Friday, September 14, 2007

A tale of 3 cities - Part One

To start with: This blog is not sponsored by any of the state tourism development boards.

India amazes me with its diverse lifestyles in different states. Not that I have traveled to each and every part of the country. I just wanted to share my point of view about the cities I have lived in. Again it is solely my POV.

Thiruvananthapuram – Huh – eighteen letter word that if you notice. I bet 90 pc of the non south Indians would pronounce it wrongly. God’s own capital it is. And trust me if that white secretariat building wasn’t built over there Cochin would have been the obvious choice for the state capital. A laid back city, with almost 90 pc of the people being Government employees. Wish I could say it is fast changing. Even with the whole country catching up on the software boom, Trivandrum is still sitting back and basking in humid sun. But no complaints. That might just be its charm at the end of the day.

So conservative is the place that you will have to hunt for girls in jeans. You would find most of the girls in Salwar Kameez(which they prefer to call churidar), with oil almost dripping out of their long laden hair. They carry umbrella even if it is not raining. I guess they use it as a protection to guard them against the eve teasers. If you were a girl walking around in tight jeans, be prepared for the eye-popping stares that would come from all around. The guys will be seen mostly in a trouser and a shirt. With the shirt not tucked in and their sleeves folded to the three – fourths. Older men and women adhere the strict dress code of saree and mundu(dhoti) respectively. And mundu(dhoti) for the love of God is not a lungi. High time the non south Indians realize this truth!!!

If you are planning to go into the city just try and go through a local paper or ask the rickshaw walas, for there is bound to be a strike or procession or march past which happens almost daily. I am yet to see a more rebellious bunch of people who take the full advantage of democracy. Whether it is good or bad: I will leave that debate to another day. Even though the politics affects the education in the city, I must admit that the education is of highest standards here. There are as many mallus heading to US these days as there are heading to Dubai.

Wow. Suddenly it looks like a place you can give a skip right? Wrong. If you are a nature lover this is one place you cannot skip. The place has 3 different sea shores (Heaven!!). The all famous Kovalam beach which is usually filled with foreigners, would not be my favorite. I prefer the Varkala beach or the beach at Veli. Nice and calm ones. Talking about a place in kerala and not talking about monsoon would be a crime. Just love it when it rains there. The whole place looks green and the soil smells awesome. The best time though to visit trivandrum is during onam. The whole place glitters in a festive mood. And if you are the religious types, please don’t miss out on Padhmanabha swami temple. Just to see this temple you can travel miles and get to Trivandrum. I was blessed to have lived two streets away from it all my life. I always believe that Trivandrum could be the perfect place to settle down after your retirement. I am sure even when I retire from my job and go the place would not have changed much. And it better not change!

(song playing in my mind right now – Wo kaagaz ki kashti wo bearish ka pani !! :( )


Divs said...

The only part of kerala i have ever seen is Guruvayur. And nothing else. But i have promised myself that someday, i'll get down to visiting the place properly... God knows when that's goin to happen. And damn i want to learn malayalam!

_audi_ said...

wat bout pune heaven.. ???

Vinod R Iyer said...

Divs: Do visit the place. You would like it :) ..And mal .. Dakshina vechittu va.. I will teach :)

Audi: Coming soon :)

scorpiogenius said...

now here's another who believes trivandrum must not change!

And we Trivandrumites are yearning 4 our piece of heaven to look different..and it HAS started to metamorph into a 'city', haaaa at last..

Well, dude with the plethora of projects coming up, I'm afraid you've seen the last of the pensioner's paradise! (That's another one down after Blore & Pune)..

Well, you wont find us complaining though.:)