Tuesday, July 17, 2007

God's own dream

The phrase ‘God’s own country’ was originally used for the United States of America. Today, at least in the tourism field, it means Kerala, one of the top destinations in the world.

But have you heard of ‘God’s own dream’? The words in the image on left read ‘Olavipe, God’s own dream, www.olavipe.com’. It is an advertisement on the outer back cover of the book “Padavarambu’ (see: Autobiography of a School). Recently, my brother Jacob (the incumbent at Thekkanattu Parayil) who coined the phrase, and I had a discussion about it.

The dialogue went something like this. God did not directly create Olavipe; the name means ‘made by the waves’. While taking rest on the seventh day of creation, God reviewed his handiwork and was satisfied. But there was a nagging feeling that something was amiss. Suddenly he realized that Adam had been given the best place on Planet Earth, and with his inner eye foresaw that it would be Paradise Lost. There was no destination if he wanted a short break from all the singing and harping and adulation in heaven. He had to have a place.

And he dreamt of one – Olavipe.

But he was in no mood to get back to creation. He assigned the job to nature. The sun worked on the Arabian Sea and there was wind, which generated waves. They rolled in incessantly carrying sand and silt and seashells and Olavipe began taking shape. It was a slow process. So God gave it a push by triggering off a geological phenomenon in 1341 A.D. that closed the ancient Muzuris port which handled commerce from many parts of the world, opened up Cochin harbor and accelerated the formation of Olavipe.

It was then a barren, sandy stretch of land. A few coconuts floated in with the tides and took root. So did ball-nuts. The birds carried the seeds of jackfruit, mangoes and other trees and dropped them on the soil and they germinated. The Olavipe Lake teemed with aqua life – pearl spots, marals, shrimps, scampi, clams, crabs and others. There were still unfilled places on the land - ponds, and canals and low lying areas. But God liked it that way. He told nature to leave the rest to man.

And the humans came. We don’t know from where. They cultivated paddy, and plants that provided edible produce. They were rather lazy as well in the laid back atmosphere. But God was indulgent about that.

When the trees grew the wind was on them and the leaves hummed. And the wind was on the rice fields too, and there was music in the air. Song of the waves of Olavipe Lake was set to that tune.

It took me nearly five-hundred words to say: if God were to dream of a place just for himself it could very well be Olavipe!


Photo: ©Thekkanattu Parayil. Click to enlarge.

Also see: OLAVIPE: Gift of the waves to Kerala, God's Own Country.

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