10 Things I Miss About Kochi

In my previous post, I was streamlining my messed up thoughts and it was also the beginning of my resolution to blog every week. This post was due yesterday, but I persevered and got it done today. So yay me! If you already read my previous post, I’d like to warn you that this one is a repetition of sorts but better articulated than that one.

Kochi is my home. When I think of Kochi, I remember the buzzing Kaloor area, then the backwaters with the water weeds afloat, the sunset and the silhouette of the Chinese fishing nets, and the road to my home.

I am in this big city now and we are opening up to each other. But for a long time, the longing for Kochi wouldn’t leave right? I like the feeling. It is always good to know that there is home and homeland waiting for you. And this is the best time I could write about the city I grew up in, I grew up with and that has been growing up with me. 🙂

1. The Balance – The best thing about Kochi is that, you just have to step off the main road into an alley or a sub road and you’d find silent, residential areas with lots of greens, clean air and no hint of the disturbances from the busy main road. I have often loved this aspect of the city. Even my apartment is on the side of a very busy road. But once you take a few steps into it, you’d see the canal behind and the woods beyond that. I miss that. And the balance between the city and the nature.

Image credits – @rittujacob (Instagram)

2. Shades of Green – That brings me to the various shades of greens we get to see there. The woods from across my window, turn an emerald shade during the peak of monsoon while not so dark and lush at other times. In certain parts of the city, there are old buildings with overgrowth of creepers and weeds. The shade of green changes from plant to plant, tree to tree and if you love these greens, you can’t keep your eyes off them. Well, I can’t.  

Image courtesy – @the_liberated_spirit (Instagram)

3. The Excitement of Development – The city I am in now, has reached the peak of its development. While in Kochi, during the last few years, we had been basking in the happiness of new infrastructural additions. The Palarivattom and Lulu flyover left me all starry eyed and I rode across them a couple of times just for the heck of it. 

Image courtesy – @amal.the.bear (Instagram)

Then came the metro. I haven’t taken the Kochi metro yet, but every time I passed by each station, I used to look at it in awe. I used to look at the trains pass by as though I were a 4 year old, seeing a mysterious animal at the zoo. I miss this excitement a lot. I cannot begin to explain the intensity of it.

4. The Control – You are in control of the place when you know it in and out. You know what lies where, you know the heart beat of each area, the right time to visit a place, the time taken to reach a place and so on. I miss that control.
I know that this is something every person moving to a new place will face. Yet, as long as I am writing about Kochi, I must add this. The city isn’t as vast as Bangalore and that in itself gives me a better control.

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A view from the Queens Walkway

5. Ease of Getting to Places – A distance of 8 Kms could be covered in 15 minutes in Kochi. It took me about 1.5 hours to cover a distance of 10 Kms in Bangalore. During an earlier visit, it took this time for the bust to move from one to stop to another.

I loathe to see my time being flushed down the toilet due to this traffic. I miss the days when it was simpler. I just had to hop onto my bike, ride through the interior alleyways and reach the destination as calculated. The time taken for travel is almost always predictable in Kochi if you have a bike.

6. The Rain – Having born and brought up in a place with abundance of rainfall throughout the year, in two weeks of moving into Bangalore, I already feel the dearth of it. If you want to know what I mean you must have watched the sun slide behind the clouds turning the sky grey, you must have listened to the approaching rains, heard them from so far off that you wait another couple of minutes before the raindrops hit you and all of this must have brought that whirlwind of joy inside of you.

When I hear the approaching rains, I imagine a battle with a thousand horses galloping towards the battlefield. I also try to discern the direction from which the rain is approaching. If I get it right, my happiness has no bounds. The little joys in life. ❤

7. Reasonable Movie tickets – Watching movies for Rs. 80 and Rs. 100. Need I elaborate? 😛 I already think a hundred times before watching any movie. Here, I think twice as much.

