Thursday, August 31, 2006

Impressions of Cochin - 2

And here are some of the other things that struck me about Kerala :

1. The backwaters are not just beautiful but amazingly clean. Wonder how and why? Where do the villagers dump their waste? And can we in the rest of plastic-bag India not learn a thing or two from them??

2. Banana can be eaten steamed, fried or sauteed. For breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner. And still taste good!

3. Coke and Pepsi are indeed banned. But there are underground channels to procure the stuff - like you have for booze in Gujarat!

4. Gold, gold and more gold. Every third hoarding bears smiling young women - thin, fat, young, middle-aged - weighed down by the precious yellow metal. And oh, you can even take a 'gold loan' at 12% to buy the stuff, wear it and stash it away in a locker.

Also prominent on billboards: apartments for sale and mens' underwear.

5. Buses in Kerala have no windows. I mean glass ones. Perhaps too many have been broken by protesters and unions in the past?

What they protest and unite for is not very clear. On a Saturday morning on M G Rd, I saw a few people holding placards that read : "Down with the Unholy Alliance."

Coke and Pepsi?
Bush and Blair??
Shahrukh and KJo???

Notwithstanding all this, I had a lovely time. Met some wonderful people. Ate good food and drank in some amazing sights. I definitely hope to visit Kerala again. And again.

pics taken with a Nokia 6670 1 mp cameraphone. Not too bad, huh?


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  2. Much of Kerala is hot and humid throughout the year.. So, it helps to have a good air circulation.. dats the main reason why busses have retractable shutters instead of glass windows.. also, we love the wind in our hair when we travel.. :)

    Do visit the place again...

  3. Nice to see an outsider perspective on Cochin :).
    I dunno which places you went to, but the backwaters do get pretty dirty too in many (most in my opinion)places.
    Maybe as tourists, your impression is of air-conditioned houseboats, quaint fishing nets and luxury resorts. The reality behind all this is not so rosy and the effects of so called modernization are having adverse effects on this eco-system too.

  4. NOt bad at all Maam!

  5. Rashmi , You have just seen the periphery of Kerala . Something that is very beautiful which gives a good first impression but which fizzles out once you have a long steady stare at it again .The great hoax of "Gods Own Country" and its consumerist culture . General well being of any state is not only about technology , engineering and IT but it is also about developing human condition as a whole in the region . It is also about providing jobs , developing infrastructure and protecting natural resources . It is as much about preventing the suicides of farmers and jailing those ministers who were accused in sex scandals rather than banning colas and making the state a Microsoft free zone.Sadly something people at the helm has not realised when most of the other states are marching ahead .Anyway nice to know that you had a nice time

  6. Pics not bad at all! I can swear by the Nokia 6670's picture quality. The video quality sucks though

  7. Nice observations. Some more on that:

    1) Gold ads are not prominent only in Cochin/kerala... there are innumerable such shops all over TN and even AP. My hometown - coimbatore - has a whole road dedicated only to jewellery shops. And yes, it goes well with the traditional type of garments that women in the south (i dont mean bangalore) wear.

    2) Buses without glasses are again common all over south india. Actually i think buses have glasses only in mumbai. :) Im not sure though.

  8. great pics! i've been to places all over kerala and keep going back. i love the greenery and the people. and never cease to be in awe of the sarong sellers who speak english (in kovalam)

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Its rumoured that there was a harthal/bandh planned in Kerala against the "American Capitalist Forces" who kicked Pluto out of the Solar System.

  11. Plastic bags are banned in most of the places in kerala...i hope its still banned... ;-)That might explain the clean waters...

    Banana is served for b'fast, lunch and else do we consume all the bananas that we produce...;-)

    Its easy to overlook a basic fact behind all this gold craze...its one of the best investments for all those who have no idea about investments...

    And human resource is one thing that kerala has in abundance and you get unlimited supply for any thing...

  12. Nice to know about your Kerala visit. So, which place is next on your itinerary? Goa??

  13. r u kidding they are camera phone photos and that too just 1 MP.

