27 May 2010

A summer wedding in Kerala

I have never been to any of the cities in Kerala. It has always been the mountains, and once a while, a stop over or a transit in one of the cities, and that too in an odd hour.

So, when a colleague of mine invited me for his wedding to Vadakara, I jumped at the chance. I was warned by another colleague of mine, a native of calicut, that it is not the Kerala I have seen till now.

I was surprised. How different could it be from Madras ? Boy, I was proven wrong on all counts.

So, A Belgian friend of mine, Peter Van Geit (Yeah, the founder/whatever of Chennai Trekkers), another friend, and myself reached Vadakara on a nice Friday morning.

Here are some notes.

1. Cheap and tasty food.
2. Extremely hot and humid summers. When a true blue Madrasi says that, you better sit up and take notice. I then realized what my friend from calicut was trying to warn me about -- the extremely hot and searing heat and a humidity that puts Madras to shame. I actually like it when it is humid, it reduces the body heat and keeps your body cool. But, this one was quite above anything else I had expected to be. I then realized the magic of sea breeze that comes up here in Madras. At-least there is a nice breeze in the evenings if you move out to a terrace. In Vadakara, there were none. Absolutely none. We then realized that the dothi is the best attire in that kind of weather.
3. The people looked sad and glum all the time, no matter the town or village. Peter was quite depressed by that.
4. Extremely laid back and lazy folks. In fact, we were saying that the time never seems to move there. As another friend of mine put it, even the clocks seem to be lazy in this town and hence, the time never seems to move. ;-)
5. Terrorists as bus drivers. Boy, were they fast or what. In fact, the bus in which we were traveling in, collided head on with a maruthi swift carrying a family of five. It is to their good fortune that nothing untoward happened to those passengers. Needless to say, the bus driver ran away prompting Peter to remark that sometimes, the people there do not seem to be lazy !!
6. Drive-in beaches !! I have never seen anything like that before. People claimed that there is a drive in beach, where they drive their cars, motorbikes and everything else, on the beach. Crazies.
7. Crazy accent. The auto driver said polvo. I thought it is the name of a place. Turns out, it was Pearl View, the name of a hotel !

Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 9:17 PM

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