8. Better Road Sense – I used to complain about the bus drivers and some senseless people in Kochi specially after I was almost killed by two buses and spat on by a lorry driver and a bike rider. Issues in Kochi end with that and some major indicator issues.

Come Bangalore and you should beware of vehicles in the air above you. There are separate lanes but nobody gives a damn about them. If you are a pedestrian, you need to have eyes on both sides of your head, exactly where your ears are. Because, people aren’t careful all. If they see a road, they take it even if it’s between two vehicles coming from the opposite direction.

9. Christmas – November is ending? Are the streets gradually lining with shops selling stars? Do they light up these stars of myriad colors, hues and shapes at nights? Has the weather begun to turn cold in the evenings? Have the christmas trees begin to pop up at houses or is it a little too early for that? In a week’s time, you’d see pictures of Santa Claus here and there, sometimes real ones in front of shops and malls.

Christmas is my favorite festival and Kochi begins to dress up for the occasion by November end. I’ll miss those lit up streets, bathing in the cool breeze of the winters in Kochi. A lot.

And Finally,

10. My Grazing Areas – The Kailash chat center at Convent junction and near Durbar Hall Ground, Gokul Oottupura(s), Brindavan, Real Arabia (Shawarma from there), Burger Junction, Chaicofi, Coffee Cube, Bread World, and the huge list of must visit eateries in Kochi that I have tucked away in a corner of my brains.

 

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I am warming up to Bangalore faster than I thought I would and I am sure, I’ll fall in love with this place soon. In fact I already love the weather here and that is just one among the many good things here. This is in fond memory of Kochi. To look back and embrace it. A reminder of how much it means to me and to let people know of this tiny land in the tiny corner of the world where the life is green and merry.

PS – The amazing pictures  in this blogpost was clicked by @rittujacob (The Queen’s Walkway), @the_liberated_spirit (The building covered in greenery) and @amal.the.bear (The Kochi Metro). Thank you so much for readily giving them. 🙂 Do follow them on Instagram for some amazing clicks. 🙂 

Love,

Ranjini

From Kochi to Bangalore – A New Journey

The last time I opened this page to write was in Kerala. Now, here I am in Bangalore. There has been a lot of change and with the change of place and routine, I, as a person, am changing too.

After all those CA hassles, crying over exams, peeping in others’ lives, seeing their train move forward at a steady pace and crying over my stagnant one, my train has finally moved too. I am no longer in the studying-writing exams-failing-lamenting station anymore. I am more of in between Yay-I-have-a-job and damn-I-want-to-go-home station. 😛

Due to these overwhelming changes, here I am, streamlining my thoughts more for myself than for anyone else. This is also a comeback post of mine and I’ll be trying to blog more frequently from now on. So be prepared for a messy article as I have no clue what I am about to write here.

  1. Why I moved to Bangalore? A job is what brought me here. After a few years of preparing and writing exams, experimenting with jewellery, freelance writing etc, working on a 9 hour job is a bit too strenuous. Definitely better than writing exams after exams with no luck. Even so, suddenly I am unable to find time for doing the things I love to do. For instance, this blog. I am finally able to update this because it is a Sunday. So, I have to accept my work timings whole-heartedly and then work on using the remaining time effectively.
  2. I Miss Home – I have been away from home before. But that was around 8 years back. 8 years got me rooted there, I got too comfortable with all the love and affection that I forgot how it was like to stay away from home. The first 3 days were the worst here. I was like a clingy, cry baby. I was intimidated by the vastness of this city, the lack of sunshine (in my room), lack of network adding to the misery. On top of all this, I work 6 days a week, making visits to Kochi rare and precious.

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    Kochi – This view from my bedroom window ♥
  3. I Miss Kochi – For me, Kochi is a feeling (The sentence is cliched, the feeling is genuine). I miss the balance between the city life and the nature. You get everything in Kochi and the moment you step out of the central area, you also get the peace, serenity, and the clean air. I miss my friends there. I miss the familiarity. If I begin to write about the things I miss in Kochi, I’d have too long a post. So I’ll save that for another time. I miss maneuvering through the narrow alleys, avoiding the traffic, exploring more tinier alleys, finding paths that I never knew existed. I miss the Malayalam, specially the Kochi accent (Never though I’d say this).

