Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A December to remember!

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne is considered as a classic in literary circles and in a desperate attempt to recreate Around Central Travancore in thirty days, I boarded the flight home last December. Theoretically I shouldn’t have worried much about air travel, but when you often read about Dawood’s and Kasab’s you appreciate more the calming effects of emirates air hostesses and their plastic smiles.

However as the flight progressed, the pilot informed us that he would be circling around Dubai for sometime as he was struggling to dodge the plane through a maze of several Burj Al Arabs and other funky buildings … Inshah Allah, he won the game landing smoothly at Dubai airport with enough fuel to spare!!

Folks who have visited Dubai airport might know that the place looks like an erstwhile golf course remodeled into an airport, where they actually forgot to do away with the golf carts. Anyways, I spend a few minutes browsing the duty free shops which in arabic language means grossly over-priced shops and fancied owning the orphaned Merc someone had abandoned at the terminal … But then like all good Sheikh’s they showed me the easiest way to being super-rich and owning a Merc is to go sit at one of those sleeping lounges and start dreaming. Well..I did not care to disagree.

The flight from Dubai was not eventful though am pretty sure the plane was overloaded with all malayalees on board carrying copious quantities of traditional cure for all maladies ..the SCOTCH. Infact the plane very much resembled a cargo from scotland and even the air hostesses seemed to get the whiff when one of em told me..”Mr.Jack Daniels..your’s is the aisle seat” !! The next day I was home in good old Trivandrum where I was greeted by NSG commandos besides Mom and bro...


Well staying at home jobless is absolutely divine…Infact the only job you have is to appreciate home made food and watch Asianet…Though I was occasionally harassed by parents asking me silly questions esp. while I was doing something absolutely critical…”Daa…ninte kalyanam kaaryam odannei enthenkillum …” .I reiterated why men hate when they are distracted at work...”Amma...cant you see am doing the jigsaw puzzle!!”…Though I managed to buy time ,that was a persistent question throughout my trip from Dad, Mom, relatives , sales boy at Josco jewellers to the CITU leaders at the chaayakada…

And ocassionally in desperate need for distractions I switched on the television which was dominated by priests ,nuns, the CBI and star singers!! It was interesting to see televised ragging sessions in those singing competitions…And damn with all that humility of the contestants and the arrogance of the judges I was glad for once that I did not know how to sing !! The Hamburg Nightingale would have made them cringe for a song you see…

Apart from television I watched this documentary on body building called ‘Ghajini’ at the theater which was attended by who is who of the VeeraKerala gym …Aamir Khan was roughly twice the size of a malnourished Shah Rukh Khan and is shown working out most of the time besides running a mobile service company and doing revenge in his spare time. I don’t mean to be rude, but Asin needs a more peaceful , working in an IT company sorts , a malayalee who occasionally blogs and who loves chakkakuru maanga curry…Just stray pointers you know!!


The city which I love when stuck in a timemachine. Couple of days in this city where my grandmother lives was always in my minds when I left here…Though I was a bit surprised to see my uncle’s place which once used to be outskirts of Bangalore become part of the city itself…The vineyards nears there place had gone giving way to new flats and apartments. Just that silly desire to have some images frozen ,like the Bangalore of yore , but then that ofcoz would be a mere wish!!

Anyways what was more important was having a great time with grandmother, uncle, aunt and cousins…and so did I. The next day I moved to an apartment in the city expecting old friends who were coming down from Bombay, Mysore and Chennai…Meeting old buddies after 2-3 years is always special and we relished every bit of it…staying awake till 5 in the morning and regaling on good old debates like who is better Mohanlal or Mamootty amidst generous supply of beers , and retelling old college tales and laughing like you heard for the first time, having a cup of tea and fish fingers at 4:30 in the morning at a nearby hotel much to the dismay of the waiter. …By morning we had lost any pending baggage of corporate mannerisms we hardly had anyways. The stay was short but memorable.

