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Friday, November 27

Speak to me, better :)

Hi all,

No Man's Land? comments section will be powered by DISQUS from now on.

Nothing big to talk about it here, but I hope the new feature will solve the problems you've been having with my comments section ever since the new template was uploaded.

A good few issues were raised in connection with the Embedded Comments from I had here in No Man's Land? Apart from the inconvenience in logging on, there were instances like the comments vanishing into thin air, not being published in spite of repeated attempts, inability to generate a preview and so on.

I tried a few suggestions from my techie-buddies but nothing seem to work. Even doing away with comment moderation didn't help. Enough is enough, I've decided to try out this specialised comments plug-in. I'm not sure if things will become worse but still let's give the boy a chance... :)

Things may appear a tad complicated and confusing if you're using it first time but I find it miles ahead of what our big-boss Blogger has been providing. Blogger Comments mechanism sucks, almost a joke when compared to Wordpress, and its about time Google listened to their users.

Apart from equiping myself with some serious musclepower of editing and keeping track of the responses I recieve, DISQUS provides you a few notewothy advantages:

Multi log-in options including Twitter and Facebook
Video Enabled
Ability to post direct links easily
Response to individual comments
Comment rating
Flagging troublemakers and much more...

In short, saves a lot of breath for technology greenhorns like me :)

So, keep me informed how the new lad is bahaving. Thanks ever so much...


Wednesday, November 25


The Hi-Tech Crime Enquiry Cell of Kerala Police rattled some modest cages the other day when they nabbed a couple of youngsters for allegedly 'defaming' Kerala CPM Secretary Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan.


Apparently, there was an email circulating on internet with the photograph of a palatial house allegedly owned by the Communist maestro. The owner of the house was actually a television serial producer based in the Middle East and the picture found its way to the internet through a popular social networking site.
Some adventurous ill-witted souls thought it would be a good idea to insult the leader by spreading the image with a tag "house of a humble communist leader."

This is what the Police has to say about all these:  Expressbuzz Newslink

Curious enough the Police has now arrested two individuals who are at the distal end of a chain. They did not take the photograph, neither did they upload it to the web nor create/edit the slanderous email. All they did was to forward the email they received to a few of their contacts without checking the source or validity of the mail content. According to the Cyber Police this is the heinous crime, serious enough to have their names and photos aired on channels and newspapers, akin to any notorious evildoer.

Well, its a hot trail for the Hi-Tech cops because the plaintiff is none other than Pinarayi Vijayan, the supremo of the party which rules Kerala.  The asses moved briskly and we have the 'criminals' in one week flat! It was almost as if the Cyber Cops were acting on a deadline but where are the originators of the scam?

The Hi-Tech Police states that it is a crime according to Article 66 A of the Information Technology Act (Amended in October 2006); screen-shot below:


The law states that propagating "any content which he knows to be false" or in other words any content which we don't know if true could land people in hot water. It is upto the person who forwards the communication, to verify the authenticity of the information he is spreading. Leaves a good few ambiguous patches in this case especially when you read it along with the clause under which one of the accused (denoted "A") has been arrested.

Excerpts from the above newslink

It is reliably learnt that (A) had not added any comments to the email. The police arrested him as he did not respond to a notice sent by the police to his email address. (A) told the police that he had not noticed the mail as it might have landed among Spam Mails.

Laws are formulated for the betterment of the society but why do I feel that there has been a gross injustice in this case? Every law can be interpreted or twisted according to the smartness of your advocate but is it just me who feels that the Hi-Tech cell has turned up a blind alley here? The architects of the hoax are still at large and the Police has exhibited two unfortunate pawns just to satiate their masters.

At this juncture it would be appropriate to look back at the authenticity of many gossips and news broadcast via our channels and print media, which we all quote and disperse through the social network sites. How many cock and bull tales have we swallowed, which arouse from the sheer imaginative power of the journos these media houses employ to propagate their vendetta? I don't remember any journalist reprimanded for deliberate false reporting.

