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Saturday, 2 February 2013

Down Memory Lane.(part 1)

 (Part one)
Today I  am sharing  the memories of my first visit to Kerala. I and my husband got married in the year 1959.Even after a lapse of  fifty three years  I remember all the  events  vividly. Our first visit to Kerala was in May  1961,when my son,D was six months old.
The train journey up to Madras
 Those days air journey was  not as popular as it is now. We went by GT Express  which went only up to Madras (now Chennai) and used to take two nights to reach Madras.We were travelling  in a two berth  first class coupe. Those days first class passenger were treated as VI Ps. A huge slab of ice in a big container was specially kept in our compartment. The night  journey from Delhi to Madras was  comfortable.The train reached Nagpur Station  early morning,where we were given bed tea. The baby was in his Father's lap. My husband was looking for a newspaper when all of a sudden the little baby shrieked.He had pulled the tea tray; the kettle  rolled and boiling hot tea spilled on his legs. Even now when I think of that incident I shudder. The child  was crying uncontrollably. A crowd collected in front of our coupe. Perhaps somebody had informed the Station Master. Within a few minutes the Station Master appeared.He told my husband to carry the baby and follow him. After he got down he shouted  to a Railway employee "GT  ko rok do."The child  was taken to the Railway Hospital  where first aid was provided and the leg was bandaged. All this  while the train was waiting  for more than an hour. These days such good behaviour and concern is unheard of. This  was not all.  After Nagpur, when the train left, at every station  up to Madras  the train  was signalled to stop and a Railway Doctor was waiting to  enquire about the child. They administered  medicines and changed the dressing. Even when we reached Madras, a Doctor was making an  announcement  That we should meet him. We met  him  and    profusely  thanked   him. 
  Stay at Madras
As the train journey was too long, we had planned to halt at Madras for two days. Those two days were hectic. My husband's elder brother was settled in Madras. His Father-in-law, Vasu Menon, was a film producer. He had made his first Hindi Movie 'Jhoola', starring Sunil Dutt and Vyjayanti Mala, which was awaiting release . He arranged a special screening of the Movie for us. Since I was the only Hindi knowing person, he especially  asked for my comments. This was my first visit to  the house of a film personality. I was amazed.There were several people residing in that huge house (I can call it a palace)  From morning to night  the Idli grinder  was  moving.
Some one or the other was always at the dining table. There was no count of the number of cars. Some going to pick up guests, some going to leave the guests and some going to the studio and some returning from there.I felt a bit awkward that  my Bro-in-law was staying with his in-laws. My hubby told me about the Matriarchal system, according  to which  the husband  stays in the wife's house.( More about  this system  in another post. ) Two days were spent in sight seeing and shopping. The time to proceed for the next  part of the journey arrived. My Bro-in-law had  arranged  for reservation. We  boarded the the train for Ollvokode(Kerala) and reached the station at mid night.
          (to be continued)


  1. wow! That was quite a journey, though too shuddered at the pain the poor child has to go through, but that kind of compassion and sense of responsibility and that too in govt owned enterprise is hard to come by. Rest of the part also made an interesting read. Going to the next part...

  2. Thanks Meenakshi for the comments. The 'poor child' is now 50 year old father of two sweet teenaged girls!!

  3. So many ups and downs in a many emotions embedded was so very interesting to read the entire waiting for the next ..

  4. Nice to start reading your journey to the past..some incidents remain etched in our memory forever. Don't they? Hopping over to part 2.