Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Revisiting God's own country

Am back in New Delhi after a two-week vacation in Kerala, having welcomed 2012 in God's own country. It was a good trip -- despite my BlackBerry going on the blink.

Visions of machete-wielding mustachioed men targeting us in Tamil Nadu gave Mom sleepless nights so we ditched plans to take a taxi from Coimbatore, opting for an uncomfortable train trip to Thrissur instead.

There was no real danger the Mullaperiyar dispute would spark riots (apart from the stray stone-pelting incidents reported on TV) and ironically, the only reference to the whole dam controversy was in the Christmas cribs I spotted in at least two Kerala churches. Baby Jesus would surely have been surprised to see this huge structure (pic above) just metres away from his tiny manger in Bethlehem.

Wedding bells were in the air (for one of my cousins), one of the reasons my family was in Kerala after six years. Not that I could do much sightseeing, we were mostly meeting relatives -- breakfast with Uncle X, lunch with Cousin Y, dinner with Grand-aunt Z, with a couple of 15-minute brunches and coffee thrown in for the not-so-related acquaintances. Which means you shouldn't really ask me how much I weigh -- am still carrying some holiday weight (as Friends character Ross Gellar would say).

A highlight of the trip was waking up in Anthikad (the native place of noted Malayalam film director Sathyan Anthikad) to find an elephant grazing in the backyard. Arjunan had been hired for the local Saint Sebastian feast. I'm not usually fond of pachyderms but this majestic creature was a pleasure to behold -- the amiable elephant kept us entertained. Happy New Year.

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