northern lights

northern lights

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Down Memory Lane Pt.2 and 3

 Journey to Palakkad  from Chennai

When we reached Olavakode It was midnight.  At  that hour no conveyence was available. Taxi service too was not  possible because it had to be booked in advance. A shuttle train to Puddunagaram was likely to reach at 2 am. There was no option but to wait for that train. We spent the time in the retiring room  of Olavakode  station. At 2 am the train arrived.It was an apology for a train. There were  no window panes, the wooden seats were shaky and a stinking smell pervaded in the train. It reached Pudunagaram station at 5 am.A distance of about 20 kilometres was covered in three hours. From Pudunagaram, Tattamangalam is only five kilometres away. At Pudunagaram a  bullock cart was waiting for us. I was very excited  that we would complete the rest of our journey in the Bullock cart. We were carrying  a lot of luggage.The luggage and and both of us with the baby  managed to sit with some difficulty in the    Kala Vandi(Malyalam for Bullock cart)  As the Kala Vandi moved the driver uttered the word 'Moorhi, Moorhi' every five minutes . I was puzzled. I asked my husband what does it mean. He told me  that it means the bull. The morning sun was rising in the eastern horizon. Cool breeze was blowing  which not only refreshed us but but the ordeal of such a long travelling was forgotten. As we proceeded  the sun rays gleaming in the paddy fields  brightened them like gold. As we were nearing the house I was apprehensive in which language I would  converse with my Mother-in-law.My Hubby ,sensing my discomfiture,  consoled me that my fears were completly unfounded. From  a  distance he showed me the Madassery house.It looked like a fort.  I was awe striken. Soon we reached there. A big gate,with the name of the house,S.S.Greenfields,carved on one side and flowers and twines in the forecourt looked very impressive. My M.I.L. and all the other members  of the family  were waiting for us.  I noticed that there were no words  like Namaste or Welcome used by any one but a broad smile on each face was indicative of the warmth  and affection on all faces. Muthassi(grand mother) took us to the family diety Muniappan,to seek His blessings.     

Even though no conversation was exchanged between me and Muthassi, our gestures and smiles  were enough to indicate that both sides liked each other. She was a very noble and pious lady. She was universely liked by the workers. She managed  the affairs of a huge estate single handedly.  Whatever Malyalam I acquired was only because of my desire to converse with her in  Malayalam. My elder Bro-in -law and his family were there.They all could converse in English .

  Tattamangalam Days

 Tattamangalam is a small  township or can even be called a big village. It is about 22 kilometres from Palakkad.It is on the North of Kerala,almost  near the Tamil Nad and Keraia  border

  Hence  the languages spoken here are Tamil and Malayalam.The landscape is beautiful with the Western Ghats  over looking the town. At night from a distant  temple a bright light could be  seen  ,which lent  an aura to the town.Those days there was no electricity in the town.The lamp posts on the main road were lit with kerosine.Inside the house too kerosine oil was used to lighten the house. There was no sewer, hence there were no toilets inside the house. The wash room was away from the main building.At night it was pitch dark.The sounds of several insects along with the breeze lent a supernatural  effect .First two nights  I was frightened by all the vague sounds and could not sleep.



Morning breakfast was Idli, which was as soft as cotton wool. The Sambaar, the ve

the neighbourhood  came to meet us. They addressed Muthassi as 'Thambratti' which means 'your Highness'.The women folk kept staring at me,It was for the first time they saw someone from a metropolis in their village. They were amused seeing me in sleeveless blouse and  lipstick and speaking English.

We went round the fields.It was my first experience.I  found every thing awesome.From  Tattanangalam we went to Palode, which was the Madasseri Taravad(ancestral house).  Inside the house were displayed the age old  guns and armours. Their  ancestors were warriors.  A family temple is aiso  situated close by. The ruling diety of the temple is Lord Karuppaswami. The whole area emits the flavour  of insense and holy dhup. 

