Friday, July 03, 2009

Tackling the Tag

Thank you Mathew for the tag. Like you said, it’s a tag with a difference. So here I go - - -

Four places you have lived

My Ernakulam where I grew up – So different from what it is now. The first high rise was SeaLords hotel (early sixties), on the Shanmukam Road – now the Marine Drive Road. The road had a parapet overlooking the backwaters. The entire male youth of Ernakulam used to gather there in the evenings on the pretext of getting some “fresh air” (kaatu kollaan). I’d call it a hub of male gossip. For a long time, Laxman, Padma, and Menaka were the only theatres. Then, in the late sixties, the air conditioned Sridhar came up. The Big Fisherman was the first film screened. Soon Kavitha, Shenoys and Little Shenoys appeared. Oh, I could go on and on. Wish I could turn the clock back.

Today it is in Bangalore. When I lived there, it was half hour drive to Whitefield from Bangalore. Do check out my blog on Whitefield.

Did my masters there. Loved it then. Love it now, despite the fact that I was detected with a deadly disease while I was there three years back. Thought I’d never want to go back there. But I did go back and found that I have no quarrel with that metro.

Thought it was a cruel blow that life dealt, catapulting me from Chennai to this small town in Mid Travancore, known for its extreme orthodoxy. But I survived it, and this place taught me the valuable lesson that, if you scratch the surface, all human beings are the same.

Four TV shows you love (d) to watch

Remington Steele – saw Pierce Brosnan first in this serial. Liked him better there.

Water Rats – How I used to love this Australian serial. You must have guessed by now that I love watching the dishyuum dishyuum type.

Bodyline: that marvelous serialized story on the Bodyline technique used by the English cricket team under Douglas Jardine, in order to win the ashes. I was thrilled to learn that senior Pataudi, then playing for the English team, was the only one who objected to the unethicality and unsportsmanlike nature of the technique. Pataudi was confronted by Jardine with the snide remark: “I understand that His Majesty is a conscientious objector?” Remember “conscientious objector” was the derisive term popular in England during WW II to refer to the anti war group led by Bertrand Russell. I was fascinated that Pataudi stood out in that spineless team. The serial was telecast by Doordarshan in ’86.

We the People & The Big Fight. These two NDTV shows are my all time favourites.

Four places you have been on vacation

Nilgiris - I love the hills. In addition to the beauty of the place, it brings back memories of a vacation with my family at the invitation of my dear brother who passed away since. He was a priest and the Principal of a school there.

Delhi – Visited the capital when my children were small. It was soon after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. My 4 year old son stunned and embarrassed and scared us by pointing out his finger at a turbaned person and shouting at the top of his voice TERRORIST! My husband and I looked apologetically at the man who smiled understandingly – God bless him! We stopped in our tracks and explained patiently who the turbaned people are, and that just because Indira Gandhi’s assassin wore a turban, it doesn’t mean all those who wear turbans are terrorists. He listened seriously, nodded and as we straightened up and resumed our walk, out shot his forefinger again and he started his terrorist siren again. He didn’t go beyond TERR - - – I clapped my palm over his mouth. I think he thought it was good fun, ‘cos he repeated the performance. This time my daughter sealed his mouth. I then had to deal sternly with him after that.

Aurangabad - Ajantha Caves. Incredible sight. What could be the motivation for the unbelievable human effort in those days when no proper tools were available?

Mysore – Tippu’s palace, St Philomena’s Church, Brindavan gardens, Museum, Das Prakash hotel and memories of my father taking us children around - -

Four of your favourite food

Tapioca and fish curry (Kappa vevichathu and meen curry)

Chinese fried Rice/Noodles – real Chinese

Sharkara payasam

Prawn fry – Kerala style.

Four places you would rather be

Guess would rather be means I’d like to visit.

Darjeeling: Don’t know why I am so fascinated by the place. Maybe, something to do with my previous incarnation?

Stratford on Avon – Wish Shakespeare haunted the place!

China – I’ve never been more curious about a country.

The land of the Eskimos – I hear there are cruises from Canada.

Four things you hope to do before you die

Start a language lab to demystify the angrezi language for the benefit of mallu youth from moffusil areas.

Contribute my bit towards creating an ideal work culture in Kerala

See the shooting of a stunt scene.

Read all the books I foolishly bought to read after retirement.

Four novels you wish you were reading for the first time

Wuthering Heights – Gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.

Calcutta Chromosome – Get through the first chapter and you’ll find this an unputdownable(love that manglish term) book.

We, the Living – prefer it to The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged

Scarlet Pimpernel Books- Though I suspect I won’t enjoy those as I once did. Wish I were that age when I could enjoy them - - -

Four movies you can see over and over

Vadakkunooki Yanthram – For that matter all Srinivas movies. A genius, that man!

Lal Salaam or Sanmansullavarkku Samaadanam –most Mohanlal movies. He’s an institution in acting!

A Few Good Men – Must have watched it a dozen times – ready for another dozen –Don’t ask me why I like it so much.

Benhur – Been seeing it from the time I was a kid. Guess I can relate to it. It’s about what I believe.


  1. It is good to know more about you. Laxman and Menaka have become relics of the past. Laxman has been replaced with an apartment complex and a business has replaced Menaka.

    I have always wondered why Broadway in Ernakulam was called so when a friend explained this was the broadest street in Ernakulam at that time. Now, you can hardly take a bike in that road!

  2. _Oh, I could go on and on_

    Please do :)

  3. There are lot of my favourites in there too..Changnacherri is my native..though i visit the place only during my vacations...Mysore being a place i worked for more than 2 years too..

    Tapioca and fish curry....a delicacy unbeatable...often the dish at home when we all get together and it helps that its a huge favourite with everyone at home...i finally found a shop here where we get kappa..should try it out sometime..though i love to have it on a plantain leaf than a regular plate..;-P

    and am quite a fan of Sreenivasan too..i think the actor along with Thilakkan are jewels malayalam film industry..and we are lucky to have them..
    thanks a lot for doing the tag btw.

  4. i am revisiting remington word,pierce brosnan .sigh.

  5. It was great knowing you through this tag!

  6. @nona
    i remeber the days when broadway was not braod but not congested - could drive through and get parking easily. the landmark shops -chakolas and hasani - are not there now.

    dont challenge me:-). know to be greatest rambler on earth.

    tried tapioca-fish curry a la german style yet?

    @ renu
    hey how r u revisiting remmington steele? do give link


  7. So you are an English teacher in a Changanacherry college, and educated in Chennai.

    You know what, I am from a more rual area of Kottayam district, and the Changanachery christian folks used to look down upon as lesser people; they were apparently the aristocrats.

    Glad to say that after a while I could escape all those consideration, leaving myself onto the bosom of mother India. ..

  8. Aww now I gotta hunt for these novels and movies! But Wuthering Heights and goose-bumps? Really? I must have missed something when I read it - hmm maybe a few 100 pages.

  9. I share the kappa meen curry bit. It is THE combination :-). There is nothing like our home grown recipes. Always mouth watering stuff.

    Srinivas movies is a class apart. He's got this ability to make a tiny incident to a full fledged movie. All his movies has a standard of its own, the only bit that he would degrade his own role in the movie. But he is good at that. :-). Mohanlal, another brilliant actor. But sad that his recent movies are not up to his old self.

    It was a good read.

  10. Unputdownable .. Is a better sounding word not available to express the idea?

    The Germans create such words on the fly all the time. Sometimes in German newspapers such words can fill the length of a usual sentence in English or Malayalam.

  11. @ anon
    dunno. but i love some of those manglish words.reflects the mallu sensibilities so much.


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