To much of my annoyance, and some kind of other worldly peace, I’m back in Kerala. And not some touristy place either. It’s a village I’m sure I won’t even have heard of had I not been visiting this place at least twice a year.
In the past couple of weeks, my daily schedule comprised of getting up at 2 in the afternoon, ordering in lunch, and watching, more often than not Romantic Comedies, mostly with Hugh Grant playing a protagonist. Or watching Downton Abbey and catching up on Game of Thrones. A prefect vacation in the comfort of my bed.
And then of course I had to come here, my apparent native town. (Actually not. I’m a Bombay-valla through and through.) It is where my parents were born, after all. And all my relatives are (most of whom I do love, so the annoyance is not too extreme.)
However, it reminds me of the comforts of city life. Us, with our ACs to beat the heat, Twitter and Facebook to beat the boredom, and WiFi, pizza, and Chinese to make life simpler. Or are we just snobs, I wonder sometimes?
I had to travel in a non Air Conditioned train compartment, because, like me, tens of thousands of people love going back to their home-towns during that one month schools and colleges think are too hot to function. So we obviously didn’t get tickets and had to suffer the pathetic stench of train bathrooms and people who believe sweaty is the new sexy and the 40 degrees Celsius heat to come and stay in Kerala among doting relatives for a week. (I kid, of course, it’s only 35 degrees.)
On the train I was treated to a happy family- two women, most likely sisters in law, who bitched about each other behind their backs. To their respective sons. That assured me those trashy Hindi shows didn’t blatantly lie, after all! Followed by that, was a man who hijacked my dad’s seat and when was told off said, and I quote, “The country should run on humanity and not rules.” He went on and on at least for ten minutes, with my dad and I as his targeted audience. I obviously laughed at him on his face.
And getting out of the train, in my track-pants and I am SHERlocked tee got a lot of attention from people around me. They stared like I was the reason their teenage daughters got pregnant. (I’m a girl, do the math.) I lost my precious Game of Thrones badge, and while looking for it in a crowded bus, heard a man bitch right in my face about how “Some people need to listen to music and then complain about lost stuff.” I obviously wanted to slap him, but had I done that I would have missed my stop.
The nights here are amazing though. You can switch off all your lights and you wouldn’t know the difference between your eyes open and close. Last night, I was in so much awe, that the only way I realized I was alive was the sound of the clocks ticking and crickets humming and owls hooting. It makes me wonder why people spend thousands of rupees on a holiday in resorts and forests when all you do need is a house in rural India.
So, yes, I miss my laptop and WiFi. To be honest, I’m not sure if this post will get published for hours, the connectivity of my phone is so bad. But, I like this because it’s so different from what I’m used to- my grandmother’s food, and constant messages and looking forward to meeting cousins, who are the longest- standing friends, the birds and the bees, literally, the sound of the river running somewhere in the distance and green trees anywhere you look.
I won’t say Rice and Dal is no comparison to Chinese, because Merlin knows I do prefer the latter. But somehow, these trips are somewhat sobering experiences I somehow enjoy, in the end.