘pesky’ goat of our ‘Christian’ neighbors ate me?

The largest tree I ever saw. The tree that grew and grew and would reach the sky one day… the tree on who’s top sat the ‘yekshi’( that’s Malayalam for witch). The beautiful ‘yekshis’ who would jump down from the tree tops and ask humans, “Can I have some betel leaf please”; so that they could redden their red lips and lure unwary humans and suck their blood…. I still stay clear from that tree.

The son of our ‘Christian’ neighbors who would sneak over and ask me to count numbers in English. Who would burst into peals of laughter on hearing me count… I would stop counting when he laughed. He would always coax me into counting again, by giving me big fat juicy mulberries. Purple mulberries whose juice ran when you bit into them...onto the white frocks that I wore all the time. They were all the same. Sleeveless white frocks… If you were not careful, they would squirt onto people too.

A small attempt at a boat that someone made… waiting for the lovers …I would sit ages near it waiting for the elusive lovers to turn up. And hours later grandma would come looking for me and while carrying me back home would say, “They are lovers. They don’t want anyone to see them do they?” “But…” I would protest, “I just want to see… I won’t even touch anything…”

4 Comments:

Blogger Zealous Zygote said...

Well, Kerala brings me back very nice memories. I love the place: The coconut trees, the backwaters, temples and houses so different from what we see in concrete jungles, yup, its a special place indeed.

3:39 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

There is something called a 'cosmic dance'... a random term I heard somewhere... Its a little scary to see so many coincidences happening... After a whole day of slogging at the comp- I open my blog and realize almost simultaneously that you are also in the space of the same blog...

It happened in the morning too… I just opened your blog, posted a comment and on refreshing found another posting from you…

Well… if this is the cosmic dance, we sure are in rhythm…

3:50 AM  
Blogger sparsh said...

I went their for the first time with my Hubby...and the memories are gonna be fresh forever.Loved the taste of food there...so very un-adulterated...the air smells different there. Will go again someday. Nice memories!

8:22 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Sparsh: I am there right now btw! :)

9:08 AM  

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