They say every person, family, place, country has a story; And at times I can’t stop thinking how blessed we are to be born in this era, in this body, in this certain family, in this place.
We are immensely attached to the place we are born, emotionally. The nostalgia that gets to you when you revisit the place which was once your abode is inexplicable. It is astounding how humans can remember so many detail of things we like love, something they are eternally grateful to.
All three of us were raised by Queens; Our mother and The Queen of Arabian Sea.
Having been part of the city since birth we take immense pride from where we come from. What makes us so madly and blindly in love with the place? Because we are traditional yet modern; we have a history and we make history.
Legend has it that a strip of land emerged from the sea when Parashuraman threw an axe into the Arabian Sea and hence Kerala was born and in it, Kochi. The place boasts of a hoard of cultures – the Portuguese, Dutch and English influences (particularly the stellar architecture they have left us), especially in Fort Kochi, are evident. And better still, people still continue to celebrate each of these cultures in full zeal.
Having had the privilege to travel to quite a lot of places, I dare say that there is nothing like spending the evenings at Kochi. The Fort Kochi Beach , the Willington Island, Cherai Beach, the walk way at Marine drive and sipping tea from a thattu kada; evenings in Kochi are pure bliss. Kochi also spoils you for choice at everything and anything – food being the best example. From The Gateway (previously the Taj and yeah, we have two of those) to Pai Dosa, from pizza huts to shappu food, from cafes to thatu kadas and dhabas. This ensures there is always an argument on where to have food from.
Our diversity is our forte. The place witnesses people from every other state, caste, religion and sexual preference leading lives in harmony. We also make it a point to celebrate all festivities from the pooram at Ernakulathappan temple to novena at Kaloor palli (church) to ifthaars to community lunch at the local gurudwara: being a Kochiite means you are not just exposed to one religion but to the best of each one, which in turn teaches you to respect them.
Amidst our celebration, the rest of the world started calling us a metropolitan city. Our IT parks, extensive modernization, the world-class (solar-powered) airport, malls and cruise ships making halts at Cochin, put us on the international map. If that wasn’t enough, we host India’s first and only biennale, the Kochi-Muziris – the world just can’t ignore us.
But guess what we, and every other person who lands up here, can’t ignore?
The Cochin Carnival, the fact that Wellington island was one the first manmade islands in India and one of the earliest few places to have rail, water, road and air connectivity, the Navy week show, the view of the city from Vallarpadom terminal, the jangar rides, the local transport experience, the nadan food. What more can one ask for?
A city that loved us expecting nothing in return. A city whose residents have lent us a hand in times of need. A place that is home not just to us but people we love reside. For us the Queen is love. And like every Kochiite would know, Ernakulam for us, is just a city, but Kochi is a feeling.
Looking back, the three things that have had the most influence on us are family, school and our home town. As we look ahead into other matters to share our experiences and thoughts on, we want you to know, that these are and will continue to be the strongest impressions on our souls and we are eternally influenced by them – knowingly or unknowingly.