Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Have started morning walks with my friend Vimala. Actually we started walking a year ago but stopped during the rainy season which lasts here for about 3-4 months. The route we take is through the old Cochin Bazaar - it is quiet, clean and not so crowded that early in the morning. Also as it is alongside the channel you gets wafts of cool breeze from the gaps between the houses.
Cochin Bazaar was at one time a bustling, vibrant place where goods were received and dispatched by "Vallams" (country boats) so most of the buildings on the channel side have their own small private piers. This was in the days before road and rail transport became convienient and popular. Once that happened and the Ernakulam bye-pass was built, Cochin lost its importance as a Bazaar and the businesses moved to Ernakulam. Now some of the buildings house handicraft shops and cafes to attract the few tourists who might wander there from the more popular Fort Kochi.
Early morning, as we walk along we get the smell of spices - chilly, pepper, cardamom and once garlic!!! As the sky brightens, we hear the call for prayers from the many mosques in the area. The Koonan Cross has early morning visitors on Fridays who light lamps and make supplications. The Koonan Cross is at the Church of Our Lady of Life where in 1653 a group of Saint Thomas Christians took an oath never to bow down before the Portugese. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Pakalomattam/Koonan_Cross_Oath
As we walk along we get the smell of the sea and unfortunately also of the canal which is not quite so salubrious. We have to manoeuvre past trucks waiting to be unloaded or to pick up their merchandise. The cabins have multicoloured little lamps and we often get to walk a little way to the tune of the latest Rehman or Illayaraja number (in tamil!).
By the time we return, the first of the school children are on the way to the bus stop. House wives, clad in that quintessentially malayalee outfit ' the nighty' return from the milk booths carrying packets of milk. We are regulars now, and can expect a smile or a greeting from our fellow walkers.
The resolution is to walk every day, but already we have had hiccups. No matter... the determination should see us through!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
By now she was curious. "Where, amma?" I gave her the location, but I feel ashamed to say I wasn't about to get her into the car and take her there.
Needless to say, she didn't come. It was a little distance away and she was probably tired out. The whole day guilt gnawed at me, I wondered what happened to the two of them. Wondered how the child was. Wondered whether the woman had got any money and whether she had used it for medicines and food. Maybe I should have just given the money anyway and not insisted that she come to the hospital.
Wrapped in our cocoon of acquisitions, we don't realise how difficult it is for some to get even the very basic of things like food, shelter , clothing and medication. We are ready to help with material things, but when it comes to inconvieniencing ourselves, we hesitate. And the saddest part is, I dont know that if it happens again, whether I will act any differently.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
A lot has happened in the last one year. Both kids have moved out, its just Rajendran Kuttenmama and me here at home now. How do we spend the evening??
1. Kuttenmama listens to religious texts on his rigged up system as he lies on his bed.. I swear he is more techno savy than Rajendran and me.
2. Rajendran puts on a channel on the downstairs TV , watches for some time. goes upstairs. puts on same channel on upstairs TV. has bath with volume so high that I can mute the Downstairs TV and still hear the dialogues. Is most upset when he comes down and sees that I have changed channels.
3. I surf the net, check mail, speak to kids , get dinner.
What exciting lives we lead!!!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Mukesh Ambani is the richest man in the world - at least he was yesterday.. today he is probably at no.2 spot. I dont know... someone do the math. Is it fair that he has so much and there are people who find it difficult to have 2, not even 3, square meals? Or find the money for essential treatment? Or give their children a basic education?
Where is the justice in the world?