Meanwhile, can owning a decent house tarnish the figure of a Communist leader? Or did Pinarayi think that the house in the frame was too shabby for his liking? Or may be he wanted to put up a strong notice to his adversaries in the cyberworld...

I saw the house at the center of the controversy. It looked like a show house of a newly prosperous gold merchant in Trichur town but it would be curious to see how bigger/smaller Mr.Vijayan's house in Pinarayi will be when compared to it. Whatever, one will have to imagine that it will be rub shoulders with the NRI Producer's Kunnamkulam bungalow, when you think that Pinarayi could afford to send his kids to private professional colleges and to foreign Universities.

It is indeed an offense to abuse, threaten or defame individuals through any media, let alone a head honcho of a party-in-power. Those responsible should be brought to light. And this will also put an end to some of the ongoing wild and woolly practices in cyber-space where things were always taken for granted.

But how 'bout the scope of this defamation law? Pinarayi can publicly address a Roman Catholic Bishop a "wretched creature" and a "liar", and how close does it come to personal abuse? How eloquent has his co-comrade Minister G. Sudhakaran's tongue been when speaking publicly in front of the media? Here is a small sample of what stuff our Devaswom Minister is capable of spewing out.


Where have the laws been in the above cases? And why does it bend when approaching a certain breed of individuals? I thought the law breaks if it bends...

The youngsters who forwarded the email may or may not have had malicious intentions. But thanks to Sir Pinarayi and the doozy Cyber Cell, we the people, are aware of the law, at the cost of two scapegoats who just did the crime of clicking the "Forward" button.

image courtesy, yakuto

Thursday, November 19

Trivandrum BRTS

Perhaps a timely postlude to the introduction of a new class of public transport in Kerala, the classy Volvo 8400 low floor A/C buses conquering the regal roads of Trivandrum! Exclusive pictures and report on Trivandrum Rising blog! 

Volvo 8400 on MG Road, Trivandrum image courtesy Keralakaumudi

The Kerala capital has chosen to tick the BRTS option for the Mass Transit of its populace. Well n good! Its an appreciable step forward, and something I believe, every city in India must plan and implement.

So what is a BRTS?

For starters, BRTS or the Bus Rapid Transit System is a cheap, fast, efficient &systematic usage of Buses as a mode of transporting people from one point to another. It differs from the go-as-you-like road-rash set up currently reigning in our cities mimicking the F1 race-course, where all drivers are certified desperadoes. BRTS, in principle, lays out exclusive channels for the buses to ply, thereby segregating it from the regular traffic.

Simple? Not so quick mates, it could well turn out a disaster if you underestimate our citizen's ability to throw rules into the air. Look how the BRTS got screwed left, right & center in Delhi..

And Ahmedabad inaugurated their BRTS experimentation in a big way on August 15th 2009,and initial results indicate that they did their homework better. (Times of India newslink)

First things first, the BRTS as we see in Western nations cannot be implemented here. Forget it.. Look at Dublin and see how the BRTS functions as it should. Exclusive lanes, segregated bus bays, two-laned counter-flow bus-ways... Can our spar youth and the self-applauding biggeties in those swanky new cars resist that empty bus lane when in a choke-a-block situation? I'd bet most of them couldn't.

Dublin BRTS: courtesy

But even the author of the above New Delhi article and the media in general fail to see the picture in the long run.. The benefits of something like BRTS in the overall traffic scenario of a city. See the video below to get a clearer picture.

From the examples worldwide, sacrificing a lane or two for exclusive public transport has actually benefited the city in the long run. It was possible to inculcate more disciplined driving and the effectiveness of the system actually helped reduce traffic and improve the quality of life in the city. Trivandrum, hopefully plans to emulate such success stories.

Now can something like BRTS be successful in Indian settings?

Of course it could, provided you as the implementer do your homework well...

