There was one particular instance I won’t forget for a long time. There was this stout and really old grey-bearded loon like chappie selling groundnut. Now, I don’t know why but there is some obsession that people in unreserved compartments have to groundnut. So he was doing brisk business. The guy beside me bought 10g packet of salted nuts and paid the Rs. 2 he charged for it. He put some in his mouth and then complained, “The groundnut is bitter.” The old man, perhaps swelling with happiness at the success of his business, retorted, “ I’ve poisoned it. You are going to die now,” and smiled!
Lottery was banned in Kerala for a while but they’ve now resumed the sale of lottery tickets. This is one of the most horrible practices of the otherwise civilized Keralite. In cities like Cochin, there are many roofed shops which sell these tickets and you will always see a few umbrella wielding lower-middle income people lingering about unsure which of those coloured sheets is likely to change their fortune forever. But in towns like Palakkad, every now and again you’d spot a man, sick from heavy drinking the previous night, eyes bleeding red, lingering about a bus-stop or some such place waiting to sell tickets to passers-by. This is a degrading practice both for the seller and the buyer and I really think the practice ought to be banned again.
One of the nice things about Kerala women is that almost all of them apply mascara below the eyes and that enhances the beauty of the eyes. Another is that they let their hair lose displaying its serpentine majesty.
I also realized that education is very important to make people sensible and civilized. Though palakkad is a nice place it is only a town and the people are quite barbaric making the place unsafe, particularly for women.
I’ve got better at wearing my ‘veshti’/ ‘lungi’ and I think I’m going to carry a couple to the United States.
The train journey from Ernakulam to Trivandrum is the most scenic route I’ve ever come across. Apart from miles and miles of paddy fields, and rubber, coconut and banana plantations you can see little forested islands in the sea. It’s a little trip through heaven and its almost as if even the train is aware of this because it hurtles through at tremendous speed as if afraid of trespassing in Mother Nature’s territory and upsetting the harmony.
The years seem to be going by in a frenzy. One feels this way when one sees little kids one saw as toddlers now running about talking, playing and doing things just the way you do. Its almost hard to believe that they’ve grown so much so soon. I guess their growth is more conspicuous because of growth even in the physical aspects. For us, only the mind grows(if at all!).
I also reaffirmed that people of the villages are on an average nicer and more content than the people of the cities. May be we city folks need to rethink our approach to life if our aim too is contentment and happiness.