Friday, October 16, 2015

Kochi, August 2015

Hot. The weather is hot. Today's hotter than yesterday or the day before. Yesterday it rained. Suddenly. At about 4 maybe?
I asked a giggly gaggle of schoolgirls how long it would rain. More giggles. One said maybe 15 minutes? And another said don't know. So I asked her an hour? Two days? One year? Giggles. Some nervous this time.

It rained again while we relished toddy in the little Kallu joint at Ponekkara. Drumming on the red tiles as we spoke of this and that and fascinated the gentle drunks. One tittered at our talk, a faded man, clean shaven, Christian or Namboodiri. "Confusion," he offered delicately, a benevolent umpire to our converse. The sweet scrawny regular was almost done and we bowed our byes as he stood up a tad unsteadily but with utmost dignity and went off, umbrella handle tucked into the collar of his shirt.

It's hot. I wore a black silk  kurta to honour the occasion and so it was hotter. I got a headache for my pains but the bevies of young belles in their utmost finery had not even broken into the smallest of sweats. They danced gracefully and with decorum around a lamp after strewing fragrant flowers. And then other girls in more finery sang. My head now ached in earnest. Onam celebrations at a local institute. 

I managed to disappear, found a timely and honest auto and got dropped off at an eatery where we'd had our first dinner here-fish curry and tapioca and I forget what I had that time. Now I ordered toast and butter and tea-my headache comfort food. The tea was small, sweet and surprisingly adequate to the occasion-two huge slices of toast with a bounty of butter. The butter and a small dab of jam were served separately on a small tray. Rs. 30.
That done I bought some headache pills, thrilled to find they were neither Saridon nor Aspirin.
They took some time to do the trick but then, I only took one and I'm still fairly free of pain at 3 in the afternoon and I'd had that at slightly past 12. Kerala, land of pharma!
Did the Mall Rat act at Lulu and Oberon.
Scary window displays.
And the boat ride.
 That was the best part of the trip, although it'd have been much more fun with company.
Well, that's a grumpy intro to the trip and, hopefully, I'll soon entertain you with more about Kochi but in a more cheerful light! 
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