After staying in Tattamagalam we moved to Calicut,Guruvayoor and other places. The visit to these places will figure in part 3.


 Visit to Kozhikode

Before I proceed with the  next part of our journey I offer my salutations to the family deity, Bhagwan  Sri  KaruppaSwamy.
This a very  ancient
temple. Successive generations of 
family members have been the beneficiaries
of God's grace.
Pujas have been regularly held for several decades. 

After staying  in Tattamangalam for about ten days we left for Calicut (now Kozhikode) by train. Muthassi also accompanied us. From the train we could have a  glimpse of  the  eye catching scenarios of the country side.  It  is not for nothing that Kerala is known as 'The God's own country'.  We could see the plush green paddy fields, with women working in them.
(Courtesy google)

In this photograph we see  women  transplanting rice seedlings in a paddy  field.

(courtesy google)

Here we  find fertilisation  of  rice. The natural greenery   looks like a plush green carpet. 

 Throughout  we could see such captivating  scenes.Another peculiar scene through out was a crowd of people.We cannot  find any deserted  piece of land.  After every few  minutes we find long lines of children  either going to school or coming back from school. It is not surprising that Kerala is the most literate state of the country. We find more  women than men in the fields as well as in the streets. This is the only State in  India  where the  ratio of women is more than men.
At Calicut station my Brother -in-law was present to  receive us. Their house was situated near the Beach. The burn of our son had not yet healed . A doctor had to be consulted. He was given injections.We  used to go the Beach every evening.
  This is a picture of my husband  and  son at  the Calicut Beach.

At Calicut  a grand reception was hosted by the editor of a popular Malyalam Newspaper in our honour. More than hundred  people were invited.News of our marriage had already appeared in some Malayam Newspapers. Where ever    we went we were faced with same questions,'where and how we met,''how did we adjust with  food''in which language did we converse' and so on. We were in Calicut  for ten days.The  next halt in our iternary was Guruvayoor.
                           Visiting Guruvayoo
Guruvayoor is a famous
Om Namo Narayanaya
(courtesy google)
Sri Krishna temple. It is known as the Dwarka of South.The deity here is of Maha Vishnu.  A visit to Kerala is  incomplete without having a Darshan of  Guruvayoor Appan. We also visited the other temples in the vicinity of Guruvayoor.
                             Back to Tattamangalam
After  the pilgrimage we returned to Tattamangalam. The time had passed so fast that we did not even realise we had to go back  to Delhi.We took one last photograph of  the place  near the well. The day of departure came. Muthassi was very particular that nothing auspicious should start  at Rahu Kalam.Whether it was a superstition or not we had to respect her feelings. It so happened that  our time to leave for the Railway Station had to coincide with Rahu Kalam.To circumvent this problem she  got our luggage shifted to our neighbour's house thus signalling that  our return journey to Delhi had already commenced well before Rahu Kalam!! Departure was painful.We got so much love and affection in that period of one month which we always cherish.


  1. Awww..that was such a sweet trip. Many times, kerala just amazes me...the houses are so far stretched from each remote villages and yet the state is so educated..I have an exotic feeling towards the state. Towards the first best friend in life is from Kerala....I am surprised how your husband coming from a small village made it to Delhi in those days...hats off to him. And you to make that journey with a lil one..

  2. Thanks Latha for such sweet comments.I also love Kerala. Those days my husband managed to reach Delhi,perhaps becausehe was destined to meet me .ha, ha ha

  3. Lovely trip it must have been, more than anything else, the people and love and respect we receive from them makes occasions special. It was nice to Kerala through your lens.

    1. Thank you very much for going through my post.The love and affection I get from my in laws is so rewarding that I am overwhelmed.

  4. Kerala seems to be blessed with heart-warming people like you and indeed rich in greenery..loved travelling Kerala with your words..

  5. Thanks for the sweet comments. I always look forward for your comments.