I knew my two week vacation was going to flit by in a hurry what with my having to meet and please so many people. My own pleasure would take a back seat. Considering that, I had a really good time.
My paternal grandmum, mum, bro and I left for Ernakulam/Cochin on the 26th. I don’t recollect anything specific from that trip except that the plate of ‘pazham puri’ that I had eagerly bought from the pantry a few minutes after the train started was the first and last I had during the whole trip. My mum and bro got off at Cochin. But I went all the way to Trivandrum to drop my grandmum at a relative’s place.
These relatives of mine are better known to my grandma but are rather unfamiliar people to me so I stayed there for the night and took leave of them early next morning. Since my prime motive in this trip was to observe people to keep myself amused, I dare say, the old couple made a very favourable impression on me. The aunty was a cheerful and friendly sort and the uncle, a former principal of a university and later Director of Secondary Education for the state of Cochin, was a very knowledgeable man, and hence, made a good impression on me. I chose to keep his company until I was to sleep for the night and he seemed a particularly nice self-respecting individual.
The evening in Cochin was spent taking rest from this hectic ordeal of travel for the previous couple of days. The following morning we made a trip to a nearby beach called the cheraai beach(actually, in a place like Kerala every place is ‘nearby’!). This beach is so little known that the whole beach was populated by probably 20 people. The day was windy and the waves were huge so it was fun to look at them. Also, the waves were frothing incredibly and that made for a strange sight. But the fun began when I realized the sand was full of shells and started on a collecting frenzy. Initially I collected off the sand. But I found it troublesome to have to wash them in the waves every time and I started collecting fresh ones as they kept getting washed ashore by the waves. After about an hour and a half of frenetic effort I managed to collect about 100 shells. Then me and bro moved about a bit along the shoreline taking snaps from the most picturesque locations. It began to rain now and we hurried back to the car. I made a quick stop on the way to collect my shells but found they were all gone! A huge wave must have come by and taken them away for I only kept them on one of the rocks not far away from the coastline. Amusing as it may sound, I really learnt what it is like to see the fruit of great effort be destroyed in seconds. A very valuable lesson indeed! Thankfully, my uncle, who had accompanied the two of us, spotted millions of shells piled up along the road that led away from the beach. These huge shell piles are apparently used to make ‘chunaamb’ or ‘choona’ and used to paint the walls. We made a quick stop in the pelting rain, and I jumped out and grabbed two hands-full and jumped back into the car. A compensation of sorts I suppose.
We returned from the beach and had a heavy lunch. After that, it was time to spend time with my 85 year old maternal grandmum. Her plight is pitiable now to say the least. Her list of problems might exhaust a medical dictionary. But the one that makes it sadly funny is that she has a memory problem now and can only remember a few things, and that only at times. One can easily imagine then how random and disconnected her sentences will be. As a consequence she ends up saying hilarious things without her being aware. It is good, however, that she doesn’t know what she is saying and happily laughs along with everyone else if she sees people laughing.
In the evening we went to my cousin’s because she had called us for dinner. She has two kids. One is a budding musician in the 10th standard and the other a wicked prankster in the 4th. Luckily, my cousin, her husband, and my mum went to a temple and left us kids alone. Bro, me and the elder kiddo played cricket inside the house while the little devil was at his pranks and tricks the whole time. I’m sure neither my brother nor I was so clever at that age.
The following day, a Friday, was mostly spent at home keeping my uncle and grandmother company. Early next morning we left for Palakkad.
Palakkad was the best part of our trip because the weather was heavenly. This little town is surrounded by mountains on all sides and is therefore kept very cool. That same evening we went to the Malampuzha dam along with my uncle in Palakkad and his daughter, my cute cousin, who is getting started on her first year of B.Sc. The view of the cloud-covered mountains was breath-taking. Some mountains seemed ready-to-eat, appearing as if having patches of that edible foil used in sweets. This was because of the reflection of light by the rain water on the barren and rocky parts of the mountains. It was also nice to have a bird’s eye view of the place from a cable car, even as we passed right over a crow that was sitting on an electric line! I can’t curse myself enough for forgetting the camera on that occasion. The next day, a Sunday was by far the best part of the trip as I spent time for myself on the terrace of their house. As you lie down on the roof, you get a view of some cloud covered mountains and rising above a dense cover of coconut trees close to the house. My cousin and I spent a better part of the evening talking about this and that, first on the roof and later during a walk through the quiet village neighbourhood. This was the only day when I could wallow in the relaxed feel of the vacation. Monday again we went visiting temples so I don’t have much to say about it. Tuesday was spent at my mum’s elder sister’s house. Nothing particularly memorable there either. Wednesday went by in roaming around Coimbatore. After the pleasant weather of Palakkad it dampened my spirits to be roaming about the streets in the hot weather of that place. That’s about it I guess. I’m not out of things to write but I’m out of patience for the present. There are however some disconnected things I wish to say and these will come in the next post.