Sunday, July 19, 2009

Karkidakam and the Memories of a Lonely Past

IT HAS been raining all day and night for more than a week now. It is a wonderful experience to listen to the song of the rain, the incessant pelting of rain in the grass, in the paddy, in the rocks and everywhere coupled with the croaking of frogs, the muted noises of birds…

People say the northern parts of Kerala received one of the heaviest rains in recent years in the past few days and as I travel on the city roads and elsewhere in the villages, I see most of the roads inundated, the vast stretches of empty lands on the sides of the new bypass full of water, the Connolly Canal overflowing into the roads and the whole city looking like a vast expanse of water with hundreds of high-rise buildings jutting up like a ship’s mast and the small huts and lonely houses often partially submerged in rising waters, their occupants seeking asylum elsewhere.

The monsoon is a season of nostalgic memories, colourful experiences and immense pain and miseries. It is a season of desolation for those who are trapped in the islands surrounded by rising and flowing water; of heroic acts by those who reach out to them to rescue them to safety; of apathy of the government which often wake up to the miseries quite late and the bold initiatives of local people who always come to the aid of neighbours trapped in their lonely houses surrounded by their flowing household articles and struggling domestic animals…

People talk about the charms of the rains and I have seen many friends from other parts of the world coming to Kerala during monsoon to enjoy the lush rain in all its glory. I did realize that there is something charming in this misery when I was away from my home, living in a small room in Hyderabad where you have little rain and again in Delhi where at times the roads are flooded and then you find not even a rain cloud for months together. Then you start thinking about Kerala, where it comes regularly every June, raining off and on till August when Karkdiakam will give way to the sunny Chingam, the month of Onam, the festival of spring.

Now these are the early days of Karkidakam; the time of penury and hard life for the poor folks; the time for rejuvenation and ayurvedic treatment for those with wherewithal; and the paucity of food in rural households and the special dishes that mothers prepares using leaves of yams and tubers in the yard and the seed of jackfruit, as there is nothing else to eat at home. That used to be the past and I know that must be the reality for many Malayali families even today.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

its knocked my nosalgia, my rains, my rivers, my green places, where i play with small fishing.

really, thanks for your Karkidakam mmomories.

mohamed babu