Kottayam/ Changanacherry

During the trip to Blore, Amma and grandmother opened a box of old childhood tales...One being a incident at Kottayam raliway station.. As kids we used to love a particular brand of soap and it once happened that my brother shouted loud at mom pointing at a billboard ad outside the station..”Chettante chandrika..chettante chandrika” ..Well must have been quite embarrassing for my parents!!

Visited most of my relations and a special request for mathuraakallu which I wanted to taste after a long gap was duly granted by uncle..Not to mention some delicious naadan food that was served at all homes…One of the best part was being able to meet my niece whom I really wanted to see ever since I saw her first snaps…You could spend hours with her and not realise how time flies by!!

Travelling from Changanaserry to Alapuzha via kuttanad makes you glad that some places never change..The route was as scenic as ever before with lush green paddy fields giving you a landscape that you would see nowwhere else in the world…Its probably just these imageries which most people who stay away from naadu crave for..

The first rains of the monsoon…the smell of good home made food…the prayers from the temple near home…drink a glass of water from the nearby well…mere images…. that probably sustains and motivates many.. During that halt in Dubai I saw that in the eyes of many poor malayalee and tamil labourers who were travelling home to enjoy those imageries in real..for a week…or for a month maybe!!
pic: valiathura pier..trivandrum
p.S. I am lovin this video! look at her expression when he says its girl's bike :-)


starry said...

LOve the narration, felt like I was taking that trip.especially liked the part about Bangalore since I grew up there.did you go to school in Bangalore?Heres wishing you and your family a happy new year.

Hari said...

Mind-blowing 'spark', once again. As starry-night said, I felt like I was travelling with you!

"I switched on the television which was dominated by priests ,nuns, the CBI and star singers!! "
Yeah, right! Why did you bother switching on the TV? We mallus don't even bother now-a-days! :P

"Apart from television I watched this documentary on body building called ‘Ghajini’ at the theater which was attended by who is who of the VeeraKerala gym …Aamir Khan was roughly twice the size of a malnourished Shah Rukh Khan and is shown working out most of the time besides running a mobile service company and doing revenge in his spare time."
And hey, are you still in Trivandrum, sire?

നിലാവ് said...

So...Spark is back with a spark...
Wish you a happy new year..

Deepti said...

Was waiting for this one ... almost like visiting kerala in 5 minutes feeling :)Should ahve put up some pictures .. Josco folks acting about your marriage reeks of business interest .. so be careful ..I heard Asin would love to settle in Germany!!! :D

Bindhu Unny said...

Wow! That was an interesting travelogue. :-)

jj said...

Wow! this was like Around Central Travancore in 3 minutes.

Bangalore-The city which I love when stuck in a timemachine. Bingo... I'm sure many would agree to that.

mathew said...

Thanks for dropping by..apologies for being lax here..

@starry nights
thanks..I didnot study in Blore..it was a vacation place as a kid as I have my relations there..So I have two images of Blore one before the boom and one after..

Wishing you and your family a great year ahead..

thank you..
Nope..am back in Hamburg..you after all gotta work to ekk a living..;-D

thanks..and wishing you a wonderful year ahead too..

Yeah even I heard those in some small talks..wonder who he might be!!;-D

@Bindhu Unny
Thanks a lot..

well people who have seen the old Blore would definitely agree with me! Wishing you a great year ahead!

Preeti Shenoy said...

Glad u enjoyed December :)
And Surya was so much better than Aamir!!
And when will jigsaw puzzle finally fall into place?;)

anN-series said...

i want to go to kerala now..now...now!!! btw u could have been elaborate on describing the meals,...it seems like u r trying to be kind to us

Mishmash ! said...

appo ee pravashyam 'deal' sign cheythille?? :D you should have watched those asin songs all the time for amma to get ur point :P

and "chettante chandrika...." LOL...I couldnt stop laughing.... :)))) and what's it with that soap....I live with one chandrika fan, I mean chandrika soap....;)

J said...