  14. Politics and population density are too much in Kerala. Yet, you will find it a much better region to live in, compared to many other regions of India.
    -VM (

  15. for a cell phone camera - the pics are too good :)

    nice that you had a lovely time - u should've come to mysore too btw - i bet u wud've loved this place..

  16. not bad for a 1 M cell phone and that too that of a moving bus ... ( In kerala, buses move faster than a pick pocketer's hands )

  17. Thanks for the images Rashmi. I've always wanted to roam Kerala, but never got around to it on my Indian sojourns. Might definitely have to check it out next time I'm back in India.

    PS. You've got a great blog. Keep up the good work, check mine out if you can. :>

  18. Sabu here from SCMS cochin... Hope you remember me..Great for remembering Kerala and thanks for coming...we loved your presence...
    Please be here again and for a longer time and I am sure you will have to change most of your Opinion abour God's own country...


    Three cheers!

  19. I was reading thru the posts u had here... bumped on it accidently... loved some comments, liked some, detested some and even prompted me to retaliate.. which seldom happns. will tell u y u think its a big thing... i have never blogged before and for the first time i had a to retaliate to your comments and i had to start a blog!

    Neways, to the point. Abt ur love/hate relation with kerala... the part one - on how u measure the City's Hipness based on a 8 ppl and the 'model' from banglore thingy .....i cant even fathom how a disco can elevate a city's night life status... we 'mallus' dont dance.... at least not in kerala.... we drink ourselves stupid. I can assure u that i speak for the majority of youth in kerala.

    I have had the opportunity to travel a bit. I am thankful to my job for that.... I've seen places far and wide... i have travelled all over india.... to me 'chennai is stinky.... Mumbai is Hijda town, Delhi is 'rod up my ass' Crowd, Calcutta is fish lovers paradise... never ever have i seen a better place for night life than in kerala...
    I've also travelled to the 'gelf' and to europe, far east and other hip and happening Cities. Somehow, dancing to glory doesnt make me anymore happier than downing 14 drinks of Vodka and goin to sleep.anyways, the point is, dont u think, measuring 'night life' by the number of kids in the mall/ disco a wee too shallow?

    I mean, being a 'dude', having spent most of my growing up yrs and the best part of life in Cochin, I hate my place being judged on one parameter... the freaky friday thingy!.... and u were in taj for chrissakes!!! we dont need the luxurious environs of a disco ... u should have goen to 'Foreshore' road, where friends congregate, talk crap for hrs on end, and go home happy. yes, there are times when i have done the dance and dinner part as well... but hell everyday ?!! No, thanks, Ma'am

    About the backwaters, I think its heavenly. I started appreciating my town after I had travelled.. the backwater cruises are heavenly. But, there is more... ever gone to Wayanad? If u have not, u should. its a piece of land created when god had a lot of time in his hands. I am not promoiting tourism or anything.. just givin u a piece of inside info...

    But, i will understand if u were talking to ur target grp... the late teens -early 20's cuz they might think the world and life in general ends when disco/pubs close down. I am game for a night out like that for about 3 times a year or so.. not more.. cuz i have my friends and family to keep me occupied for the rest of the year. And even if i wanted to have a wild time, i always have Banglore( Which is crappy these days) or my house where i can have BBQs cookout with my friends and family... and noone butmy hassled dog complained

  20. I think, overall, Rashmi has made some good observations. Very inrteresting. I agree with phaqa as well.

    I would like to just comment on one of Rashmi's observations. That is about the strong accent.

    Little bit of background : I live close to Kochi now. But I have lived in the US for years, still travel extensively to US, Europe, Far East and within India. I am yet to see a place that does not have regional influence or flavor in the way they speak English. You go to a nice neighbourhood bar in Atlanta and you will realize that they do not speak like Rosemary Church on CNN. You go to Delhi and you can hear the "Eye-Rron" (Iron), "play-jure" (pleasure) and the likes. You go to Mumbai you get the Marathi influenced version. You go to a London pub and it is miles off from what you hear on BBC. Actually the real UK accent is the strongest one. I find it the most difficult one to comprehend. You really got to pay attention to even follow a conversation. Even within UK, it varies from London to Lake district. So where do you find English without accent? Rashmi please help me to find such a place.

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