Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dad's gift

I'm leaving the country in 18 days. Dad and I decided to go on a trip to his home town. Kongad is a quite little place nestled among the ghats. A very green and beautiful place. I've been there many times and have spend a lot of time in my grandmother's home with my cousins.
I remember not having much to do back then. I wasn't too mischievous growing up. So, climbing trees was out, throwing stones at ripe mangoes was a crazy thought - my aim isn't too good. 
Cycling was definitely out of the question as no cycles were available around there.
I remember walking around the place looking at strange flowers and fruits and picking ripe tamarind off the grass and hiding it in my pockets. I didn't mind having nothing much to do. As a child i kept to myself and enjoyed being alone with my own imaginations.
This time the trip to Kongad was different.
I am 23. Not the quite girl with a lot of silent thoughts but a talkative one. My dad 
is my best friend and I can spend days with him with no other entertainment. Just talking.
So this trip was special. Just the 2 if us heading out in our car to Kongad. Pooram was at its peak of celebrations at the local temple and that was our first destination.
When we got there, the crowd was a surprise. I had been to the Pooram 7 years ago and my memory of it was hazy. But dad was surprised at the crowd.
We zig zagged through the crowd looking for my grand mother and her sister -in-law with no luck. We gave up the idea of finding them and decided to walk around and enjoy the evening.
The first things we saw was the kottikayattam
The goddess was taken to the pond and bathed and brought back on an elephant, accompanied by more elephants and drummers.

That was a sight. 
My heart gave a lurch as the elephants climbed the stairs that lead from the pond to the temple. These graceful and slow animals seemed to not mind the deafening noise around them. In 10 minutes I was soaked with perspiration. Man! it was too hot to be allowed.
Dad and I walked away from the crowd for some fresh air. He and I walked to the ponds where my dad used to go swimming in. He showed me houses of his schoolmates and places that he used to meet friends.

Sarppakavu near the pond.

It was fun to walk around and see his life the way he lived it before i was born. That was an interesting experience.
Later that night, I, my dad, his mom, uncle and aunt went to the temple again to listen to the thaambakam.

The stalls were put up and there were lights all over the place.

By the time it was 11:00 at night i was too sleepy to sit around and watch the elephants so I got home and slept.
This trip was very enjoyable. The place was beautiful as always. People there are innocent and lovable and I will miss it dearly.
Thanks dad for the trip...