In New Delhi there are fines upto Rs.5000 for driving on bus lanes. Well, we have laws in place to check speeding, travel sans helmet & seat belts. And who checks these laws? If the authorities are lax in implementing the adherence to bus-lane laws strictly then I'd bet my house on the failure of this system. Fellow blogger and friend Nishanth Nair was elaborating on the BRTS system in his new city, Brisbane, Australia where the buses follow atom-clock punctuality. The BRTS in Brisbane has underground bus stations, exclusive roads, flyovers, tunnels and special lanes for plying. We as a less affluent nation cannot afford such luxuries, especially for experimenting, but it is a matter of using our resources most effectively.

Perhaps we need to take a leaf out of countries like Brazil  where the BRT system is implemented at a fraction of the cost of other MRTS. 

The most efficient BRTS system in the world is said to be in Curitiba, Brazil, which is replicated across the South American cities. I dug into the www for more on Brazilian road culture and sadly it is not like us, ie they're more ruly. Take a look at the above pic of Sao Paulo traffic and you can realize how hard is it to replicate such driving pattern in out cities. A huge improvement from the Curitiba system was implemented in the city of Bogota, Columbia, which currently sits as a reference to similar systems around the world. The Bogota BRTS, called TransMilenio has been such a huge hit that even the Mayors of New York, Chicago and the likes visited the Latin American town to get some lessons out of it.

Watch the video, its awe-inspiring! A clinical proof of how such a system could actually rewrite the horoscope of a city, and I hope Trivandrum will walk the same steps... :-)


Trivandrum BRTS has a concerning handicap if you see the above videos. The roads are nowhere as wide as it is in Ahmedabad or Delhi, leave alone Bogota and Dublin. Throw in the haphazard driving and scant disregard for traffic laws (though not as disastrous as Delhi), there must be a serious effort to consider our driving culture before the BRTS is implemented. Otherwise we will have another Delhi on our hands with the public and media conspiring to bring the system down.

We have a handful of examples on our hand where perfectly legitimate and productive projects have been dismantled by the combination of ill-informed citizens, bad press, vested interests and political foul play.  BRTS Trivandrum could be a benchmark for the transport revolution in Kerala and we can't afford to mess it up to short-sight and bad planning. In Ahmedabad, a group of politically backed ruffians damaged the BRTS stations and buses just because they had to take a half-kilometer detour because the road in their locality became one way for the BRTS route! Such incidents must be dealt with iron fists and the sections of society including private buses, autowallas and taxi unions must be taken into confidence before the flagging off of the first bus.

So how about the plans for Trivandrum?

Trivandrum plans to use its 150 buses from JNNURM on 3 corridors. Presently a bus takes 20 min to traverse the 7km East Fort- Ulloor section, and at peak time it could be 45 min. Also keep a tab open for the ubiquitous marches, dharna, shakthi prakadanam and all sorts of jokes in front of that Secretariat, so its actually anyone's guess when you'll be able to reach your destination in Trivandrum on a given day.

In Phase I, the authorities plan to implement the BRTS system on the 29km long Kazhakkuttam (Technopark)- Ulloor- Karamana- Balaramapuram stretch, all along the existing NH 47. They plan to have exclusive flyovers for the BRTS on some reeches but not the whole length will have exclusive bus lanes for a start. Interestingly, only 10 km of the whole length have at least a 4 lane width. Karamana- Balaramapuram and Ulloor-Kazhakkuttam stretches are still modest 2 lane roads, that's about 2/3 of the proposed stretch.

Trivandrum BRTS Phase I: The 29km corridor is planned all along the NH 47 marked in blue, the red line is where the roads have 4/6 lane width.

A system like BRTS will be successful only if the other traffic are clinically segregated. So one would normally assume that the BRTS will be implemented on these stretches only after the roads have been adequately widened which immediately puts a big question mark on the time frame of the project. As for Kerala, land acquisition = court cases = stay orders = indefinite delay in projects. Those concerned say that not the whole stretch of the BRTS will have exclusive lanes, that means routine traffic and the buses will share the road width on approx 15km of the proposed system.

