Like a Hermit Crab unwilling to get out of its shell, I had so far not moved out of my premises much in Alleppey, though I have been here for a month ( discounting 10 days leave due to Bronchitis and Onam holidays and hartals – which leaves about couple of weeks). The routine is – I catch the 0600 train from Trivandrum to Calicut, get down at Alleppy at 0830, go to my room at YMCA, breakfast and get into the office at 0900 – 0915, work till 1900-1930, walk around for an hour in the dark and slushy roads of the town and back in the room listen to music and yearn for the day when I can go back home. From next week, it is going to be full working weeks; no mid-week holidays. I have to settle down.
Yesterday morning the Hermit Crab crawled out and went for a walk at 0600 hrs. After weeks of incessant downpour, the skies have cleared finally.
The road in front of the YMCA. Alleppey/Alappuzha is coastal, flat country. It is a small town. In the west you have the Arabian Sea ( Beautiful beach), in the east you have the Punnamada Kayal (Backwaters) , the two connected by several canals. Alleppey is the narrow strip/s of segmented earth in between the sea and the backwaters.
How is this for a morning view? Of course, you will learn to ignore the stinking garbage on the other side of the road! :-P
Bicycles in front of a Tuition Centre
Flat, straight roads are ideal for cycling. Alleppey could be the town in Kerala with highest number of bicycles ! I am planning take mine to Alleppey. It is the best way to explore small towns.
At early mornings, a thin veil of mist rises from the water. In the open backwaters, in the vast wetlands and hills of Central Kerala, no sight is more beautiful than the winter mornings with mist. Wetlands are fast disappearing, lakes polluted, the morning mists thin out like ghosts...
I don't know for how long I am going to be in Alleppey. It could be a minimum of 1 year to maximum of 3 years. In my vague plans for future, I do not foresee service in the bank for more than another 2 years. I might take VRS. I am getting old. There are many things to do and places to go before I get weak in my knees.
In spite of my future plans which are as hazy as a back-lit photograph, I will come to terms with my present; the weekly visits home, the frantic, warm welcome from Sancho and Sally, the hectic work - and this little town. I might come to like this place with its decadence, its crumbling old godowns, shops whose interior hasn't changed since the 50s, where bicycles still outnumber motor vehicles, where you find men more in Mundu than trousers - where I will find many new strange things. I will come to terms with my life. I shall, like I said in an earlier post, glean happiness out of solitude.
******** Balachandran V, Trivandrum, 24.09.2011