Rain was like a shy woman at those times. She wanted to come and play in the river and all around Thamarapadam.. But every time she comes, hesitates and then thinks, "May be later".. Even we were like that, always a bit shy and not forthcoming.. Aggression and charm of City kids was always a surprise..
Karuvannoor was almost a real long walk in the rain.. After all that's a dangerous place too.. With dangerously fast buses that literally travel like Japan’s magnetic trains , without touching ground, from stone tip to stone tip and pot hole to pot hole .. We get buses to Thrissur and Irinjalakuda from there. The road is wider and full of vehicles. I am not allowed to go there, so is Sinu and most of us. Only when Jayan Pappan or Sreenichettan comes with us we can go there (After all they were the most expert drivers around).. I also uesd to go with Venu chettan at times. That's a secret ok. Because when he goes to have EP (Erachi & Porotta), I can join provided i can manage a share from Mummy's Bag. It was a tough call at times, especially with the kind of security of Mummy’s Economic Resources; but then, pure passion for “EP” prevailed almost every time.
Our major town was definitely Moorkanad. And why not? We had everything.. There was this big shop of Pailothettan (Well, over a period of time it became small to me, though the area remained the same, still don’t know why!!!), we had the textile shop of Anto master, we had Sivaraman's Ration shop, CA master's small supermarket( Read Grocery if you want), and above all our own post office. Not miss at all, Velayudhettan’s tea shop cum vegetable shop cum dried fish shop. Trust me, I’ve never had better parippu vadas than his, “across the world”, Not even in Mapranam Shaap ( Toddy Shop).. And for your information Mapranam Shaap definitely matches “Mullapanthal” ( I hope you don’t need an intro for Mullapnathal / Karimpumkala”) in all aspects, except the pricing..
"Jesus" was not just a god for Christians in our place, but the lifeline that connected us to the big city of Thrissur as the only bus. It was more like a family home. We planned all our travels based on the convenience of “Jesus” and I thought it was almost a hovercraft as it plies on the bund road dividing the thamarapadam when it’s flooded during rains. When it starts pouring naturally Thamarapadam also starts to overflow. Road and water level become almost the same and Only Jesus driver can maneuver through that. Running or cycling behind Jesus was pure fun as it splashed water all over and made way too.
After all, Jayan Pappan can do better that. He was my child hood idol. The man who can zoom past in that big vehicle. For me, the best job in the world was definitely that of a Bus driver. The only person who could be possibly better than Jayan pappan was the driver of “Alankar”, who, Kishore said can drive faster than Jayan Pappan. But then I had never seen him. So decided to settle with jayan Pappan. By the way I have also heard that Sreeniyettan can drive an ambassador with his body outside.. I could never verify that claim either..
Life was not always easy and fun in rains, let me tell you. Once when Shaji called me “Hanuman” instead of “Anumon” as my mummy calls, and unfortunately I ran short of choicest words to decorate him with equal zeal. So I told him that “it’s your ‘aliyan’ (brother-in-law) and not me”. Kochumon chettan was an ardent devotee of the monkey god. Unfortunately, I never knew it was such a “well” kept secret that he immediately raced to my mom and told her that I called his BIL a monkey.. . Since my guts was never enough those days to face consequences boldly, ( no claims whatsoever that It has drastically improved over the years!!!), I decided to play it safe under the Oalathadukku (Coconut palm leaves stalked over few blocks of bricks to allow water passage and also to avoid the pam leaves touching ground). The position was not very comfortable. There was just enough space to lie down straight for a person or at best to be on all fours considering my small size. Mummy immediately started searching for me to dish out my daily dose of “Praharadi Kashayam”, but then soon realized that I am missing from all possible rendezvous.
And taking this as a chance my grandmother also instantly declared that it was very understandable that the boy decided to leave home and abscond ( or whatever.. I guess eloping alone is not a good idea.. So let me abscond) considering the “cruel” punishments I was receiving from her daughter-in-law alias my mom. But as the minutes passes all started panicking. I really wanted to come out, but then, it was already too late as I will definitely earn additional incentives and interest for the panic caused.
Eventually I decided that It’s time to choose between the wet sand under my knees and hand or the warm bed to sleep, though the second one will definitely come at a cost. And guys.. It did, like the rain in “Thulavarsham”, heavy, nonstop, accompanied by thunderstorms and lightning, of course!!!
“Vazhapindi”, the stem or the stalk or whatever, of the banana tree was definitely wood for us to build our catamarans and barges (No way, I will use any word smaller!!!). We called them “changadam”. 3 ‘pindis’ on top and 3 at the bottom connected with stick piercing through them and tied with ropes is more or less how they are made in short. But it was nothing short of a Middle East sheikh’s luxury Yacht in any sense. Those who had access to better resources always had tubes of truck tyres to go on their local cruise.
The brown angry River did bring Dead bodies in frequent intervals and we all will run alongside for a good distance and then leave it travel alone again. But then there were NO disturbances of CBI or any such hassles. They could never make news enough to run a news channel for 24 hours. After all we all knew the man or the women would have jumped from Karuvannoor Palam(bridge) and he has his reasons for it.. We always knew Karkitakam will always bring some of them, since it’s a month of famine as well. Life had its natural rules.. No surprises..
Life was large and the sheath of Rain made them seem better and shiny.. We loved it..