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” 🙂