    The path towards the Boat Jetty area is lined with coconut trees which finally tapers into the water

  4. The Inability to Wrap My Head Around Bangalore – All of us have a Google Map in our head. The moment you think of a familiar place, the map pops open in your head showing all the locations, the time taken to each location, the specialties there, the traffic etc. Depending on the activity you want to do, your brain projects the list of places offering the activity with the distance, price range etc. I am too familiar with the Mental Map of Kochi and when I try the same with Bangalore, it is blank obviously. That is deeply unsettling. I need to work on building the map and soon. I hate that blank space. 😀
  5. I need to make a list of things I want to do outside my working hours. I need to find the time, the place and affordable options for the same.
  6. I am beginning to bring about changes in my lifestyle. The first step was going for morning walks. Today is the 4th day of morning walk and I must say, I am enjoying it. Also starting today, I installed a meditation app and meditated for about 10 minutes. It felt much better than the meditations I did alone. I hope to continue these two positive changes in the future.
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Dissing the city was not my intention through this post. Every city has its pros and cons. And most of the people initially feel their hometown is the best as a major portion of their lives was spent there. It is the same for me. This post was just to clear my head, clarify all the messed up knots there, list it down and work on them. In a month or so, my perspectives might have changed. And it will reflect here in my blog. 🙂

Have  a nice day.

Love,
Ranjini

Narikulam Tharavadu and Nedungad Boat Jetty (Part II)

Narikulam Tharavadu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Read Part I of our trip here: Trip to Kuzhippilly Beach & Narikulam Tharavadu

When the previous post ended, we were seated at the Narikulam Tharavadu dining table, with widened eyes, grumbling tummies and ready to pounce on a sumptuous feast. Before I continue, I’d like to rewind a bit here.

We are a part of this amazing community on Facebook called Eat Kochi Eat. Facebook really came in handy with this group, where Cochin Foodies post their reviews about the new eateries, their discoveries and all sorts of dishes from all sorts of food joints. Within the last four months, I realized that I haven’t visited most of the must visit food joints here. And so, I already covered 4 the week after exams! 😛 This is where we got to know about this Homestay. We had added it in a ‘to-attack’ list and suggested this place to the group for our trip. Before going to Narikulam tharavadu, you are supposed to inform them about the visit, give them a list of food you’ll want and the headcount. We had ordered Chicken fry, chicken curry, beef, Fish fry, chappati & Appam. The quantity of each depended upon who likes what.

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Yummilicious appam, chappati, fish fry, chicken fry, beef
Yummilicious appam, chappati, fish fry, chicken fry, beef

The food was amazing and very much filling. In fact, almost a quarter of it was left after we were done. So, I am talking about high quantity Naadan (Authentic country-side) food, comprising entirely of non-veg at affordable prices! You read that right. The food along with Payasam (Dessert) cost us just Rs. 200 per head. I’d like to add that prices differ with the type of fish you opt for. Even so, the experience was worth much more than this.

We thanked Paul chettan for the food, clicked some more pictures and as per his suggestion, made our way to the Nedungad Boat Jetty nearby. How do I even begin to describe it? As the land tapered to end in the Kollam Kottapuram Waterway, we found ourselves surrounded by water and myriad species of birds. It cannot be compared to a normal beach or a lake view since the landscape was such that, at one point, all we could see was water. I am in loss for words and so, I’ll let my friend’s pictures speak from now on.

