Back after another break...
Although a bit late, here's wishing you all a very happy new year and a happy pongal.
Had been to India the past few weeks. Had gone there just after the rains had done their ravage and the whole country side was fresh and green with all the waterfronts full. All the small lakes (yerri) were full and I had the joy of seeing a "Full Cauvery" after many years. Although the Sun TV had claimed huge damages everywhere, it was not as reported. Some roads were battered very badly and some of them were in really good shape. This was a surprise, as I had expected most of the roads to have been washed away, considering the floods. Only the low lying plains and sites close to the river were affected.
An example of what privatization could do to the country was seen from the Reliance Petrol Pumps...something to be proud of. It was up to international standards with beautiful gardens, large area, clean toilets and good drinking water!!! Some portions of the National Highway (NH45) between Trichy and Chennai were also very good. Three way lanes with clear markings and no potholes!!! There were also areas with small buildings, which were marked for Trucks. This is for the lorries and trucks, when they want to take a break. A nice concept to ensure lorries and trucks don't occupy the highway and disrupt the traffic. Most of these roads reminded me of Malaysia and unsurprisingly, came to know that the road contracts were given to some Malaysian company!!!
A cool breeze was always blowing in Trichy and there were drizzles almost every evening. The buildings in Thathachariyar gardens were affected by the rains, with floods covering almost the whole of the ground floor. In a way I felt that they warranted what they got. Disrupt nature and nature would disrupt your life. I heard that many of them have now vacated their houses in ground floor and gone to other places.
My husband's place is a small village next to Trichy and I love going there. Especially the visits to the fields are a treat. This year the visit was extra special, since my daughter is big enough to enjoy the fields and cows. We need to wade through a small river (oodai) to reach the fields. Normally the river is dry and we go directly to the fields by car or bike. This time, we had to stop the car a good distance away and wade through the knee high water. The water was crystal clear and cool. The nearby fields were a treat to the eye with sunflowers in full bloom and lush green paddy. The oadi karai (river bank) had tamarind trees and we plucked raw tamarind to eat while we made our way to the fields. My daughter was excited with each and everything that she saw and the pump set (a small tank where the water is pumped out from the well) was her heaven. With a doting grandfather ready to satisfy all her wishes and whims she had a whale of a time. The way she played in the water and the amount of illaneer (tender coconut ) that she drank had me worried about her health.
All these bought back memories of my childhood at my granny’s place. The raw tamarind that we used to pluck from the neighbor’s fields and the way we used to play in the water in the pump-set. Oh…for those good old days!!!