Another issue could well be the parking as businesses along the highly commercialized avenues would mind more than a bit when the street parking is sacrificed for bus lanes. Parking plazas, expanding the by-lanes for parking and similar options may well be explored to sort this out. We don't want more lobbies to work against the system, do we?

The Sreekaryam-Ulloor stretch of the NH 47 has become a nightmare, traversing that 3km was a pain in the backside even on my scooter, with a Delhi-like traffic, so how 'bout these supermodel buses? Flyovers are the plan here, say the authorities,but not all the 2-lane stretches will have the flyovers.

Pattom- Kesavadasapuram Road

It is not clear which stretches would be taken up for the next phases of the project but it all depends on how well Phase I  works out. Fingers crossed on that, but it needs a big mindset change for our motorists not to get intimidated by the big aanavandi zipping along when they're stuck at deadlocks. Remember, this ego played a good part in messing up the Delhi BRTS. 

It would also be a good idea to bring in some brand image to Trivandrum's Bus system. At present things are not so appealing. There are at least half a dozen varieties of KSRTC buses plying on the city streets, from that Yellow ones to the Green coloured so-called Fasts; there are some White coloured buses as well. Its all confusing when you see the Private buses with indifferent inconsistent colour codes. It is a chance to bring in some professionalism to the BRTS by constituting an independent transport body for the city, call it Trivandrum Urban Rapid Transit or whatever you like. Have a uniform colour code for the buses, modernize and synchronize the ticket issuing. Make things more appealing for the public, sell the WOW factor!

We should not be short sighted when it comes to visualizing the growth of the city as well, something which we have never done. Let the authorities plan and develop our roads with BRTS in mind and not leave us scratching our heads looking at the one-and-a-half  lane dual carriageways we got as a result of a hind-sighted road development programmes.

The Volvos lined up in Trivandrum pic courtesy Keralakaumudi

The BRTS should also be planned so as to evolve all along the city corridors and in future, may be as a feeder service if the city feels the necessity for a bigger and better transit system like the Metro. Not in the immediate future but still something to keep in mind when we plan for tomorrow.

This could also be a unique opportunity to find some fund to construct a decent City Bus Terminal on that sprawling space owned by the Corporation on Attakulangara Bypass. Currently that dilapidated and long bus shelter adjoining the Fort is called City Bus Stand. Now for a capital city of the #1 state of the fastest growing economy in the world, is it enough?

Perhaps this could be a showcase for the new face of Trivandrum to the outer world, a BRTS sure is fashionable!


#1. BRTS: A cost effective Mass Transit Technology pdf file 
#2. TransMilenio, Bogota, Columbia: A Facebook video
#3. Ahmedabad BRTS: Skyscrapercity Citizen's forum 
#4. Delhi BRTS  Wikipedia
#5. Trans Milenio, Bogota, Columbia: Wikipedia

Wednesday, November 11

Kerala unsensored

Home is where my heart is, and that home is Kerala! The evergreen landscape, the effervescent waterbodies, the light blue skies, sun, lungi-clad men, gold shops, apartments, Beverages Corporation counters and queue, KSRTC buses, traffic, communism... There is always an element of interest, and a cliché.

I don't see myself choosing Singapore or Seychelles over my homeplace for a long vacation anytime in the next few years. Anything more than 2 weeks and I'll be walking out of Arrivals in TIA.

Lemme just fill in with some all-too-familiar random shots from my mob-cam during my short-hops during this vacation; one whole month in October, too short.. how time flies, particularly if you want it static. Can Mr.Hawkins and his time-travel theory help? Or rather the time-machine?

Now to the show...

Pretty curious observation in Trivandrum this time. I saw this 'hump' signboard on several places mostly erected AFTER the hump. The law says (so do common-sense) that a traffic signboard should appear at a certain distance before the point.Whatever, here at General Hospital Jn you will see the signboard only after going over the hump.

