A day in TRIVANDRUM , the capital of god’s own country 


I was born and raised here – and lived here for 25 years before moving to US . I am in Trivandrum for a vacation – and loving every minute . This is the first time I have come on a vacation here without a laptop or tablet . And being unemployed , there are no work calls to attend to either . In short , it’s nothing but rest and relaxation – the type I haven’t had in as long as I remember .

The best way to start the day here is with a strong cup of coffee 

 
Today morning , I accompanied my mom to Palayam market to buy some vegetables , meat and fish . This is a place I have gone most weekends as a kid with her . The Connemara market was established by the King of Travancore about 200 years ago , and named after an erstwhile Governor of Madras Presidency. 

  
The market has not changed much in the last 40 years – except may be a couple of extra concrete structures where they sell fish now . It was fun to watch the vendors compete for my business – and the seller in me appreciated it a lot . 

  
The fish is caught daily and sold here . Prices are a lot higher than I remember from childhood . Inflation is alive and well . Just to compare – a pound of king fish is about $6 in Phoenix and it is $7 today in Trivandrum !

One thing I miss in U.S. Is the variety of bananas . There were at least 20 different kinds for me to choose from today . I just need the time to taste them all 

  

There was a butcher that my family has been buying mutton from for decades – from my grand father’s time . I was sad to hear the old man is no more , but the shop still carries his name . Of course I had to buy some . He slaughters 50 goats on a slow day apparently .

  

Chicken – well , you just choose the birds from a pen and pay . By the time you come back – they would have a packet ready for you, cut to spec . It doesn’t get any fresher than that – assuming you don’t get grossed out by seeing the process . As a kid I have slaughtered chicken many times , so this is not a problem for me . But I doubt my wife or daughter will eat the meat after seeing the process 🙂

 
On to veggies – it is a one stop shop . There isn’t a veritable you can’t find here . I was spoilt for choice . It was all organic when I lived here – but I am told that is not the case any more , and that there is heavy usage of pesticides . That was a bummer 

  

Palayam market interests me for another reason altogether . Facing the market is an ancient Ganapathi temple . I am not sure if there is another place in the world where this is true 

  

On one side of the temple is the oldest Mosque in Trivandrum , the Juma Masjid . It was built in the 1800s . 

  
On the opposite side of the road is the  beautiful St Joseph’s cathedral which is also from the 1800s , with its three bells imported from Belgium . Pope John Paul had conducted mass in this church when I was in high school . 

  
And sandwiched between the Mosque and the Church is the war memorial honoring the martyrs . Chandrasekaran Nair stadium seems all spruced up – I remember organizing the first Trivandrum kennel club dog show there , and watching India play Russia in soccer as a kid .

Despite vested interests trying their hardest to create a lack of trust between religions , Trivandrum has always lived in perfect harmony . Long may it continue .

On the way back, I passed by the old CSI church . Such a grand old building – probably older than the Palayam pally

  

It’s amazing that I never paused to enjoy the beauty of these buildings while I lived here . And now I can’t get enough of them . Definitely planning to venture out tomorrow and catch up the other parts of town . My resolve to spend my retirement in my hometown is all the more stronger today 🙂

Time to chill – with a mango milkshake , which amma made from fresh ripe mangos that a family friend sent over with a note that said “no pesticides” 🙂

  
It’s almost lunch time – wonder what my aunt is cooking for me .  More later – it’s a hard life 🙂  

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6 thoughts on “A day in TRIVANDRUM , the capital of god’s own country 

  1. Pingback: Saying Bye To 2015, The Year Of Yin And Yang | Vijay's thoughts on all things big and small

  2. One of my favorite memories of visiting India was all of the aunties fighting over who was to cook us our next meal and what it would be! 🙂 Looks like you are being well taken care of. Enjoy your time off there!

  3. vijay very good description of the monuments of tvm but it is like the description given by our tourism dept which is hiding the real tvm , come a little 5 km from Palayam down East to historic East fort and other areas like CHALAI where the pic of tvm changes , nw with operation Anantha ( name given by our collector to evict encroachers ) the place is contrast to what u see in Palayam and VELLAYAMBALAM where u v good roads and vvvip resides , as a u said I m born and living in tvm for 41 yrs and most probly destined to live here till I die this is not the real tvm

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