Sunday, July 14, 2013

How green is my Keralam!

I had to go to Kerala the last week- to Trivandrum and from there, onto Cochin. 
Bangalore was clear blue skies at 9 am, when the flight  took off. Having woken up early to roll out chappaties ( for the Acha to make for Sonny boy’s breakfast) , I fell asleep shortly after we were airborne, carefully pulling down the window shades to block out the sun. I woke up to the air hostess requesting me to raise the window shades. I raised the shades, straightened my chair and went back to sleep. The sun was most unhappy at this. Beating fiercely on my hand and neck, “enough of sleeping, lazybones, rise and SHINE!” it seemed to be telling me.  So I finally rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, yawned, stretched, and sat up straight.

Over the last 2 years, I’d been used to the  view from the skies over Delhi Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. While there used to be spreads of green and brown at a distance from the city, nce you came near the city, it was the same story everywhere- an unendingly bland landscape of buildings, houses, apartments, roads, traffic….   There was no view to look out for. I glanced out casually. 

And was entranced by the green that I beheld below.. It was a virtual kaleidoscope of green. Any way you looked, a different green met your eyes. The sight took me back instantly to my childhood, to the return journey from the summer holidays, spent with my Dad at Tamil Nadu. We spent it in various places over the years,  as Dad had a transferable job, but one thing remained a constant on all our train journeys back to Kerala. The overnight transformation of the landscape. You went to sleep in Tamil Nadu, viewing dry arid brown. If there was any green, it was a rather strained, struggling-to-remain-so green,  And you woke up in Kerala to an exuberant, lavish, exultant green.  Fresh and thriving and glistening. Because we always returned at the onset of the monsoons.

I’d always known Kerala was beautiful, but when you live in Kerala, you tend to take all that lushness and beauty for granted.  Having been away from 'home' for more than a decade, the beauty of my land was breathtaking.   Once again, it was monsoon time, and as we drew closer to landing in Trivandrum, there were only glimpses of roads to be had. One would have to move the fronds of palm leaves in order to see the roads in their entirety. Not for nothing is it called the land of coconut trees.

And this time, another first, I saw the beachline from the plane. Beautiful, the waves lapping the shore. Thus far, had only seen it during the Chennai and Mumbai flights. . . 

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