Monday, September 18, 2017

To Neelamperoor.

Dateline 17 Sep.

Had gone through our chores and were getting things ready for our forthcoming trip to Neelamperoor with Radhan chettan and Sathi chechi. I was still trying to reconcile with the thought of kicking off from here at the unearthly hour of 0300 hrs through the seemingly ceaseless rain. Meanwhile, around a half past 11, I'd made a dash to the Guruvayur temple to deposit Rajamma chechi's offerings at the 'hundi' that she'd handed over to us during our last visit, for disposal.

Radhan chettan and Sathi chechi had dropped by about a quarter past 2 and it was then that the idea of a kick off for Neelamperoor came into my mind by teatime, as Lekha had to finish the packing. Once the idea had crystallised, it was only but a matter of time that we'd wound up 'The Quarterdeck' and we're all set to leave by teatime.

The rain was holding as we left Guruvayur, by about a quarter to 4, but it had begun falling heavily after we had crossed the toll gate at Paliyekkara. The stretch up to Angamali was comfortable, despite the pouring rain, because of the central median but beyond that, it was pure torture with guys coming from the opposite direction with their headlights on hi beam. Then I made an other mistake by choosing the highway to Kottayam via Koothattukulam, which has been in a state of repair/disrepair since I'd travelled through that stretch almost over a year back. To add to my woes, the stretch of the highway was badly lit and it seemed to stretch on endlessly!

We entered Puthuppally by a quarter to 9 and reached Sarala kunjamma's house by 9. I felt glad that I'd undertaken the trip in the afternoon itself because we're at home much before bedtime. Sarala kunjamma and family had shifted into this house just about a month earlier and they're still in the process of settling down in the huge house but they had accepted us with open arms and that too without any hesitation!

Sarala kunjamma is Puthuvayil Kesava Panicker's fourth and youngest daughter. Her husband, Unni kochachhan had been discharged from a nearby hospital a couple of days back and her daughters, Vrinda, Vidya, their children, Nandu, Achu and Thumbi formed the family. The conversation was boisterous and I was overjoyed to be at the house after a long, long time. The dinner, subsequently, was boisterous and the updates about the 'Puthuvayil' family came in thick and fast.

It was an absolutely late night and we're really tired! A very comforting night at that, too!!


I shall never forget the sight of Unni kochachhan having got his room curtains drawn apart so that he could view me all the time as we sat in conservation. He was happy that we'd decided to stay at his place and was overjoyed that we're gonna be there for the next two days! Felt humbled!!


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