This was probably my third trip to Trivandrum, but the most exciting one. In the sleeping city, I was restless and sleepless, discovering myself in the company of eminent writers and poets, getting motivated, to do more in life. A gist of my tour..
Day 1. Landed at Suneetha’s place and started talking like it was the end of the world. Her daughter, Nirupama was so sweet to me. There was a monster in the house too-the neighbour’s two year old kid who became very friendly with me. Called me Sharada in a very strange way. That day, we went to a place called Pathayam to have lunch. The place serves 'no masala' healthy food. After a late lunch, we headed to DC books at Statue. Spent a lot of time reading and buying books. (bookaholic me) Then headed for ice cream at Baskin and Robbins. The evening when we went home, Suneetha’s classmate dropped in. Sri lekha was the first writer I met, of course, apart from Suneetha. Sune told me that she writes poems in Malayalam and English. She had also published children’s fiction. I, being me, started off talking like she was some old friend. Bonded with ease and started asking about her writing and requested her to translate some Malayalam poems for me. Though I could understand Malayalam, it wasn’t all that great to understand poetry, but I was glad I was able to crack most of it. And the usual writer’s discussion happened. At night I sat quietly outside, talking when I saw something fly..like fire having wings..fireflies....!!!! I had never seen them in a city and it was such a treat to the eyes. I froze for sometime watching them, what a beauty! It was a great night :)
Went to Pathayam again to have a fruit lunch. Headed to the museum next and spent hours there watching artefacts. I was always this museum loving kind and history takes me into trance. Some great paintings from Raja Ravi Varma and some amazing carvings in ivory. We then met my designer (a super awesome guy) and had a chat talking about self publishing business. Got a nice authentic Kerala saree for myself.
Met a very senior journalist who was on an independent path covering IT news. Spent three hours talking with him on the media issues in India. Intense..then headed to Fab India! Absolutely loved the way the place was decorated. Met an archaeologist. Another interesting person. Had lunch with her in long hours of talking about history. We then headed to meet the editor of a publishing house. She was interested in publishing my photographs on birds as a coffee table book. Why don’t you send me a proposal? I was stunned, surprised. It is nice when people approach you with some offers. She also asked me to send my poems to her, so she can edit. She is among the well-known poets in the country and I was thinking if my poems were worth sending to her. I read her poems, and got goose pimples. Two of her poems were in the collection of the best love poems of the century published by a professor from Oxford. I felt humbled interacting with her. She gifted me a nice pair of silver ear rings. I had no words to thank her for the motivation and support she offered me.
Went to Padamanaswamy temple in the morning and spent a good three hours there. Rich with the history of Travancore kings, this palace left me astounded. Came home and headed to Veli village. Loved sitting by the water. Soon the rain poured and the sea splashed in excitement. After spending an hour there, headed to watch Koodiyattam, the 2000 year old dance. A good two hours at the dance show and a long walk at night in the tiny lanes of Trivandrum made me feel good.I was discovering myself.
Went for a documentary film screening. Saw couple of movies and interacted with the director. Very interesting theme and great direction. The director was kind enough to interact with me. There was another great conversation there. In the evening headed out to another meeting. Met three more writers. One who published her book when she was 19, another one had translated Harry Potter into Malayalam. Did not talk much just listened and kept quiet. Energy saving mode :) Went out shopping.
Met another poet Nayantara. She came to invite Suneetha for her book launch and I as usual started talking. I asked her for an autographed copy of her book and she gladly obliged. It was amazing to see so many writers publishing independently. Then headed out and met the archaeologist again for lunch. As we went out bumped into more people. Met another girl –a computer engineer who became a copy writer. Just doing some freelancing now and want to start writing she said. Seemed like me! Started having random talks. She said she lived with her boy friend. I was shocked, in a place like Trivandrum? That was a shocker for me because even in bigger city like Chennai, boys are not even allowed in the house, forget living together. Save the best for last..went to meet my friend’s parents. Two super cool cats..one actually looked like a miniature version of a clouded leopard. Fell in love!
Then it was time to head back..my player was playing..white flag by dido..lost as always..i went back with fond memories..