The path towards the Boat Jetty area is lined with coconut trees which finally tapers into the water
The path towards the Boat Jetty area is lined with coconut trees which finally tapers into the water
There was a tiny hut and some lambs playing around. :)
There was a tiny hut and some lambs playing around. 🙂
Coconut trees and backwaters - True essence of Kerala
Coconut trees and backwaters – True essence of Kerala

The Boat Jetty was unplanned and the uniqueness of it made the trip all the more memorable. If you plan a visit to Kochi anytime, and if you are looking for a Homestay and authentic Malayali Non-Veg food, Narikulam Tharavadu Homestay is the best choice. I cannot comment on the Vegetarian food since we didn’t have any. Besides, I always have a soft corner for the Tamil Vegetarian dishes. So, I strongly recommend this place for the Non-vegetarians. Also, they have homestay package at Rs. 2000 per night with food for a couple. As promised in the previous post, here are the details:

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Here are the details of the Homestay. Enjoy!

I sign off with a picture of us – The kachara team! The Minions! The Chipmunks! Five extreme people with entirely different characteristics that gel so well with each others’, and ofcourse the Homestay! 😛

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Looks too beautiful right?

Pic Courtesy – All the images here were clicked by these guys ^ 😀

The December Feeling

December 1, 2016 – Amma & I had gone to broadway for some shopping. Since the weather was chilly and it was drizzling, I didn’t take my two-wheeler. We booked an Uber, got down in front of Hotel Sealord and began to walk. It must have been around 7 pm. Marine Drive area was buzzing with life, twinkling with lights and every light was reflected a million times in the raindrops falling silently.
We saw the Mings Dumpling House and decided to go see what Dumplings were since I had no idea until then. Turns out, Dumplings are English for Momos (If there are people who don’t know). So, we had some steamy Momos at quite reasonable rates and then continued our walk.
As we cut across the alley towards Broadway, the black & bronze colored street lamps and the drenched, shiny roads, the streets lined with shops displaying stars, baubles and shimmering what-nots kept reminding me that December had indeed begun!
Ah speaking of Decembers in Kochi! It is one month that announces its arrival in advance. December means winter which is a heavenly time here. December means Christmas. December means streets lined with colorful lights, umpteen varieties of stars, Santa Clauses of different shapes and sizes all around, Christmas trees, twinkling, bejeweled city full of life! The signs of  these are seen from mid-November.
Rest of the city is halfway through the preparations. But broadway! Oh my! Every shop we passed was screaming ‘Christmas’. Stars, streamers, baubles, trees, Santa, and so on. And it was cold after a long time; the nice sort of cold where you just want to close your eyes, breathe in the air and the world comes to a standstill. The one that holds you back from going home.
We hopped from shop to shop, took our time as there was nobody to stop us. I remember how when I was a child, Amma used to take me with her whenever she went shopping. The two of us have been constant companions. She had her Scooty and I’d tag along, hugging her to make sure that I don’t fall off. I was quite tiny, you see! I was supposed to keep talking to her so that I didn’t doze off. Now, I take her around in my Powerpuff (Lavender Pleasure). We enjoy it as much. December is her favorite time of the year too. We love shopping, exploring places, food and looking at all the new arrivals in the market.
We enjoyed a lot yesterday. December started off well – The beginning of another end. After our shopping, we got back home and she kept telling me how wonderful it was and how we missed the brat, my sister. I kept thinking about Christmas and opened my blog for another surprise – The Snow! You can see it right? Every December, it begins to snow in my blog. Being a fan of all sorts of Snows – Jon Snow, white colored Snow & the Snow flake pattern – this adds to my December love!
100 Happy Days – Day 91
As I sign off, linking my first Christmas post in this blog, I wrote 6 years back: Smile – The Joy of Christmas. It has been six years, this blog. Can you believe it?
Christmas posts from 2015:
You see? December isn’t just a month. It is a feeling <3.