And a comedy of errors. The Statue Road has been a one-way street for decades, and still is (See the NO ENTRY sign).  But the hump signboard is facing the wrong way and that too after the hump if you're from this side!

A political presentation by BSP (yes, Mayavathi's elephant party) going on a busy road in Alappuzha. As usual a few jobless men wasting their time listening to it.

It was a pleasure travelling through this newly built surface on the Alappuzha- Changanassery road, possibly the most scenic major road in Kerala. But such a wide state highway had no lane markings, no lights, no reflectors, no signboards, no nothing. That's some responsibility by the authorities given that this road has deep navigable water-bodies on either side for most stretches.

The Venice of the East turning into a sewage farm. When K.C. Venugopal was the Tourism Minister he ushered in a fresh breath of life to these canals in Alappuzha with parks, landscaped gardens and amenities.

It seems we are back to square one. Cleaning work done for namesake, all the water-weeds deposited on either shores. Who is to blame?

This one from Alappuzha Beach, monument to the wealthy proud tradition of the now dying town. But the sea-bridge is dangerously corroded and unstable now but has anyone thought about dismantling the structure on the beach? Or are we waiting for it to crumble down on some innocent kid's head?


"Flagposts, advertisements, posters not allowed by order", says the warning on the road-divider. What Order, asks the politicos... Flagposts of INC galore...A scene from Alleppey Town.

The city which never finishes construction. The roads in Trivandrum still mimic lunar surface. This is Pattom- Kowdiar road. Japan (JBIC Water Supply Project) ploughed through the center, laid water-pipes and left the scene, now the Capital road developers have invaded the two sides. Sigh.. But I shouldn't be complaining, these are sure signs of improvement in basic infra and these small difficulties will usher in a better tomorrow.

Something which gladdens my heart, the new Airport Terminal in Trivandrum will open in 3 months time, says who? Looks good doesn't it, don't mind the green-topped canal in the foreground... Hopefully I'll be using it next time I come home.

And look who are best pals, holding hands for a 'noble cause'. The 500km human chain (manushyachangala) had this cheese moment but where are we with the ASEAN? Ah who knows, another historical blunder from the fossil party... Image Courtesy Keralaflashnews

Nothing surprising for the common malayalee, all these are way of life for us. Excuse the photo quality of the shots, it's all taken with my humble mobile phone camera(except the last one) at the spur of the moment. Thanks for visiting my site &  good day to you all!

Sunday, November 8

"Quotable" mis-quotes

A few days weeks months years back my blogger ami Spark, a.k.a Mathew committed the big mistake of passing on a tag he received to me.. My broadband is very slow, honestly, it was such a big tag that it took more than an year to reach me. If you don't believe me read this one, about a Pigeon being faster than broadband in South Africa... Well?

So it's not that I'm being lazy, blame it on Eircom. ;)  The tag was to jot down 5 of my favorite quotes from the various books I’ve read. TROUBLE! The last time I remember holding a book was during my school/ PDC days when I used to gulp down anything and everything which crossed my path. Not anymore... So with the permission of Sparkie, let me take the liberty of quoting some infamous sayings which should be etched in golden letters here in blogosphere. Ok man?

#1  Mulayam Singh Yadav in his Election Manifesto for Samajvadi Party (UP) in 2009. Newslink

The party is against English medium education and the use of computers and will work to ensure that they are curbed if a government is formed with its support. The use of computers in offices is creating unemployment problems. Our party feels that if work can be done by a person using hands there is no need to deploy machines.

I thought the Communist Party was the only archaic institution in the world holding on to Stone-age ideas and ideologies. I'm shattered to find that we have more such duds here in our country. Mulayam on one side and Mayavati on the other side, God save UP!

#2  Kerala CM Sakhavu V.S. Achuthanandan and his solution for tackling the floods in Trivandrum City.

