My native state, Kerala, was hit by floods recently. As someone who loves the state, even though I visit rarely, my concern was largely focused on the well-being of family and friends there. Seeing the images shared via social media and media alike, I felt disheartened. I wanted to help and do more than what little I managed to do. That’s not how I remembered God’s Own Country.
In my mind, I still see the dancing palm trees, the backwaters reflecting the greenery rather than the cloudless blue skies above. I remember the journeys in old Ambassador cars, the excitement of seeing elephants lazily standing near the rivers at lumber yards, the smell of fish and the heavily accented voices in Malayalam that came from all around.
It is the home of much nostalgia too… of childhood vacations in sweaty summer days, of an aura of divinity from many temples in the town, of favorite foods like banana chips and Grandmother’s mango pickles and of course, the bedtime stories that came from mythology that sparked a love for the genre.
My native land lies largely unexplored by me, but I remember a visit to the Queen of the Arabian Sea. I want to return once, visit places like The Jewish Synagogue and the Dutch Palace. But by far, my favorite place remains the temple town of Guruvayur, a place we visited almost every time.
I wish my native state returns to the glory days of before. It has been painful to see it suffer, though it was happiness to help Kerala through that troubled time. Once it does, and it is ready to welcome me back, I will go and explore it. That’s a wishlist item I mean to tick soon.
(© Vinay Leo R. @ I Rhyme Without Reason,
28th September, 2018)