A Peahen in my Enchanted Woods

100 Happy Days – Day 89
This green patch of woods and the canal behind my apartment have always been close to my heart. They remind me of the Enchanted woods in Enid Blyton’s Faraway tree series. I could sit looking at them for hours, weaving stories in my head.
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They get all the more irresistible when it rains. During the monsoons, the intensity of the green multiplies manifold and the brown of the trees get browner. The contrast of the green against the brown makes the place look magical & the term ‘Emerald woods’ would come to my mind.
I remember making a Haiku inspired by the place.
The place is infested with snakes and sometimes I find tiny turtles in the canal. Birds of various kinds flock in & out – Cranes, kingfishers, Mynah, Pigeons, Parrots, Black fork-tailed birds and much more whose names I don’t know. But today was a first for me as I found this huge, brown bird walking through the woods. My suspicions were confirmed after I stared at it in awe for a long while. The white head crest and the long neck could never be mistaken.
I found a brown Peahen in my Emerald woods, behind my apartment! ❤
PS – I couldn’t take a picture of the Peahen since it was too far away and blended well amidst the greens & browns. This is my very own magical woods as seen from my window 🙂

The Emerald Tears

 

The skies cried.
The emerald tears
Froze on Earth.

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Note – This is a view from my window this monsoon. The water weeds & the weeds from the woods have merged to give this wondrous spectacle.

Stand Up Comedy Live – Kenny Sebastian

100 Happy Days – Day 85

Happiness is watching Stand up Comedy live

Kenny Sebastian. It hasn’t been too long since I came across the name. I was browsing through FB one day, when I came across an article about his video. It revolved around how Indians had a ‘paavam mode’ that came on at times, specially when abroad. You can watch it here. It is barely 7 mins.

I was on a laughter riot after which I began to dig for more videos. I kept talking to my sister about him and then we watched a couple of videos together. I wanted to watch one of his live performances and even tweeted once saying I wished he would perform in Kochi.

Later some day, I came across his tweet that said he was performing in 8 cities and that Kochi was among them. I immediately checked the site, venue, rates, date and time and realised that the performance would be from 8-10 PM at place quite far away from my house. The place is busy until 9PM, but 10 PM was too late and unsafe for women. Kochi lacks night life. This meant that someone had to accompany me. So, I put off booking the tickets until the last moment.

When the day approached, there was no one who could accompany me and I sort of felt bad. My folks were fine with me going out at any hour provided I had someone to accompany me. I had the freedom, but was unable to exercise it because of the society. I totally understood them.  It was one of those moments when I wished that I were a guy.

The thought made me all the more miserable. I didn’t mind not having any company. I wanted to go alone. I wanted to enjoy stuff by myself. I gave it a lot of thought and then, feeling very dejected, did what most of the people do. Lament on twitter. 😛

I went about my moaning and moping for a while and the next time I checked my mail, I had a reply from Kenneth Sebastian himself. I hurriedly opened my twitter and to my utter disbelief, he said:

Kenneth Sebastian

I sat there smiling broadly for the next ten minutes. I didn’t know what was more overwhelming; that the show ended at 9PM or the fact that Kenny had decided to reply. How could anyone not go for the show after receiving a tweet like that? Pleezzzzzz he had said. 😀 9PM made it easier to convince my folks, book tickets and take off. For the next two hours, I couldn’t wipe that smile off my face.

After an hour of awesomeness, we were told that we could take pictures with Kenny. I was dejected because my phone was ‘hospitalized’ and I didn’t have any with camera. I requested a bunch of girls if they could take my picture and send it to me. They agreed. I had a quick chat with Kenny, took a picture and was on my way home.

Yesterday was special in many ways:

  • That was the First Live Stand up comedy I attended.
  • It was the first time I tried so much to watch a show.
  • I had a celebrity replying to my tweet. (He replies to pretty much everyone.)
  • I ventured out alone for something. I am the kind of person who looks for company whenever I go out. The reason being, when I am alone, I feel like I’m easily spotted while I’m with someone, I sort of feel invisible. Sort of like, getting drowned in a crowd. I should learn to be comfortable alone. It is on my bucket-list 2016.

If you liked the video, do watch rest of his shows and if you want to watch a live performance, you might just get lucky. And so ended a beautiful Saturday for me. How was it for you folks? 🙂

Images from Kenny Sebastian’s twitter handle.