So make sure Asin reads this post :) Dubai airport was a golf course...ouch?? Golf carts are better than camel carts, get the point :)

Anonymous said...

Wow you were in Trivandrum? Shucks I missed the chance to see a blogger celebrity!

I suppose I should be grateful for my being in homeland. Thing is the appreciation factor becomes a little harder for us poor homelanders. We prefer complaining.

scorpiogenius said...

jolly good time ye had!!india-trotting??

btw where are those photos sparkie??? I logged in just to ask you this... (i've moved house and is on the wait for the net :(( )

the photos... ???

dont tell you didnt!! :(( im crying already...

Anonymous said...

don't know but why,feel like weeping..you know mathew,this is not like any of your so called writes..jus read it again and again..there is a painting hidden behind..the feeling of being lost or the haunting something..I dont want to explain..afterall thats the pressure behind writing..
pinne aunty's wine kittiyille ? onnum ezhuthi kandilla..
aa citu kkaran chodichathu pole,'aniya,ini ingane ottakku veno ? nalla beef curry undaakkunna onnamtharam penpillerille..orennathine kandupidikkan samayamaayithudangitto..

Anonymous said...


jus see this if you have time..

Rahul Nair said...

From your writing I am guessing that you enjoyed your stay at home...
Its not a wild guess, though. It was evident in your blog.

Dhanya said...

Wow so you had a wonderful vacation and as always loved your narration.. so u didn't get hooked this time? sooo sad :D

mathew said...

Havent seen the Tamil version..though I heard its better..and it would be a taboo compare both with Memento!!

Jigsaw puzzle is take quite a time to finish..;-P

I swear you dont want to know..Infact I dont think I can survive writing that long list!!;-D

LOL!! Yeah..ethra pravashyam kandenno!!

Seems like there are quite a good deal of Chandrika fans..yeah..i cant believe my bro said that..;-P

haha..yeah..I should have thought about bloggers from Dubai...anyways that place wont bore you!!

Eeshoyee..angane onnum vilikalle..Yeah was in trivandrum for a couple of weeks...though was travelling outside quite frequently...the city still remains that same!:-)

I knew I would have had to face you
while writing this...Actually didnt take many snaps..or infact anything worth sharing..


eu tu brutus..You have no idea how I managed to figure out reasons with parents this around!;-P

yeah wine was there too..infact i would have to write a tale if I had to explain the things i gorged on..;-D

will check that link.

thanks..yeah..it was one amazing trip..

hmmph...I cant hear you!!;-P

Abhi said...

I'm angry @ myself for missing your blog for so long. God i so miss my home n the city after reading your post. Fabulous narration as usual. I just hope your parents someone really good for you. All the best matt :)

Pooja Nair said...

Glad to see you had a great holiday!

And yes i agree, Asin will be better-off with the kind of guy you described.... (wink!)

Life Mysterious said...

Indeed its a december that even I would remember!
It should have been more like Jules Verne style, I wud have luvd to read it!

Anonymous said...

My Hero!!!

Nanditha Prabhu said...

ithavana kudukku veezhumoo sare?

enjoyed reading ur post as always....

Pinktoothjourno said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
VIDYA said...

Chettande chandrika~!!!! LOL

mathew said...

Thanks..am already missing being at home..hmm..

hehe...yeah..thanks for the endorsment..:-P

@Life Mysterious
Jeez..you want him to come from the graves..;-D

oh...chumma irri!!;-D

oh illa..this time i have come back alone... :-)


Radhika Ganesan said...

Hmmm...seems like a nice vacation...after reading this... me 2 feel like going home...mine not so far though :)!

Loved this line - "Aamir Khan was roughly twice the size of a malnourished Shah Rukh Khan" ...lolz...real funny description...hated sharukh in 6 pack...god knows how ppl were goin crazy after him!

maggi said...

Nice post again! :). u seem to be a recounteur... i was around Kerala in 4-5 mins :).