Monthly Archives: September 2010

Destination :Mallikaserry

[ I have enrolled in a 12 weeks( read more than 12 ) travel writing course with the Matador University. As a part of our course work we have to write articles and publish them in our blog. This piece is part of the third assignment in which we have to write a piece on our hometown. The aim is to give the reader a unique sense of the place.]
I sigh as the power goes again. I make a mental note of all the things that will not function now. My list includes the water pump, the television, the internet, the oven, the food processor and oh my god the fan! I silently say a requiem for the cake that I have been trying to bake since morning. I struggle out of my comfortable deep-seated arm-chair strategically placed near the French windows. The cool marble floor feels good against the naked soles of my feet. I go looking for my mother.
I walk barefoot into the kitchen. I pass by my lazy sleeping dog and step into the yard. I clumsily kick a mat of pepper corns drying. The corns scatter around the cemented portion of the yard. With lightning speed I run into the kitchen and with the same speed I run back out with a broom. Everybody in Mallikaserry is aware of the fact that pepper corns once mixed with sand is as good as sand. I gather the corns and the dust that comes with it. I leave the broom lying next to the corns. I know someone will need it before the end of the day.The search for my mother takes me past freshly laundered clothes laid out on the grainy sand, past a solitary rose apple tree, past a cluster of mangostene trees in fruit and ends by a row of rubber trees that mark the boundary of our land.
Amma is holding an umbrella shielding her from the sun while Papanchettan our estate helper is planting a row of crotons.Amma looks up and smiles at me.
Amma the power is gone,…. again.”
“It will come back… again”, mimicking me.
A strong gust of wind blows the dried leaves about us. Papanchettan looks sky wards and says” it will rain today”.
I smirk inwardly. There was not a cloud in the sky to shield the sun’s rays. Forget about rain!
I stand and watch for a while , then decide to go back.
As I turn to leave Amma tells me to hang the laundered clothes on the clothes line in the shed.
“When it starts to rain” I say not really hearing her.I barely get past the solitary rose apple tree when the first drops fall. I run to the yard, pick up the clothes and run towards the shed, tripping over the corns of pepper again. I mentally pat myself on the back for leaving the broom where it is. I drop the clothes, gather the corns yet another time into the mat, balance the mat and the clothes and continue the sprint.
I reach the shed a little after the drops get bigger. Panting I drop the clothes and carefully place the mat on the ground. A few corns stray. I let them be.
I sit on the dirty floor of the shed and begin to laugh. I have been home for about a week and this is the most rushed moment I have had so far. This puts the deadline hurries and the office rush time traffic of the big city to shame.
The drop drop rhythm change to a pitter patter. I walk out into the yard, suddenly realizing that I am still barefoot.
I let the rain soak me.I look around me.
This is Mallikaserry.A quaint farming village in the south of India; Where the most pressing decisions of the day are the dinner menu, the mission- critical tasks are the ones that involve saving laundry and pepper corns from the rain.
This is Mallikaserry. This peaceful village rotates around its own axis. Cakes take longer to bake. Money grows on trees, rubber trees to be precise.
This is Mallikaserry. And this is home.
Categories: India, MatadorU Assignments | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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