30. Tracing the Origins

@Perumbavoor, Kerala, India.

Everything had to begin somewhere and for me it all began at Perumbavoor, until the second beginning at Alwaye. Kothamangalam was never a beginning though, as it always existed as the shadow of reality. It kept the roots, but a tree has to grow beyond the walled area, beyond the outer fence into the roads. This is where Perumbavoor comes into the scene, as the harbinger who brought the foreshadow effect of what Alwaye was to bring into the picture. But the world was old and the circumstances were different and therefore, what it brought was erased upto an extent by a newer Aluvaite effort for supremacy, with it’s superior and a much more developed world, with not only better roads, buildings and proximity to the city of Cochin, but also due to the inception of a new type of life based on a typical society which was needed for me at that time. The transformation from Perumbavoor to Aluva was a grand one, and the initial graph went up at a rate which could have brought eternal doubt into the minds of millions, but it all came back to that point of neutrality and not much had changed in essense, as it was figured out and the right point between the two, blessed by that shade of Kothamangalam was reached soon enough.

Perumbavoor is located about thirty three kilometres from the city of Cochin and lies in the middle of Aluva, Angamali, Muvattupuzha and Kothamangalam, connectiong these four towns. The Main Central Road lies between Angamali and Muvattupuzha and the Aluva Munnar Road between Aluva and Kothamangalam, both passing through the centre of the town of Perumbavoor creating occasional traffic problems which are sometimes quite huge and bigger than one expect. The roads are not bigger, but it hasn’t really created much relief around. Perumbavoor has been an industrial town and it also had it’s own attractions in the form of Iringol Kavu and also various locations on the banks of the river Periyar somewhat away from the town centre. The town is also close enough to Kalady which leads the people to Malayattoor and Kanjoor while Kodanad and Paniyeli Poru are quite close, the first two religious and the last one a tourist destination of natural beauty. The town also has it’s share of temples, churches and mosques and most of the religious groups have some strong presence in the town and around it.

Perumbavoor is not too far away from the airport either, as it is easily accessible by taking a left turn from Kalady. Perumbavoor also has many immigrants from other parts of India, especially North, most work in the plywood and other related industries around. This, along with the bigger roads and a few shops are what has brought some change into the town after I left the place about ten or eleven years ago. The famous religious centres of Vallam, Kuruppampady and Pulluvazhi remains almost the same and the use of town in the journey to Kothamangalam and Muvattupuzha has been less these days too, with the discovery of routes through Vallam and Valayanchirangara removing the possible problem of a traffic jam which is always possible considering the importance of the route and the way it passes through the centre of the town where there is almost no place for parking vehicles without creating trouble for the bigger four wheelers. The simplicity of the town which I saw as a kid has vanished, but that is still development, something which has to happen with a fly-over or a bypass which hasn’t really occured, but that was built in Aluva when there was no need at all, which is quite strange a thing.

Perumbavoor used to be a place of so much peace away from the heavy urban areas. But just like any other area around, it also had to change in such a way that it would carry the torch of change to the other cities which lies beyond it, as we look from Cochin. Kothamangalam and Muvattupuzha will also change, and sooner or later they will be crowded in the same way. The good thing which has happened to the town in the last few years is the EVM Cinemas, which I would consider as one of the best theatres around, unlike the other theatres in the same town and the other muncipalities around. It deserves to serve as a centre of movie watching for people from even bigger towns. The town has also evolved with more places for food, but it has lost it’s Indian Coffee House which I visited for so many years; now the closest one is at Kalady, followed by Aluva with the newest of the branches. Most of the older restaurants hasn’t really survived either; the bakeries had mixed luck though. But there are some areas which look unaffected, they look exactly the same; not only the buildings, but the people who didn’t change at all, and that is a real good thing.

The land where the tea drinking started, not as a practice or as a competition; but as something which had to happen; the place where the earliest of school days where spent; to be honest, most of the school days. Tea and school are in no way inter-related, especially at those earlier stages, as those were the days of sip-ups and ice creams which clearly had that advantage over tea. I had blessed two schools of the area with my presence even if I doubt if they will consider that much of a blessing, having a kid who was always so adamant and always thinking in that route which might be kind of different or strange. I spent nine long years in these two schools combined and was the perfect nerd who scored heavy in exams until I moved from this place. May be Perumbavoor had induced in my brain that power of study, that boon which it started taking away slowly as I moved further away from the place when I changed school and house. Those were good days with wonderful people and what followed me to my new place was tea, stronger than ever before. The new place gave me an effect of three though, with Shake, Biriyani and Tea, to be termed SBT in short and the two new addictions lived for about eight years before bowing down to tea as they slowly faded away.

As the milk shakes looked at tea with reverence, the hot drink which I can claim to have consumed more than most of the people who are twice older than me, has kept those links with Perumbavoor as well as a few other places around, strongest being at this one town and Kothamangalam, linking on to Aluva. When we find those flashbacks and make movies like X-Men: Origins, this is where it goes back for me; I am no Wolverine and I am no mutant who is called into X-Men or looking for some job with someone who is referred to with a single English letter which becomes a Vin Diesel movie if two more of the same kind is added to it’s both sides. This one would track my origins, my past which is synchronous with my present and future, as it never really existed without each other; my past lives with me and so does my future; it is just that the first one changes the latter at times when I think, at those times when the present is just a spectator. I would live in the present, but I also think in the same tense which makes the past the most powerful of the three, followed by the future; the absence of future sometimes comes into the mind, but it is also a kind of future which will gain something from the past-inspired present which stretches it’s arms towards what comes after it, the future.

Diving out —>