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Category Archives: Kanyakumari Chronicles


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The simple joys of life – they are the best. It’s amazing how a simple little thing like a flower can boost up the cheer factor of your day quite a few notches. Yesterday, for me, it was my waterlily. I cannot even begin explaining how much joy that single flower brought to my day. Read the rest of this entry

Dr. Indira Surendran – Doctor Without Borders

Dr. Indira Surendran. She was many things to many people, but to me she was the lady who always smiled. I think of her first as my mother’s friend and then as a doctor. She along with her sister, helped one of my sisters through a particularly difficult labor without resorting to a C-Section. She brought into this world quite a few children in my family including my first born, not to speak of the dozens in my extended family. Read the rest of this entry

Trivandrum-Kanyakumari Highway Vs Nagercoil-Chennai Highway; A Tale of Two Roads

During my routine phone call home this morning, my sister mentioned that work is all set to begin on the Nagercoil-Trivandrum Highway in a couple of weeks. Flyover at Parvathipuram, Flyover at Marthandam… I think I heard a host of angels burst into song at that and the rest was lost in the music. Or maybe it was just my heart going into an overdrive of joy. Whatever that may be, it brought to mind this old post I had written five years ago for my column Kochu Varthamanam on
Reposting here in the hope that during my next trip home, I will not be put through the same torture.  Read the rest of this entry

Post 101- Looking Back with Gratitude


WordPress tells me this is my 101st post. Wow! The day I started blogging, way back in November 2006, I never dreamed I would get this far. It all began far, far away in a land called Rediffiland. The Ilanders were a motley crowd of wonderful people. Some of the best blogger friends I made were early dwellers of this mystic place. We all came together, supporting, motivating and being there for each other as we learnt the ropes of blogging. Somewhere along the way, the place unravelled and most of us migrated to WordPress or Blogger. But the friendships that sprouted there haven’t faded away. They merely spilled over to Facebook and continue to thrive.   Read the rest of this entry

Sadhya – The Traditional Feast of Kerala

The sadhyas of Travancore are a study in methodical complexity and ritualistic fervor, comparable only with the elaborate Japanese Tea Ceremony. Right from laying down the ‘thumbela’ with the ‘thumbu’ or tip to your left, to the way you fold it at the end of the epicurean delight, there is an order and significance to each step that is rigorously followed. The sadhya is a bow to every fine art that elevates man above the rest of his fellow creatures.

Picture Courtesy : Durga Rakesh

Picture Courtesy : Durga Rakesh

The serving of the several dishes itself is an exquisitely choreographed routine performed between the narrow aisles of banana leaves, by seasoned artists, with the nimbleness and dexterity that would do a Russian ballerina proud. It takes years to perfect that pirouette to serve the kichadi on either side, in one fluid motion without missing a single leaf or spilling a drop. The assembled sadhya itself is a visual treat – a beautiful painting with its perfect balance of colour and texture or a blockbuster with the perfect cast. Read the rest of this entry

The Golden Goodness of Banana Chips Served the Nagercoil Way

The best snack ever!

The best snack ever!

There’s an easy way to test if one is from Nagercoil (or thereabouts). Just offer him or her chips. Yes, good old banana chips bought from any random place out of town. Chances, are, the Nagercoilite will say, “No thank you,” or just take a couple of them for the sake of courtesy and munch on them half-heartedly. Read the rest of this entry

The Songs of Kanyakumari (1974)

The third and final part by CM on the movie Kanyakumari.


KS Sethumadhavan’s Kanyakumari (1974) had 2 songs in Malayalam written by Vayalar, set to music by MB Sreenivasan. There is an English song credited for its lyrics and music to MB Srinivasan but I strongly contest that and feel a collaborator on the lyrics have been left out. There are two instrumental pieces, catering to two disparate forms of dance as it were, a Shiv Parvati Lasya piece, and a music montage of Jayan’s memories of his Bohemian life, of a life-time of drugs, sex and rock-n-roll.

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