I don’t know anything regarding the scientific explanations behind the connection of 2 souls who were indistinct and unknown to each other so long, as they belonged to 2 corners of 2 districts in God’s own country, India. If I’m right, they had got connected by the mid of May, 2012 through widely extended cyber platform. It will be much clearer and better if I say ‘WordPress’! Yes, I know Manu. S. Kurup (Manu Chetan) as a great writer in this specific domain of blogger system. For me, what makes him different from other people belonging to this world wide writer’s community is his identity itself. Both of us are pakka Keralites who were born and brought up in this greenery filled spot located in South India. Hence I put some additional efforts for connecting with this young gentleman who is currently doing his PhD degree as well as a Communicative English tutor in one among the popular institute situated at Hyderabad, India.
When the days and months passed in the natural flow of time, we got connected much closer through Facebook, other than nominal enact which was existed in between us. So, we finally decided to meet here in Kochi on this month, when a hidden spirit played a MINOR role in the generation of thought like this in both of us. 😀 I’m residing at almost 140 kms away from his place of residence, but still we didn’t give any proper justification regarding this distance limit during our talks. 😀
16th March 2013:
As we already had planned before, I was waiting for his arrival at Kaloor Private Bus Stand by 09:30 in the morning. I got a call from him when I was standing there at around 9:45 am and he inquired me about the exact spot where he has to come, cause of the main reason that the location where I was standing isn’t so aware of him. I explained about it and waited there for a while again. When I was crossing the footpath, saw a guy passing by in front of me on his two-wheeler who wears a cool glass and nicely suited outfits with a bag on this back. With a much awaited action, I caught him at that moment itself by making a call and stand right in front of him. I was a bit confused about the attitude and character of this fellow! He is a tutor, who have been taking classes for gals and boys of my age you know? (I don’t think any elaborated description is required for this gentleman’s personality! You will find it out yourselves ‘DOWN’ in this post)
We felt bit unsecured in parking the bike on a nearby road, where a possibility of robbery is there. Hence we decided to go to Lulu International Mall, which is recently opened here in Kochi so that safe parking options are available there and go to Fort-Kochi via bus or boat service after visiting Lulu Mall. I sat on the back of his and he drove the bike to Lulu Mall which needs at most 15 minutes from color including traffic blocks, which is a common visual treat for every Kochite in his regular on road travelling schedules.
The first query which he asked me when we were on the way was “How are you, Rahul?” 😀
Me: “I’m fine, Cheta.” (Thank God! He gave a nice start for our conversation. :P)
Manu: Don’t you have class today?
Me: Yeah! I’m having one hour special class which is not so special for me in comparing with the Kochi Muziris Biennale and our meeting. (At that instant, I forgot the crooked fact that he is a teacher!) 😀
But he just smiled after hearing me back and I explained him about the traffic related issues, temperature at Kochi and Edappally Church which we saw when we were on our way to Lulu Mall.
We reached Lulu Mall within 15 minutes of the ride and parked Manu Chetan’s bike in the space provided by authorities for parking. Later, we entered in to India’s Largest Mall which might become a very new experience for us in the world of shopping fully filled with International brands. While talking with him, I found out some similar thoughts we have kept in our insights. It’s a special note to mention here that, both of us are loving to lead a normal life rather than these deceptive busy cum modernized life by people these days in our technical oriented century. We simply walked all around the 3,900,000 sq ft of that building, but most the shops were closed and many of them were yet to be open after the inauguration.
While walking through the upper floor, the Lulu Department store suddenly came to our attention. It’s a multi-class big budget electronics and bookstore where you could find out what you actually need. Anyway, we got attracted to the smiling fellows who are kept in the stands provided with their genre at the top. Menu Chetan mopes me and shared his experiences when he was in Hyderabad doing an MA in late 2006. I giggled and smiled after hearing this fun talk whenever he provoked me to do so. 😀 He suggested me some readable books to read as well. After taking a few of the Malayalam stuffs, spend little more time there for checking and comparing the price rate of gadgets with the online and local stores, we found it amusing that the mobile gadgets have a very notable discounted price here. In comparing with the other malls in Kochi, I have felt that the cash payment system is too fast here. It took only 2 or 3 minutes for the cash to be payed for the books Manu Chetan had purchased. Then we moved to the topmost floor from taking food or at least a cup of coffee together, which I wouldn’t usually prefer while visiting malls. Perhaps, it might be all because of those junked stuffs price and the quantity of food they will serve for 100’s of bucks we would spend on it. This is the reason, why I personally prefer easily available and nearly surrounded street food shops in Kerala.
We sat in 2 chairs facing each other, which was one among the facility provided in a food court at the topmost floor. Even though, an order for 2 coffees was given, the shop wasn’t open and we thought of spending some additional time there with kinda talk outs. It was ‘me’ who started fluttering about all these shops from an extreme end and Manu Chetan somehow managed to hear me in a wholehearted way (I guess so). 😉 He kept his bag from shoulder to the table in front of us and took one of the book he had bought from the store. “Rahul, do you have a pen in hand?”, he asked me. I took the pen in my bag and give it to him. He started scribbling on the front page of the Malayalam translated version of ‘Motor Cycle Diaries’ by Che Guevara. I simply looked at his secret job in between and felt so excited while watching it.
