Posted by: akilamoni | February 7, 2006


KANYAKUMARI.KANYAKUMARI-The southern most tip of India(technically it is Indira point. in Nicobar islands),from kashmir to kanyakumari.The euphemisms for Kanyakumari are endless.But to me it is simple-The closest thing i ever had to a native place)I really dont remeber my first trip but the one i consider my first is the time when my dad sent me and my brother for a vacation during my cousin Sundar’s upanayanam function.I had never been out my house until then on my own.The family at Kanyakumari welcomed us and treated us as their own.It was the first time i was spending time with so many people at a time.We have always been a small family.I dont really have any cousins neither have i been a part of any boisterous giant family.I have never seen my paternal grandparents.So initially it was kind of a rude shock to see so many people but i blended in gardually.Since then kanyakumari has been really special to me.Our house(my grandmother’s younger sis’s house;)!) is located right on the main road leading to the famous kanyakumari temple.I proudly used to say that we have an ocean at the back of the house.It was a fairly large building.One of the very few houses left unsold on the SANNADHI STREET.My relatives owned a couple of handi crafts shop.My periappa (dad’s cousin bro)used to stay in the adjacent house.It was the month of may and the scene almost looks like a stolen scene from one of RK NARAYAN’S fictional place -malgudi. Except that it was flooded with tourists.My cousins arrived one by one.Got acquainted with them slowly.Day began slowly in kanyakumari.It seemed almost in slow motion in the early morning.Getting up late was almost a unsaid rule.My brother the kumbhakarnan of the family would seem rooted to his bed.Breakfast was always sumptous with my auntz and thevu akka(thatz my grand momz sis) churning out one delicacy after the other.This would be only till around 930 when the shops open and the tourists start pouring in.My uncle owned a book shop so we kids used to go and sit there and read up every comic we could lay hands.We gobbled as many books as we could(we cudnt afford archies then…we still cant;)!))Mornings used to be pretty hot.We used to stay indoors and read mostly or just play around aimlessly.My relatives owned a house which was situated on the top floor of the handi crafts shop.Almost always strewn around with books and handi crafts it had a musty smell to it but neverthless seemed very creepy because no one really used it.We played our endless games there.Lunch was a thorough south indian affair with avial kootu there almost everyday!!!!!An afternoon siesta after a bit of reading lead us to the most fun part of the day-the evening.Evenings are interesting and very colorful.With endless tourists ambling in and out of the shops the atmosphere was almost festive.My uncles used to take us (the children) to the beach and there we would all have BEACH BATH…..well it was never really a bath we used to frolick in the beach for hours together.The beach was a very dirty place but we had our fun.Gandhi statue,,,,endless beach kadlai…….it was on our agenda everyday.The salt of the water darkened the complexion of all the kids..The walk back home used to be fun.All of us completely drenched and careless…On reaching home we all rushed to bathrooms to wash the salt off our skin.With just two bathrooms we used to end up with two bathrooms in one bathrooms(oh come on we were kids and we did stupid things)!)The trips to vattakottai and manalkunnu are almost frozen in memory.As the evening wore on the fun never stopped.We used to sit on the doorstep of the shop watching the various people enter and leave….reading our books sometimes.In the night our MURALI CHITAPPA used to tell us scary stories of how families committed suicide and and how the neighbouring hotel was haunted.It was the time when people were not corrupted by soap operas on tv.Dinner was slow and enjoyed by one and all…and we went to bed reading our books.My favourite spot in the whole of kanyakumari is a spot in the terrace under the water tank.I used to climb the wall of the house to and reach there with a book in hand.Once i was there reading”man woman and child” when i fell asleep with the book in hand lulled by the breeze.In the night the spot was almost unblemished.It gave a full view of the ocean.With just the star lit sky above your head and the whole arabian sea indian ocean and bay of bengal ocean in front of you ,you feel humbled.The Vivekananda rock stares at you from one end..and now a thiruvalluvar statue does too…..You cant help but think of Swami Vivekanda who must have swam the very ocean in front of you and must have sat on the very rock that stares at you.The moon plays a game with the waves by shifting in and out of the clouds.And my brother used to tell me tales about his dead classmate and how his spirit haunted his hostel and to think i got scared by all that.I can still remember how my brother explained about the ghost which came and told my brother of all people “vaaaaaaa”( cooommmmeeee with all the sound effects)!!!!It was chilling with all the sea and moon in front of you!!!!But these days i grow very depressed when i go to Kanyakumari.The family u now know is no longer ur own.They are not my grandparents.It is not my house and neither they are my own cousins….I leave there with a longing for a family of my own.Somebody i could call my grandparents.Someone who spoils with me gifts.Never does a trip go by without the mention of my grandparents.How i resemble my grandmother—how my grandfather would speak for hours together on shakespeare….But Kanyakumari still holds it s charm and gave me something close to my childhood memories in my native place…..So the next time you go down to kanyakumari remember that room no 101 in Hotel SAMUDRA is haunted!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  1. i read this last..but this is my fav..simple…felt as if it came straight from your heart….felt a lot like reading something i wrote..

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