First things first. After visiting all the temples as planned we had our breakfast and returned to our room for a catnap; but I was making a mental picture of that place where we lived long long ago. Without any rhyme or reason my mind fished out the slogan, “Mahatma Gandhi ki jai, Pandit Nehru ki jai…..India will be free……” Then that song, “lenthakkuru kondoru…..” and I remembered that intoxicated man who used to sing that song every evening as he moved along that narrow path with erratic steps…..everything was clearly visible to my mind’s eye. Soon I returned to the real world so that I won’t go to that place with any pre-conceived notion.

A couple of kilometers away from the city the place I was longing to see had changed a lot. All those coconut trees have disappeared and there were ultra modern houses and broad roads. My initial enthusiasm seemed to vanish because nothing resembling the picture I have in my mind of that place could be seen. But the auto driver assured that in a couple of minutes all my doubts will vanish. “Just look at that pool”, he said and there it was! The very same pool where we (my mom and siblings) used to have our bath every morning. The banyan tree at the corner of the pool was very much there.

Then I wasted no time, I stood under the banyan tree for a while, “dirty fellows, this big soap will last only for two or three days”, our mom used to tell us while removing the dirt from our feet. The home where we lived was only a few yards from that pool. My excitement knew no bounds when I located that compound. Of course, the old house has disappeared and there was a big one. But to my joy that well was very much there, though it appeared very small now. In those days, it looked so big and fearsome, may be because of the nightmarish experience I had had one evening when no elders were at home.

I moved slowly along the narrow path close to that house. It was familiar to us in those days, and believe me or not, though it is long ago since we left the place the narrow path has not changed a bit. “Mahatma Gandhi ki jai”….. or that familiar song, “lenthakkuru kondoru…..” kept ringing in my ear when I moved along that narrow path.

Suddenly I was reminded of the auto rickshaw driver who was waiting for me near the pool. And I returned to that place with a sense of fulfillment.

Author: P U Krishnan

First things first. I am one of those retired chaps who are young at heart. I watch cricket matches and jump for joy when Tendulkar scores yet another century. I read newspapers and books too, though I am not crazy about them. I think I have a mind free from hatred and I owe it to the wonders of nature and music. I scribble something now and then and call myself a writer! Though I have settled in Ooty, a lovely hill station in Tamil Nadu—I must emphasize the fact that I was born and brought up in Tellicherry in North Kerala and studied in the good old Government Brennen College. Of and on, my mind goes back to my ancestral house at Tiruvangad in Tellicherry in front of an ancient Sri Ram temple. I am indebted to this wonderful place which inculcated in me a love for cricket and literature. But all said and done, I am an Indian first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *