Today a cousin is getting married. He was one of the youngest; we were closer to his mother… He was just a kid to us, and so this day makes me feel quite old…
Chenamangalam, where the marriage is being held, holds quite a few memories, of holiday seasons…of temple utsavs and fun -- complete and pure.
Back then we used to spend our summer holidays there and then Chenamangalam was just a village, an idyllic one where the only activity was associated with the temple, the utsavam and a yearly market festival.
We were four to five cousins all girls together for our holidays and every single day had its highlight. We used to take our daily bath together at the kollam which was beside the house. The kollam is a semi-closed structure with steps leading down to the pond and I can guarantee that none of the swimming pools can evoke that comfortable feel of these homely kollams. And our morning sessions were usually an hour or two long and had to be ended after a long sermon from the mothers. Once we even sighted a small snake floating right past us and I still remember how all of us ran out, without even bothering to look back for our sisters…with just a towel around… frightened out of our wits.
The temple festivals were the next fascination. The daily programmes of Kathakali and other dance drama and the more popular ganamela were feasts we looked forward to. Once our cousin and his friends had come there along with their troupe of singers and we had a field day…sitting next to the musicians, the privilege that gave us over the rest.
Next came the occasional treats to the local theatre, a thatched roof structure with the movie projected on a white background. The movie, oldies, but still exciting for us to sit on benches and watch movies in all abundance, clapping loudly when the hero enters to singing along with the heroine and cursing the villain when he plots villainously.
Oh! such carefree days…were time never mattered and the days streaked with fun and few fights and the nights with lots of gossiping and late night confessions.
Those were the times and as we grew older, the magic reduced and there was no more holiday season fun. The village is no longer a village, technology made its regular imprint and we are left with just memories of the bygone days…