Saturday, September 17, 2005

The trip down South

Hi all (ummm, ambitious, aren't I?)...

It's been ages (again) since I have blogged, and in some senses had convinced myself that I am not going to (shit, almost wrote 'gonna' there) blog again. Primarily because the time lapse had taken my mind off blogging and the whole deal about looking at everything that happens around me with a bloggers' eye had gone away.

But with the trip to gorgeous, gorgeous Kerala trip happening (thanks to sister-in-law Anitha's wedding), it's back to blogging.

Right. Delhi to Cochin was an early morning Jet Airways flight across on 8th September.

Reached in the morning. Checked in at nice hotel. Ate, and went across to Jewtown. Beautiful place. Well, don't really know about that, but it was certainly different from scenes around India generally. There are Jews in Calcutta - loads of them, actually - but not pockets, or towns, of them. Like Chinatown, say. So there was Jewtown, with its ancient synagogue and houses on either side of the narrow street with at least a couple of ancient and exotic women looking on pointlessly. It's very tourism-oriented and a whole lot of curio shops dot the sides of the short street. But it's kind of nice. Kind of pleasant. That old-world air around and suchlike things.

From Jewtown, we went across to the Customs dockyard, from where we got in a ferry and crossed the river across to Ernakulam. Roamed around a bit here and there, finally picking up rum and returning to the hotel. Of course, dinner was a great deal of beef - roasted, fried and curried - with barotas.

NOTE: Most of our trips out of Delhi seem to get marred (at least the sight-seeing time gets curtailed) because of our rums in the evening. Don't know if this is correct on our part. Indeed, skipping alcohol for a couple of days is not impossible. But somehow, something doesn't ring right.

Anyway...the next day was the drive across to Guruvayur. From here on, it would be with family till the marriage bit was over and done with.

BUTT IN: The weather was awesome right through the trip. Raining constantly - drizzle to cats and dogs - and extremely windy and really cool.

Continuing... the evening was a complete parade of mundus. A whole troupe of Ajitha's family folks trooped in from various parts of the state, and I met practically all of them for the first time. Which meant a bit of unpleasantness with Ajitha, because I couldn't remember the Kunyammas from the Kunyakkas and the Harimammans from the Yadheemammans. But most of it got sorted out as we all met again and again till the marriage at Guruvayur got over and things became more comfortable.

Guruvayur was early. I mean, early. We got up before four a.m. and dressed in mundu-veshtis and set-mundus and stuff, took off our slippers and shoes and went across the rain-muddied Guruvayur streets, led by a drum-man and a trumpet-man. The ceremony was beautiful. Lots of flames and metal and flowers and stuff. Short too.

Guruvayur taken care of, it was a trek around Kerala meeting various relatives and having awesome, awesome food. We went first to one of Ajitha's aunt's places in a part of Kollam. Sadly, the aunt is vegetarian and the night wasn't much fun in terms of food. Neither was the breakfast, though there was some nice putta and chana. And that was only the first breakfast, because we had to have another round of breakfast at an uncle's - more putta and bananas this time.

Lunch, though, was awesome. Brilliant. It was at another aunt's place, and there were four different kinds of fish, a chicken and prawns. And then there was tapioca and meat in the evening at another uncle's place, followed by more and more at various other relatives' place.
Night was spent in Trivandrum, and the following morning - after more fish and meat - it was the looong bus ride across to Bangalore.

It was raining in Bangalore as well, and again, the weather was stunning. Raghu was there. As was Ritwik. So midday onwards it was beer with Raghu at Pecos. Mug after mug of beer with squids and mussels and beef. And more beer and more squids. And then some walking around MG Road with Raghu, Bijoy and Anitha till we came across more food and more alcohol and DVDs and stuff. Ritwik appeared after that....

The next day was another one spent on working the marriage out. In the sense that there was a reception from Bijoy's end (with vegetarian food; sorry if you are reading this, Bijoy, and the bisi-bele baath was grand), and we ended things on a vegetarian note before flying back.

And wonder of wonders, it was raining in Delhi!!! It still is. Grand!

DVDs bought:
(The new) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Madadayo, The Killing, Ikiru, Yojimbo, Les Carabiniers, A Steely Dan concert film, Before Sunset, Confidentially Yours and another one that I can't recall the name of off-hand.