Friday, March 12, 2021

Unique hometown sojourn

I left Kerala, my home state, way back in 1988 when I landed my first job in Bhopal. Ever since then, I have worked in many cities, wherever my work has taken me. 

In January-February, thanks to work from anywhere, for the first time in the past 32 years, we (my wife and I) stayed in Kerala for close to one and a half months. That was never possible before because the duration of "long leave" from the office is usually a week or 10 days or at the most two weeks.

For as many as 43 days -- from January 9 to February 21 -- we were in Kerala. Now I can say, "Though I haven't worked in Kerala, I have worked from Kerala." 

It was at times an odd feeling. Because I have always been in my hometown only on holiday. And this was the first time I was working as well. It took some time for me to adjust to this new reality.

My home is in the countryside, in the midst of trees. Every day, I used to wake up to fresh air wafting through the open windows and to the sound of birds. A walk on the undulating pathways in the neighbourhood, soaking in the early morning sunlight and the refreshing coolness of the verdant surroundings. The air is clean and the nights are pitch dark, the peace and quiet occasionally punctuated by the chirps of insects. 

The greenery can be truly energising. This was in the backyard.


Thanks to the pandemic, our visits to friends and relatives were very limited. In January and February, the number of daily cases was quite high in Kerala, though our neighbourhood was relatively free of it. We chose not to visit some people rather than risk spreading the virus. Now the numbers in Kerala has come down.

Kerala's temples are well known for their architectural beauty. Below is the Kallooppara Bhagavathy temple. 


One of my nieces made this out of paper:


Below is her artwork on a wall in the house. I am very happy that the parents didn't stop their children from drawing on the walls. You know at a particular age, kids prefer to draw on the walls rather than on a paper or drawing board. They grow out of it soon.  


Somewhere before Hosur in Tamil Nadu on our way back from Kerala. 


I wanted to click the setting sun, but I was a bit late to take out my camera.


We are back in the hustle and bustle of Bengaluru (Bangalore), with some wonderful memories of a (working) holiday in Kerala.










14 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    So glad to see you back in Blogville, Padeep - but what a wonderful place to work from!!! It would surely have been a bit of a wrench to leave there? Many people here have found working from home to be better in so many ways, that a lot of companies are now looking at working more flexibly like this... one of the many changes brought about by the pandemic. Glad you have all stayed well. YAM xx

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    1. Hi Yamini - You are right. Not surprisingly, many employees are also reluctant to go through the commute blues to get to office, and prefer to work from home. The only flipside though is that the division between home and office is quite blurred.

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  2. I am glad you were able to go back to your home and live there for an extended time. I know how it feels. A few years ago I was on a temporary assignment for 6 months in Chennai. I never lived in Chennai after finishing college. Enjoyed very much. Now I know the reason for your absence from the blog world.

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  3. Even if it was a working time, and not visiting as much family as you would like to, it sounds like it was a precious time. I'm glad you had it.

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  4. After I read your wonderfully written article with which everyone can relate to, i was reminded of this famous line from Sri Rama जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी;“To me my mother and motherland is greater than heaven.”

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    1. Hi KP - Yes the place where one has spent, especially the formative years, always feels good.

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  5. One of my favourite places in Kerala is Thrisur, but I have never been there other than passing by the town. Fortunately, a couple of years ago, we got a chance to stay there for a couple of days. It was a memorable experience. I am sure the rural areas of Kerala are even better :)

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Hi Rajesh - Thrissur is a nice place. The cultural capital as it's often referred to. Yes it's the rural setting that makes the difference. Kerala's cities are not so different from any other city.

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  6. Hi Pradeep - so pleased to see you again ...I bet it was wonderful to be home ... and hope that at some stage you can have another few weeks there in one go ... lovely photos for us to see. Enjoying being back in the area where you work ... all the best - Hilary

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  7. Isn't it nice to be able to work from anywhere? I hope once all this is over we might consider some distance work continuing. Not all the time, but sometimes it's very nice to not have to go out, or to work from one's home state.

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  8. Hi Pradeep - so interesting to see a little snippet of your life (a bit like my poems but with pictures!) I always think of India as a teeming city type environment and forget that there are still quiet rural areas like this one - so glad you got to spend some lovely time there, I'm sure it was a respite from life for a while.

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    1. Hi Leanne - O, there are plenty of lovely countryside locations. They may not have all conveniences and comforts but the quality of life in those areas are surely far better than in teeming cities.

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  9. Oh, that looks like heaven. How did you ever manage to leave? That is a gorgeous home and lovely art. Somewhere I saw that a child drew on the wall and, instead of getting angry, the parents put a frame around it. That sort of thing warms my heart. Be well!

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  10. Hi Darla - Yes the peace and quiet is heavenly. If I were retired I would have stayed on their for longer. The frame around a drawing on the wall was so heart warming.

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