Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Journey Through The Lures

Ah! The pulse of village hasn’t been intercepted yet. It exists not only in fictitious forms. As I said this in my mind a sigh passed across my mind.

We were on our weekend trip to Palaghat, the paddy field destination of Kerala, to attend our friend’s brother’s wedding party. My three friends and I somehow managed to get into a train in the early morning. We reached Palakkad by noon and took another bus to Cheruplassery, a small town in the district. The day was cloudy with some drizzling. I guessed that the areas had experienced fairly good downpours, either the previous night or in the morn .There were muddy puddles on the roadside. Each time our bus passed through it, we had to rub our face. But it kept us refreshed.

The journey in a typical private bus and that too on a rainy day reminded me of the story lines of many super hit Malayalam movies.

Yes, these were the areas which were once busy with cameras and light ups when the stories from village backgrounds were in the lime-light of Malayalam’s silver screen. No wonder most of the places in these parts have got familiar names.

The village life was not artificial at all. Everywhere it was greenery in its different forms. Paddy fields, coconuts and other plantations added to the richness of nature.

A much interesting factor which caught my attention was the tea shops (the traditional ones that were seen in the Malayalam movies of 80’s and 90’s) .These shops followed the old custom of sharing news with the support of a cup of tea where people gathered to listen to the news from the radios and the newspapers. From the future of America's presidential election and global recession to the new affair of the local Jaanu's or Raziya's ,the topic of discussion varies .Though a few inevitable changes were there in the form of names of the shops and age of the owner, it remained an identity to boast the malayali’s life .Technology and development had engulfed those areas too in the form of delicate Nokia N-series in the robust hands of the labourers and auto drivers. The dressing of the locals, especially the youth,resembled the style of their favorite stars who move with the course of the wind even in their 50’s and 60’s and were worshiped by the locals who kept their hoardings at road junctions. Though I am a Malayali and has traveled to most parts of Kerala, I haven’t seen such a craze for movies anywhere. The youth there were on the path of transformation; still they kept preserving their culture and tradition. There were all major communities, but from the number of temples on the way I think the majority were Hindus. Charming were the ladies of those areas, bearing a gorgeous smile on their face suggesting that life is pretty good in the village. You can even spot the “endangered species” like a girl in a “dhaavani” with sandal wood paste smeared on her forehead and thulsi leaves pierced through her thick,long dark hair.

We hardly had anything to end our day-old hunger. Expecting the village delicacies even before seeing it in the tea shops , I forced my friends to have something from Cheruplassery.

By traveling nearly two hours we reached Cheruplassery. I was taken aback by the scenes there. It was a slightly big town in size but so much bigger than what I expected. I went through the shop names especially the restaurants. It read like this...KR Bakes…and many in such format. The menus were..Shawarmas, Tandooori chicken, fish tikka….and many more. For a moment I thought of Bangalore. In the mean time the fist of my friend aimed at my back made me aware that I was in Cherupulassery. I had to fight hard to make them calm and go to the room meant for us.

At the wedding reception I went to the newly weds to say congrats to them. But tongue twister or whatever it is, I could only manage to say to the groom a congrats for being born there…
After spending a joyous day with friends we boarded the bus back to Palakkad Town. I occupied a window seat to grab more images and recollect the rest. By this time I had realized the importance of it and knew that I should not miss a single thing on the way since it may last for hardly an hour and was a journey through the lures…

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