“Thank you so much, Cheta”, I conveyed my esteemed note while receiving that valuable gift from him. He accepted it with a gentle smile and payed back an inescapable shake hand which was a must one (might be a formality though) in that instant. We talked about our families, sibling, current affairs in Kochi and Aleppey and all for some time, sitting in the same located comfortable position.
It was almost around 11:30 am, we left from the Mall and decided to go Kerala’s first Biennale conducted at Fort Kochi, India for this season 2012-2013. Even though, he mentioned me to go there with his two-wheeler via road, it was me who have had compelled to reach the Biennale spot by hiring a bus from Edappally-High Court, taking Kochi’s special cool cum fervid drink ‘Kulukki Sarbath’ from Shajikka’s shop out there, travel via water transport from Ernakulam Jetty-Fort Kochi, which I felt as a most recommended option for us to save our time as well as money.
“I saw the high handed discomfort of a gentleman who had been getting frequent calls from his lover while we were on the way. It was during that moment, I realized the grave fact which reflected the flaky thought of admitting a stranger to him by a guy, who is in ‘relationship’. I guess, have had given him max freedom from my side to keep my eyes away when he was talking with his sweet heart!” 😛 😉
We started our journey finally to Fort-Kochi after sipping a glass of ‘Kulukki’ through the Marine Drive walk way. Marine drive is one among the famous spot avail in Kochi for a perfect relaxation from regular work related stresses and tensions for every Kochite, all because of the greenery filled palpable atmosphere present there. You might not believe that, a place like this is situated in the center of an urban city like Kochi.
I felt the discomfort in walking for this guy from his face, when we have almost covered 5 minutes of our exemplary ‘NATARAJ’ journey. But he wasn’t able to continue it after that and we sat on the wooden chairs provided at the side of the walkway for a while. After 10 minutes of rest, we began the journey again.
16th March 2013/ 12:45 pm at the Ernakulam Boat Jetty:
If there was a sudden unexpected event happened in our journey, I think this was it. We had lost around half an hour of our valuable time for getting our journey tickets to Fort-Kochi via boat service. The long standing queue including people all around the world were simply looking here and there and waited all this time with a hope to get their tickets soon from the conductor who was busy in counting the tickets for the next trip to our common destination. I told Manu Chetan to sit in the arena waiting for travelers and myself stand at the back end of the queue to move on.
I felt so ashamed for losing our time and didn’t agree with the plan of going to Fort Kochi on his two wheeler. But still, he smiled at me whenever I looked him for giving a nice ‘POST’ out there. We got the tickets later after waiting there for half an hour and hired our boat for travelling to the Biennale’s spot in our God’s Own Country.
What we did at first after reaching the destination was, searching an apt shop for filling our empty treated stomachs. We moved to the beach side of Fort Kochi after arriving at the other extreme end of Boat Jetty and found out a bar cum restaurant, ‘Seagull’.
For me, this was the greatest memorable thread during this journey. We became much closer to each other and started speaking about our blog related activities, blog mates and all.
“Rahul, we have a group named ‘Ambiguous Words’ in Facebook, huh? It was a great thought came from you in making a specific space for us there” (smiled in b/w)
“Oh! Really? Thank you so much, Cheta!”, I replied him back with an even smile.
“I have been thinking of making an online magazine which includes stories, photography, prose, poetry, travelogue…(much more) by the members in our group. How will it be if we have made a project of that class?”
I was like, hearing a resplendent idea from someone sitting right in front of me. Without having a sapient look at it, I agreed with that truly wise idea with a great pleasure.
We had spent more than 1 hour at ‘Seagull’ and went out to complete our final target in the bucket-list of our journey. There is nothing much in detail to mention about Biennale I guess. Hope you all could understand it well from the pics below. For the detailed description about it, please do check their official web link: Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012-2013
We left out from there at around 05:10 pm because of the lacking of time after watching the major venues of the Biennale, ‘ Aspin Wall House’ and ‘Pepper House’ and the short installation presented at the Fort Kochi Beach. Both of we were so tired and hence we decided to leave back to the city through AC bus service starting from there.
Reached finally at the point from where we started (Lulu Mall) the journey to take Manu Chetan’s bike in the uncontrolled traffic time in Kochi (06:15 pm). Took his bike from the space we had parked and went to a shop nearby to take kinda cool drink. It was then, I noticed the fact that he will be leaving to Cherthala to meet his friend and have his stay there with his schoolmate tonight. The sort of sadness arose in my mind, that the day with my first blogging friend is going to end soon. But still, I tried my level best to control myself. LOL. 😀 It was such a delightful time I have had after a long time. For me, he is not just a friend or lecturer now. I have already created a sturdy bond with this guy within 7 or 8 hours of time we had spent together. Tutors must be pro-faced from my views, not with friends, but with his students. The contrast which can be specified here about it is, “I’m a guy of his student’s ages, who has been having all those naughtiness in a hand similar to them.”
Started his bike, *SHAKE HANDS* with a promise that he will definitely meet me whenever he come to Kerala and invited me to come to his place on December, so that he will be available there. 🙂
PS: If this is what we termed as creation of new relationships, I really did enjoy it. We proudly welcome you all to the next version of Biennale in December, 2014 in the same location and spread our strength of unity we have been uplifted via our blogging family. Come on, Folks. Feel free to tell us if you any plans like that. We’ll be here to guide and help you. 🙂