Since my father and mother left for their heavenly abode my incentive to return to Kerala, Kochi or my Hometown Kunnamkulam (KKM) in Trissur has nosedived. Spoken like a true economist. Nothing can happen without an incentive. So here came an incentive: an invite to a Conference at our alma mater, CDS, Trivandrum. And to top it an invite to my husband to deliver the Professor K.K Subramanian Memorial Lecture (his PhD supervisor) at Trissur. We jumped at it particularly as it was exam week at the University and no classes were scheduled.
I had previously written on this blog about my orthodox Christian heritage and how the town of KKM boasts of its antecedents from St. Thomas, the apostle, himself. See link here. In this post I go down the lane of nostalgia while I again visit my place of birth, KKM.
Here are the photos of our old ancestral home, ‘tharwad’ in Malayalam, the place of my birth. The house with the brown attic was my maternal grandmother’s home. The attic was used to store and dry grains from my grandparents farm lands. The house was on the top of a steep street called Puthenpetta Angadi (New Street) (photos at the bottom). The houses were built close to each other. The house on the left of ours was where ‘curiosity aunty’ lived alone and listened to the conversation in our home. She surprised us once in a while by responding to the conversation in the dining hall. She is no more and her house was bought over by my family. Unfortunately the two structures were demolished and sold! I was sad to see the old house razed to the ground and the entire plot empty (photo in the middle)!
My grandfather also owned and ran a provisions cum grocery store. We have fond memories of visiting the store and being treated to cubes of jaggery and ‘kalkandam’ (cubes of sugar/molasses). We walked around town and came across the old store. Unfortunately it was in a dilapidated state, but evoked an emotional response (Picture below).
We were lucky to arrive in town when the church at the bottom of the hill of the street, Puthenpetta Angadi, was celebrating its church festival. Kunnamkulam town celebrates weddings, church festivals and all events with a procession of elephants and ‘chenda’ (traditional drums). And there were elephants galore around town that day and drums, not the traditional ‘chenda’ though.
We walked around the town and to our joy came across three elephants with all fan fare. We enjoyed the drums and excitement in town!
Was wonderful to see that the town still celebrates in traditional style, though not with all the pomp and splendor of yonder years. Enjoy the Festival folks!