After a break

This time, it was a short visit, from Cape Town to Kerala. Not a very planned one, but circumstances sometimes do not give you many choices.  It was one such circumstance.
Now, I'm back in Cape Town.
To say something about Kerala, this time, it was the time of festivals in temples and also Christmas.  Actually, on Christmas day, I was in the plane-Emirates Airways.  I thought, being the X-mas day, plenty seats would be left vacant in the plane, the majority travellers being believers who might want to keep indoors on the day Jesus was born into this world.  It was just my presumption, not based on any study, but, I was wrong.  Not a single seat was left vacant.

Once again in Kerala, the hot biting weather was uncomfortable. Being humid, the air was filled with water content but had become a part of the daily life there. Moreover, water is considered a purifying medium, whether it's condensed in the air or free-flowing. In the airport toilet at Kochi arrivals, you get into toilets flooded with water. Nobody bothers, water purifies you.  Yeah, it's the newly constructed terminal 3 arrival. But the toilets at the T3 departure is slightly different in that respect. 

temple elephants in Kerala. Picture from
Okay, about the temple festivals: this time I got chances to watch different cultural programmes like instrumental music, playing the drums, etc. That allowed my imagination to spread wings and fly back in time to an old India that would have been peaceful and socially cohesive.  All that I come to know now as Kerala's cultural shows, in the form of art and music, are presumably the creativity of a people who lived in that time. Later on, their contributions were appropriated and monopolized by those who pushed them over to the margins giving no credit.  For that reason, I don't like to go inside the temples to visit a 'god' kept in the custody of such people who play superior keeping away from the ordinary people.  How can I find the god kept in their custody?

It's become fashionable to arrange for caparisoned elephants to be part of the temple festivals.  Temple Gods and goddesses are offered an annual opportunity on their backs to visit designated areas in the nearby village.  It has all stories, told and retold and in that process have become simply rituals. 

I'm not a fan of temple elephants.  They stand with their huge bodies confined into small areas fearing the tortures of mahouts only evokes fear in me.  Yet the crowd was roused to a fever pitch at the sight of an animal believing it added royalty and class to festivities.