Back to….the country !!!
And by country, my friends, I mean Kerala. Not kidding, its time they declared Kerala as a separate country. We are different from the rest of the Indians and we accept it. Now, is it good-different or bad-different, I really don’t know. We are so thick skinned that our men don’t find it embarrassing to wear lungis at public places and our women consider maxi/nightie as their traditional wear; you can find them wearing it to get vegetables and also to drop their children at the bus stop. We contribute a lot of revenue to the government with our alcohol consumption but at the same time we are so concerned about our environment that we conduct hartals and bandhs to shut down Cola factories. And we celebrate these bandhs and hartals like national holidays!! Somebody, long long ago, called Kerala a heaven or something, but if you want to actually see heaven and hell together, you just have to sit in the front seat of our buses. We are spread across the universe, so much so that when Neil Armstrong first landed on moon, it seems he was greeted by a malayali.
((I received this pic as an email forward and don’t know whom to pass on the credit. But whoever created this, is a genius.))
Sometimes I wonder, if we are responsible for half of Indias population! And, I am sure that one day, if all the Non Resident Keralites come back, the whole state would incline to one side like an over-crowded public bus. For all you know, some of them might even fall into the Arabian Sea!
And if at all, they declare Kerala as another country, Trivandrum, should still be the capital. It’s a beautiful city with vast well connected roads, medieval architecture and greenery all over. But however vast the road is, the traffic during the peak hours is horrible and according to me, worse than Chennai. People here have absolutely no road sense and treat the roads as if they own it. I know that’s how everybody in India is; but here, they are very very serious about their ownership! To be honest, I had never felt scared to take my bike out before. These days, I think twice and then sigh twice before sitting on my bike. But then, I don’t take it out much too. There aren’t any exciting places or hang outs to go around and explore. Guess what, the biggest and only ‘shopping mall’ in Tivandrum is the Big Bazaar!!! and on weekends, half of Trivandrum is inside that!
So what if Trivandrum doesn’t have a shopping mall, it has something unique, something which I haven’t seen in any other city — A full fledged condom shop!!! That’s right, an outlet, unimaginatively named ‘The Condom Shop’, sponsored by Moods in the middle of the city, just opposite the Secretariat building! There’s another interesting fact about this city, which might be of use in any of the quiz competitions. ‘Name a city in India that doesn’t have garbage bins’. No prizes for guessing guys, it IS Trivandrum. I am not joking guys, they don’t have such a ‘system’ here. People from the municipality collect the garbage directly from the house. You might think it is convenient; well, it is not! We have to separate the plastic from the leftovers and while the leftovers are collected daily, the plastic is collected only on specific days. The worst part is that they don’t or they will never take glass pieces. Once in a lavender moon, a truck comes it seems and only then can we get rid of all the broken glasses!
I am telling you folks, the Trivandrum folks ARE a little strange. The junta here have forgotten how to smile; I doubt if they even know how to smile. I thought it was just me but when I asked a few locals on this, they agreed wholeheartedly with me. They also mentioned that it would require a few meetings for them to really open up and for a smile to appear on their faces, they have to be fully convinced that they are not going to get cheated. Their unusual dialect spoken with a straight and stern face will definitely make you feel that they are rude, which actually isn’t the case. The poor fellas here know how to speak like that wonly!!
Here’s one more example why I feel Trivandrum is strange.
For crying out loud, why Priyadarshan of all the people? What on earth did they see in him to make him a model ???
I have not stayed in Kerala much and that could be the reason why I gulped big time when I heard ‘Trivandrum’ during the interview. But I desperately wanted to move out of the old office in Chennai and so I took the new offer without second thoughts. The only relief was that two of my friends stay in Trivandrum- my childhood buddy Shammy, also in the same office and my best buddy Srijith. But bad luck follows me just like that stupid Hutch dog! Two days before joining the new office, when I was at Palakkad (that’s where I belong), I got an sms from Shammy, at 6 in the morning – “Dude, I put down my papers yesterday. I am going abroad.” I called him up to check if it was a prank; but it wasn’t. He said he would have to serve a months’ notice in the office and will be there in Trivandrum for just that month. Great ! But I would’ve been happy if my plight ended there.
It was my first day in Trivandrum. Srijith had come to pick me up at the station. After helping me with the luggage, and before even getting into the car, he said, “Daaa, theres a bad news, I am moving out of Trivandrum in 15 days. I got a good offer in Cochin” !!! The weather was already so damn gloomy and it was like a perfect movie situation; I could actually feel a cool breeze of air caressing my skin and touching my scalp. In a few hours, it started raining cats and dogs which continued for days, flooding certain areas of Trivandrum for the first time. Nobody realized that those were my tears. Sob! Sob!
Both of them kept their word; Shammy was with me in the school for exactly a month and Srijith and I met daily for those 15 days.
Aaaah, now I am all by myself in this new city. This is my third month in Trivandrum and I still miss Chennai like crazy.
I miss the :
The innocence; the authenticity; the composure,
The history; the promises,
The roads; the lanes; the rush,
The weather; the warmth,
The malls; the theatres; the hang outs,
The ‘sunndals’; the ‘bhavans’,
The outlook; the humility; the people,
The ‘annaaa’; the ‘saaar’,
The fun; the happiness; the life,
The ‘vimal’; the ‘vimmuuu’
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