I started this WP account because:
- I am missing writing – used to be a prolific blogger till about a few years back- Nov 2005 to be precise
- I love and am passionate about wildlife & travel
- Am a photographer (call myself TheLazyPhotographer)
- I thought that this would be a fun way to combine everything and also explore an avenue to see if it would fund at least partially, my jaunts.
So, as the first post, I chose an entry from my now defunct blog, an entry about my hometown Cochin (or Kochi) because I think this post is an apt beginning.
This entry was first published on September 7, 2004 and has been reproduced here ad-verbatim without any edits. Any updates or comments are in red italics and within parenthesis. This was initially written with the idea of developing a whole series, but true to my nature (which I hope to change now) I never got around to it.
Some of the fun things to do in cochin. Not Kochi 😀
This post is for Anita Rodricks,(Anita was the Nome-de-plume of a journalist and I used to love her blogs)a whose blog I have been frequenting for a few months now. I had promised her this entry.
My favourite thing to do is to go to Fort Cochin and hang out there. A section of the city that still bears testimony to the Dutch, French and the British. You can clearly see the influences of the same in architecture, cuisine and the culture. I usually just spend hours walking down the roads and alleys gaping at the buildings, browsing through the antique shops and then stopping for a bite (excellent coffee and continental fare and yummy home made cakes) at Kashi Art Café and settle down with a book there for an hour or so, leaving my mobile phones at home. I have met some really interesting characters at the Café. One of them is a painter called Joshe who was in the news recently because a bishop had his painting banned by the court – a painting of Jesus with a Bindi. I come out completely invigorated after these sessions. There is also the marine walk, with its ancient canons and boilers on display and dotting this are the little shacks selling fish with a difference- YOU BUY, WE COOK. You select your fish and they will serve it piping hot, fried or curried. And the fish is fresh “the day’s catch” as they call it. I love to spend time on the beach, reading. The beach though now is totally dirty with a lot of trash and refuse, still retains its charms.
Another one of my favourite haunts is the maze like alleyways of Mattancherry. Walking down these alleys, with the strong smell of spices (the first spices exchange) permeating the air so thickly that it clings to your clothes you will be lost in a totally different world. Shops selling all kinds of stuff. I found a 1958 issue of theatre arts which carried the first print version of Becket’s Godot in one of the shops there for Rs. 25. The bugger knew I wanted it and hiked it to 25. If I hadnâ€™t had that gleam in my eyes I would have prolly got it for 10. (I am a theatre graduate and was very active in the amateur and school theatre scene at that time) I get my imported liquor and my tobacco from a self styled bootlegger. There is my favourite textile shop “Mathews” a tailor who specializes in kurtas only! He has been making kurtas for 25 years and it was his dad before that. And if you are interested, there’s the Jewish Synagogue and the Palace. I do drop in occasionally. The curator at the synagogue now doesn’t bother to welcome me with a smile. and by the way there are some shops that sell “antiques” and also Belgian glass lamps and a variety of other bric-a-brac. A small restaurant, I forgot the name used to be my favourite there. It’s closed down now. Like my friends say, it closed down since I stopped going. The thought of their appams and ishtew has me drooling already. If I am plush with funds, I immediately take a boat- that’s the best way to go there! I must be crazy.. I go about a kilometer in the opposite direction and then walk to the jetty and board the boat. Get down at the Mattancherry jetty and head to the second hand book vendors first… and then its bargain time 😀 There’s loads more to do here.. including the clichéd tourist packages!
And another one of my favourite things is our impromptu boat parties. (I used to be a working partner & Creative Director at an Event Management Firm, and we used to specialize in parties as well) Someone or the other gets into a crazy trip and hires a boat (another friend’s). It’s a house boat complete with speakers and dance floor lights and a strobe. In a matter of 30 mins all of us – about 20 of us are networked and at the high court jetty with supplies: eats, drinks and smokes. We call in my Deejay from office and it’s tripping on classic rock and hip hop occasionally till around 5- 5:30 am. Had one recently, where I was told I was doing a pole dance on the boat. Didn’t believe it till I saw the clipping on my partner’s mobile. I will perhaps upload that someday. It seems I went really wild, forgetting everything! I was on a major trip with Tull and booze and I was making King of the world a-la-Titanic on the prow it seems. I gave one of our friends a complete lecture on Aristotle and modern stage. OW!!! I’d have kicked the person if somebody was doing that to me.
Phew this has put me into a nostalgia trip. Haven’t done any of these since I took up work at this firm since March. Have to find time to do it again. Dusted my camera and have set it up. Now to go off on one of my jaunts to fort Cochin and island. Another place I love Wellington Island. (the idea was to cover old and charming parts of Cochin… will pick up where I left off sometime soon)
Anita, can give you more another time and I forgot to mention: Its sea and sea and more of it here in Cochin and you will never tire of it! An endless blue expanse…Hope you like this…was on my own trip as was writing this:) and didn’t want to sound like one of those brochures that I write for clients ‘azure blues’ and ‘emerald greens’ and what not. Plus an excuse for an entry:D (Used to moonlight as a content writer as well in those days)