I am back. A happy new year to all my readers, fans, word-worshippers, blogaholics, etc.
This trip to Kerala was an eclectic mix of travel and discovery. I met my long-lost cousins in a family meeting, attended a wedding where the live band belted out "Heal the world" (which had me fighting back tears), visited Fort Kochi where Vasco da Gama, a revered figure in my annals, died during his third visit to Kerala. He was a disillusioned man, broken in spirit and faith.
Most of all, the main reason for the visit was the housewarming of my wife's house in Chenneerkara, Kerala. It went off well, and there was lots and lots to eat. Left me a bit tired though.
I had a fight with a rickshaw driver who promised to take us to our destination for Rs 60 and then revised it to Rs 70. I got down and was taking pictures of his registration number when a kind soul said go and complain to the sub-inspector, who was lolling nearby. So went there and complained and the driver got a black mark in his book and had to drive us to our destination. And, whence, he wanted to offload us half way because the traffic was thick. Traffic jam? I told him this is nothing. In Bombay we wait for hours for traffic to clear and we even carry pails to pee in just in case our bladders didn't hold out.
Then there were the trains. On the journey to Kerala I spotted a rat in the compartment. On the way back there were plenty of small roaches that crawled around. Some of them inside my pants. Yech. Do they ever do some pest controlling? And there was no water. Imagine walking into the toilet at night and finding there's no water. This was the Garib Rath, after all, and the children made sure their "'Garib" status was well publicised with displays of the rudest of behaviours.