As I pack my bags and leave the city of Bangalore and reflect on the two years that I spent here, I couldn’t be more grateful to these two years for showing me the India that I was so little aware of. I was so ignorant that I couldn’t easily distinguish between scripts and speech of Tamil and Malayalam or Kannada and Telugu.
Two years later, my ring tone is Kanmani Anbodu, my favorite actor is R Madhavan and my favorite vacation place is Vagamon in Kerala. It was here in the south I discovered the world of millets in their full glory. Not a single day has gone in last so many months when I did not eat Ragi Roti. My kitchen would be stocked up with 15 varieties of lentils, half of which I never saw before. I would source my soap and spices from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
It was here that I could experience Indian festivals beyond Holi and Diwali. One Onam in Palakkad and I was sold! I was converted to a token Mallu. The big sadya that was offered to me by a granny in Palakkad made me indebted to her forever.
Even Holi Diwali changed. For my nephew and niece, I bought silk clothes from Chennai and turned them into little Madrasi boy and girl!
New friendships happened. Some of the closest friends I made ranged from the lengths and breadths of the South. Even without the conventional presence of domestication through marriage, I was fairly domesticated. Starting the day by a leisurely walk in my mundu through the think canopy of trees to go fetch milk – was something I looked forward to every day. My love for green only grew after coming to South. Even in cities here, everybody tries to grow something. How could I be left behind.
I think these stories will come with me wherever I go. Anytime I will hear Suprabhatam will bring me back into the temple towns of South India. Coconuts will be more than just a fruit. It would be reminiscent of everything that is beautiful about here.
3 thoughts on “Goodbye दक्षिण : The South in India”
I enjoyed revisiting this site so much. Do you have plnts in your home now?
Yes! I somehow did not look at them very consciously or affectionately as I did in Bangalore. Perhaps, I didn’t feel that connect with them, since I didn’t really bring them in or water them. They were here before I moved in to my parents’ home. And my parents water them. Yesterday, my mother pointed to me to a new hibiscus that bloomed. I looked at them attentively. I realized how unconscious I was! Regardless who these plants belong to, they are still harmless and beautiful species that do nothing but welfare for humans! So now , like in Bangalore, I notice them, water them and at least observe them .
Your name is spelt incorrectly here aunt mary. Mary Btennan Miller . You may want to fix the middle name,
Thansk for revisiting Aunt Mary!
In the new home my mother takes care of them, in Delhi. My plants were left in Delhi.