Posted by: gdevi | December 23, 2014

Day 5

The morning was relatively cooler today, and so I was able to run some errands for my mother. On my way back, I went to Spencer’s and picked up a halwa for Swami appuppan who is visiting me from Trichur. Swami used to be our driver for many years; just the kindest old gentleman. I wanted to get something for Swami’s family for christmas; Spencer’s milk halwa is really good. Christmas has arrived in style in Trivandrum. I don’t know if there is still the Illumination show at Kanakakkunnu Palace–they used to when we were kids–but the Museum Road is brilliantly lit up at night, bright lights hanging from the tall trees on either side of the street, red, blue, gold, green–it is totally beautiful. There is some sort of a book and arts and handicrafts exhibition at Kanakakkunnu Palace; I might check it out later. Later in the evening, Jaya and her son–Jaya’s husband is in Calicut–her sister-in-law and her daughter, Sheela and her two sons, and I explored the evening and went shopping for a pair of dress pants for Jaya. It was like searching for the Holy Grail, only harder, and with no spiritual benefits. Finally, we found a pair of decent corduroy pants; the shop is even going to hem it properly and give it to us tomorrow before Jaya leaves for Angamali. After the pants victory, we decided to eat dinner at this restaurant called The Imperial Kitchen on Keston Road. The food was very good– we ordered a bunch of things: chicken biryani, fish curry and ghee rice (for me), Jakarta rice, naan, Thai green curry, cauliflower fry (terrific!), chicken pandaan (chicken cooked inside a fragrant banana-leaf like leaf), spaghetti Bolognese, chicken alfredo, hakka noodles, fish and chips, stone grilled spicy river prawns –whatever I tasted was all very good. Sheela’s husband joined us for dinner; Jaya’s brother couldn’t, but he came by later to pick us up. They dropped me back home. A good day; I am so glad I got to see Jaya and Sheela again after all these years and their families. Our university years were so joyful. Thanks, J and S. I invited everyone to Pennsylvania, especially, the children; come and visit us; we will take you hiking and biking and swimming.

When Jaya and I were doing our Masters in English, one day Jaya’s brother offered to take us to this hill station called Ponmudi, a very beautiful place, for the day. So we set off that day, Jaya and I, and Jaya’s brother and two of his friends. We spent the most beautiful day there–it used to be an unearthly beautiful mountain hill resort town. I don’t know in what condition it is now. We walked everywhere amidst the breathtaking views of the Western Ghats. Finally, we came to this waterfall. You are not supposed to walk on the rocks encircling the first pool of the waterfall, but we all did. We all walked on the rocks looking up at the water falling down in a thick silver curtain in the bright afternoon light. I must have walked back unknowingly–maybe to get a better look at the waterfall– and the next thing I know I was tripping backwards towards the edge of the waterfall. I fell down and started to slide. Suddenly, I saw Jaya’s brother’s friend–his name was Selwyn; I did not know him at all–Selwyn rushed over to me across the water–it must have been about 25 feet at least–and pulled me up and scooped me up from the rocks and the pool from which I was sliding down. In my fear I tried to pull Selwyn down, but Selwyn was very strong and physically picked me up out of the water. Selwyn pulled me up out of the pool and dragged me to the mountain side. I did not fall into the waterfall and die that day. My parents would have been so sad if that had happened.

Merry Christmas, everyone!


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