Trivandrum is special for my dad and me...my dad started his career here,he came here when he had to start afresh,he came here coz he had a good opportunity, he came here to make his dreams come true.. so have i!
Kerala is known for its greenery, various art forms,strikes,religion - christianity,amritanandamai(to describe her in a politically correct manner, she is like sai baba but with more power), the people are 'honest', its filled with 'firangs' (a slang for foreigners in hindi)..(atleast thats all i knew about this place)..
Trivandrum to me, is like the palindrome 'malayalam'(one could even apply the theory to kerala) it is the same whether you read it from back or front...you see one picture / one perception / one word / one meaning that is common to all..i might be generalising here, but, thats what i have seen of the people and the 'city'..
Now that i am here, trees - palm or coconut are all i see whether its from office or my house or my cousin's or any building for that matter...coconut makes a large chunk of the exports.. one would typically expect coconut and coconut water to be at its cheapest, but, it is one of the costliest commodities here...
Communist this city definitely is...i see red flags everyday..in fact, those employed at the all too famous hotel pankaj have been on a strike for a year now (the hotel still serves people but the waiters are dressed in black)..
The art forms are brilliant, each one outdoing the other.Nishagandhi, an annual fest just concluded, and i had the chance to see kalaripayattu, panchagatam, and i dont remember some others (one was young girls dancing with oil lamps balanced on their heads, one where the girls tie themselves to a rope which is tied to a tree and knot themselves then go on to unknot themseleves)apart from bharathnatyam and listening to some good carnatic music..A rock concert was organised (which was technically a part of the festival but it happened after the festival was over- the organisers wanted to be politically correct i presume).I suggest you let your imagination run wild coz what i have to say about the concert will pop your ideas like it did to my mood..the concert was by a group called 'red rain' in association with a local band called 'live jam'..and they were a GOSPEL band!!! Explains it all eh? It sure has to me...
Honesty - some are, some are not..its like any other city you would think, but NO...the auto guys swindle you, the vegetable guy swindle, the sales guys at the clothing store swindle, the restaurant guys swindle you...(guys refers to both genders)..the 'firangs' are plenty in number and i dont blame them if they go back and write a book which criticises Indians of being dishonest..i wouldnt agree with them if they chose to see just one city and generalise to a whole country is crazy, but on the other hand, they swindle me - a local, then you can imagine the extent to which a white skinned can be swindled ( some at office tell me for eg - while i pay 60 rs for auto from location 1 to 2, which in itself is too much, the white skinned would pay 150!!!..and the meter shows 40...and THERE IS JUST NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT!!! unless of course you take the bus!or get your own vehicle and then the guy at the bunk will swindle you!)
I am reminded of an old hindi song - 'zara hatke zara bachke, yeh hain mumbai meri jaan'...i would say, 'zara hatke, zara bachke, yeh hain trivandrum meri jaan'..
All said and done, Trivandrum is special...it is teaching me a LOT..i shall survive!!