Friday, June 25, 2010

Apologies for AWOL, rains in Cochin

For a few months now I have not been paying due attention to my blog. It has been a kind of absence without leave. Some of the regular readers have been kind enough to write to me about it. My apologies to them, and to those who made comments on my posts and did not receive any response.


For the last few weeks I was in Kerala. This was my first trip after the cardiac bypass operation I had in September 2009. I did not even touch a computer there. It was a time of getting together with the family and friends, visits to the club, and attending a few functions. Had a lovely time.


Chennai and Kerala are, as you know, in different weather zones – sweltering heat at one end and pelting rains at the other. Singing in the rain was not on cards. Neither was walking in the downpour without an umbrella. But it was nice being driven around. At the moment the Cochin roads have smooth surface. It is likely to be another story after the monsoon. Good while it lasts.


Olavipe, my home village is all green, just like the rest of Kerala. But it looks better on TV. Last week an interview with my younger brother Hormis Tharakan (former RAW chief) at Olavipe was on the mini screen and the place looked great.


An equally alluring spot is the beautiful riverside house of a cousin, Mathew Manipadam, at Udayanapuram near Vaikom. For the first time in my life I saw yellow hibiscus flowers there. I was really stunned by it. A couple of photos I took of them are reproduced below:




The construction activities in Cochin seem to be slow. Probably the reason is the heavy monsoon. A friend who is in real estate told me that there are not many land transactions. The rates quoted are high but very few deals are concluded. One can see a number of buildings in various stages of construction. Some have prominent “For sale” boards. It is also said that lack of clarity in the new land registration rules discourages land transactions.

Given here is a photo of a building I liked.



The structure looks beautiful, rising from the cluster of trees. Imagine it is in a city!


Cochin still has a number of coconut palms. Here is the picture of a high yielding one.



Such trees are not common in Kerala these days. Not much care is given to them. The main reasons for this are (1) it is difficult to get workmen, (2) the wages for unskilled labour is around Rs.300/day, (3) those who climb the palms to pluck the nuts are very few and charge heavily, and (4) the prices the farmer gets for the nuts are uneconomic.


The next is the picture of a special variety of coconut tree from Manipadam house. I believe that it starts yielding in 18 months! But the oil content in the kernel is low. Therefore it is not a commercially viable proposition.



Kerala is slowly changing from the land of coconut trees to a concrete jungle. It is so sad.

Well, I am back in Chennai. The weather gods here are really kinder than they were last month. I am looking forward to keeping up my blog with regular postings.


[Click on photos to enlarge.]


17 comments:

Jothish said...

Dear Mr Tharakan, nice to see you back after a long time. I do have one uncle by the name of Mathew Manipadam, whose house is at Udayanapuram. Since he does not live there now, I assume that your cousin could be a cousin of my uncle. :)

Nona said...

Welcome back. :)

ER Ramachandran said...

Welcome back ... You knit your words along with painting the landsacpe.. Thank you Mr. Tharakan
ERR

Sunita said...

Wonderful to see you posting again! I'm so glad to hear you're better; I guess green Olavipe worked its magic on you :)

Gauri Gharpure said...

I am here after a long time and as usual, it was a pleasure to read your post with good photos...

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Happy to see you back. Very nice pictures.

Ashvin said...

Dear Mr AT, just today I was thinking of asking Nebuchettan about you, slightly worried about not hearing anything for a long time, and there you are....

For your next trip to Olavipe, we must meet up as I am moving back to Kerala....

Abraham Tharakan said...

Hello Jothish, the two Mathew Manipadams must be cousins. By the way, the father of the Manipadam I mentioned was also named Mathew.

Abraham Tharakan said...

Thank you Nona.

Abraham Tharakan said...

Thank you ERR. It is a great compliment that you have paid me.

Abraham Tharakan said...

Sunita, nice to hear from you again.

Abraham Tharakan said...

Thank you Gauri.

Abraham Tharakan said...

Thanks a lot, Raji.

Abraham Tharakan said...

Ashvin, I do look forward to meeting you on my next trip to Kerala.

Meera's World said...

great to see you back:)those yellow chemparathy looks so beautiful.

Abraham Tharakan said...

Thank you Meera. Actually my photo does not do full justice to the beauty of the yellow chemparathi.

Kariyachan said...

Dear AT Sir;
Nice to know you are in sound health and spirits.