People in the city should tolerate the floods like everyone in other parts of Kerala. Rain is nature's gift, we have to accept it with both hands.  If water comes in, then assess the situation and then get out of its way. If its flooded then find ways to drain it out. (laughing as he speaks)

You surprised by this comment? I'm not, to be frank. Our CM is capable of even worse jokes and statements, this is just a simple sample.

#3 The gathi kitta pretham and national nomad Mr. K.Muraleedharan's begging at Congress High Command's feet validates the shamelessness, spinelessness and thick-skin of our political leaders.

I would not create any more trouble and would remain a “disciplined person”. I'm ready to wait for any length of time for my return. The ground rule in the Congress is clear that anyone who accepts Sonia Gandhi as his or her leader can be part of the party. Karunakaran had to wait for five months to return to the Congress. So I am prepared to wait any length of time. I'm just requesting for a Rs.3 membership. Congress has taken back people who've abused the party much more than I did.

I remember an incident in Trivandrum Zoo where some witty lad carved out K. Karunakaran's name on the Rhinoceros cage as a testimony to the pachydermic character of the former Kerala CM who felt no prick in blasting blatant lies and turning his own opinions on its head in a matter of moments. Murali has proved without a shadow of doubt that he is indeed the worthy blood of the great leader. Rhinos beware! 

#4 AICC Media Cell Secretary Tom Vadakkan and his interpretation of Twitter in the recent Twittergate Controversy. Mr.Vadakkan was speaking on Times Now ridiculing Dr. Tharoor and his statements on Twitter.

Let me tell you something: I did a little research after you phoned me, to find out what is the basic cause for this tweet business. Some of the survey reports that I received was Tweet is a very lonely man, and he needs counselling.

This statement was the turning point in the Tharoor Twittergate. The Congress think-tanks probably stunned by this gibberish by Mr.Vadakkan quickly jumped in to seal the issue before Uncle Tom turned up with more research papers.

#5. This guy, Pastor K.A. Abraham of  Divine Deliverance Prayer Center thought it would be a good joke to interpret the Indian National Flag in his own way in front of scores of kids listening to him.

India's National flag; saffron at the top, green at bottom and white at the center. Saffron indicates bravery and sacrifice, meaning those who have the power to fight, assault and stab you. Green on the other hand stands for the verdant, fertile landscape of India, ie it belongs to people who possess money and wealth. (giggling) But the white at the center is us!! Not finished, the Ashoka Chakra, the Icon of Power is in the White. God didn't yield it to the Saffrons nor to the Greens. Also 'Ashokam' means 'devoid of sorrow', ie you have to come to White to attain freedom from sorrow, even if you are a Green or a Saffron.

PS: This video is not intended to hurt any religion, belief or individuals. 

I thought twice about posting this here but then I feel this video is a case-study of how a stupid mouth and an unwise brain can conjure to become injurious to health. Isn't there a line you shouldn't cross while preaching?

Righton, this concludes the tag. *sigh*, and I leave the tough job of picking the best to you folks. I chose to go with the SP Manifesto but the simple truth is that when it comes to grading Indian politicians and their idiocy the job gets tough.

Wednesday, November 4


A visit to Kerala's capital city is never complete without its most magnetizing showcase: the Shankhumugham Beach.

Shankhumugham, meaning the face of the conch is one among the many famed beaches of Kerala. I have senile yet stainless reminiscences of my early visits to Shankhumugham as a kid, rearing to tear away from the firm grip of my mother, out into the ravishing blue waves frothing up on kissing the golden brown sands. Evenings in Shankhumugham were the most enjoyable days of my childhood because it almost always had the Bombay sweet and the Cone Icecreams as toppings! And a wind-up dinner out in one of those hotels opposite Secretariat once we were back to the city.

Sunset @ Shankhumugham image courtesy Vividplus

My love affair with the place continued into my adolescence with many memorable afternoons with peer groups, bunking the classes.  The fondness for the place only increased when I left Trivandrum for greener pastures to build my career. The off-trips to my hometown always featured a re-grouping with the old pals who were still at Trivandrum. The only difference being that now we reach Shankhumugham after dusk-fall, when usually that's the time we used to leave the place as a kids.

