Updated: Jun 20, 2020
Train and Kerala.. Both were new to me.. Being a Malayali I always had a great love for my motherland.. Chennaiite was a tag given to us but heart and soul belongs to Kerala (ayalur village in Palakkad District). Well, coming back to the point. My first travel to my dad’s place of birth. I was in my class 2. I never had travelled in a train. Sharing my berth with my elder sister Divya (name changed), falling down from my berth a couple of times and with my grandfather’s warning note “soozhchichu irukkanam” I went back to sleep like a log of wood only to find that I missed out on the beautiful morning scenes from the train..
My sister being awake already, I was late and scurried behind her to the stinky toilet in the train. We were supposed to stay together. I was technically playing the parasitic type of character. If my sister goes somewhere then I would immediately follow her.. (sometimes even to the rest room 😂) and get yelled at by my grand parents. The first train ride.. The koo chuk chuk sound.. The wind making us teary-eyed (instead of our usual prank of putting drop of water or saliva to fake tears 😜).. The continuous swaying of the train making us dance while we walk (needless of the booze) even after getting down from the train.. Noisy compartments.. Ohh! I enjoyed every bit of it.. Amidst all this, our favourite twin bunnies took seat along with us..
Our train journey was seeming to be longer. My brain was roaring louder than my tummy and thinking when I would reach peruvamba. The first place that I visited in kerala. Long list of questions ran in my head.. (don’t remember many of them now) I remember asking my thatha “namma eppo povom” my banter came to a stop when we eventually reached palghat station. And we hopped off the train with our luggage. My restlessness coming to an end..we reached our home in peruvamba accompanied by our host kumar mama.
Patham pathiyam was the festival that we were there for and it was in December every year this festival used to be celebrated with delicious food and fun filled temple visits..
Patham Padhiyam popularly known as Chanthatam is the major temple festival. It normally falls in the last week of December. The festival begins from the Malayalam month of Vrischikam or Mandalamasam. Vilakku (lighting of lamps in the temple and special pooja) is daily performed from the first day of Vrischikam masam to chanthatam festival. The chanthatam is celebrated after 41 Niravilaku in the first following Monday or Thursday. Devotees offer auspicious offering of the Bagavathy ‘chanthatam’ to the Bagavathy at the festival day. The temple is open till 1 PM from the morning at the Chanthatam day.
Ten days would just come to an end with Christmas at the closure. Lovely sunrise.. Clean wind.. Friendly neighbors.. Beautiful temples.. Yummy food.. 😋 Smell of coconut oil.. Red bangles with elephant motifs.. Sugar candies resembling cigarette.. Paddy fields.. Boodham kaatha kovil (as it was mentioned by my grandfather).. Wowwwww.. My first trip was just amazing. First outing without parents.. (the pic below was taken on the second trip to the festival with parents).
It was first time for many things.. Sleeping in terrace.. Walking through a paddy field, going for a bath in a puzha… It was the first time I witnessed santa who’d come in the night knocking at the door to give everyone handfull of chocolates 🚪🚪💃💃 the next morning however the chocolates were nowhere to be seen.. Someone at home ate them all 😂.
We also visited puzha. The canals (puzha) starts here. One side would be filled with water overflowing to the other side. I am hydrophobic and behave like an idiot at the sight of water. I get the feeling that I would drown and die even before someone ask me to get into a pond or pool of water. So as always stuck to my sister believing her she’s some giant (just 3 years elder to me and puny than me) and I must mention that I was her doll.. She used to take utmost care of me but at times try to get rid of me when I bug her to the core 😂😂 so I used to stick on with her in and out of puzha, temples, lunch time, play time.. We used to sleep in the terrace.. The terrace in ancient style houses used to look tiny and beautiful.. The English attic type of terrace rooms and the view of the Xmas star hung outside the house (actually front top of the house) and the everything still lingers in my heart..
Our temple trips every evening to light lamps around the temple's sanctum is another time where the entire village gets together.
Every December I keep looking forward for the festival and all the excitement.. My love for Kerala and my trips in childhood was short-lived. Even then I happened to revisit my hometown in another occasion. See you with my experience and views in another post.. See you soon guys..
My mom with me(I'm on the left) and my elder sister.. And behind us was our house hidden behind the shed made for cooking (for the festival)
P.S: pictures used for representational purposes and it is from quora and TOI website.