Aha, the smile still comes to me when I recollect the anxious eyes of my mother shouting after me when I told her I'm going to Shankhumugham to see the 'Tsunami'  after the fateful day in 2004. I remember the then CM Oomen Chandy's warning on TV that there was chance of another Tsunami and we couldn't resist the adrenaline rush to see it! Good ol' foolish days, or the pseudo-bravery, or was it the over-confidence that it would surely be a false alarm, me and my amigos reached Shankhumugham in a flash.

The Tsunami never came, as evident from my this autobiography you're reading. I mean, I'm still here...

It would be interesting for you to comprehend that as a Trivandrumite I visited Kovalam only 3-4 times, the first time as a college student!! I suspect the bikini-clad Caucasian figures on the famed beach must've made my family chiefs think twice about taking their kids to Kovalam. Whatever, I don't yearn for the Eve's Beach except for the royale seafood and those magnifique femmes...Shankhumugham has always been my first choice...and will remain so.

An evening in Shankhumugham image courtesy Saifudeen

And I'm back to my favourite beach in the world, this time a bit in the other shoes... as a husband and as a father holding my bundle of joy close to my heart. My little lady is too too too young for me to be concerned about the waves but I understand why my mother always used to be uneasy about taking us kids to the beach, the rapturous delight the place triggers in the kids. The shores always let loose the exaltation in you, and mothers naturally are concerned. The evening still bears the permanent feel of a fair-ground, teeming with life. Parents with extra-watchful eyes on the jubilant kids, teenagers engaged in ball-games, artists, photographers, tourists, vendors, sons-of-the-sea fighting with the waves, sweethearts in their own world amidst the crowd...

Honestly, over 2 decades of clock-tickings haven't robbed the shores off any charm. The water may be a tad brownish and the place may have become more crowded, parking fees may have tripled and quadrupled but the charisma that made Shankhumugham, Shankhumugham still remain... A 200m walkway has been built and a few hi-mast lights installed, rest all remain unchanged. The star-fish restaurant, the Mermaid, the hillock giving the perfect view of the take-off of the metal birds, those stone marvels... all still the same!

Mermaid @ Shankhumugham image courtesy fstop mathai

Surely, would the word 'nostalgia'  have the same meaning if we were in a perpetual world?

But some changes could've been productive...For the likes of the Traffic Park which still remains dilapidated, the historical pond is not yet preserved and the palace is still rusty...

But it is promised that things are deemed to change now. The authorities have drawn up some whacky ideas for a complete overhaul  of the place.. And they tell me the structure rising up next to the playground is a Police Station! Yes, a Police Station bang inside a Beach Park.. wtf, who approved this???

What next? A morgue with a view perhaps?

Sculpture in the beach park image courtesy fstop mathai

So there! Trivandrum may have some very famous beaches but none so enticing as the Shankumugham, if you ask me. May be the airport and the closeness to the city have helped the brand-image but no, there is something more to the place. I'll come here again, inshah allah,  some good things should never come to an end.

From a novice boyyie and to an acting-the-smart youth to a family man, the place still teaches me new lessons. I held my daughter in my arms, bending down for her two tender feet to touch the earth at one of its most beautiful points. I was just getting the feel of a grown up man swelling with happiness and pride, but there, mummy is giving out about the wind being too cold for the baby... "No amma, she's all covered up", I argue, but I've to recede. I still don't call the shots everytime.. ;)

The breeze, the horizon, the sands, birds, the people, the ever-enduring sea and the feeling of being home... Shankhumugham never ceases to exhilarate.

Here is my fav beach in a nutshell, courtesy Tom Thomas from Vanity Moments

Ironically this trip gave me something to forget. I lost my mobile phone with all its photos in the Arabian Sea while playing catch-me-if-you-can with the waves. Too bad, the photo-collage I planned with this post will remain a dream :(