There is a proverb in Kerala which means, “One doesn’t need one’s home anymore for the one who has seen Quilon”. Though it can convey different meanings to different people, one thing is pretty sure. Quilon (Kollam) must be a damn good enchanting place. It does have a magnetism of its own that haunts our memories.Trust me,Kollam is such a wonderful place. Its pristine beauty carries you away beyond limits.
Kollam is an ancient trading town in Kerala.The Arabian Sea flanks it on the west, Tamil Nadu on the east, giving the place a noble blend of coastal beauty.
Being the “God’s Own Country”, naturally the people in it would be “God’s Children”. What makes these people so unique and loving?Let’s take a trip across the borders of Kollam to answer this question.
Traversing Through the Unique Footsteps
What makes your day better? It’s the people around you,circumstances which make you interact, the hopeful ambience, so on and so forth.
As I step out from my house in the morning, the first person that comes to my help is arickshaw driver. He smiles, inquires about my wellness and takes me onthe best ride. The pleasantries exchanged merged with the cool breeze outside, warms me up, rejuvenates my day and provide me with a strength to face all hurdles yet to come. Kollam is the perfect city in Kerala, blessed with amiable auto-rickshaw drivers who treat you as their kith and kin.
Kollam’s heartland is naturally veined by the Ashtamudi lake,the southern gateway to Kerala’s backwaters.After finishing off all my tedious works, I rushed off to Ashtamudi lake to see many people coming to spend their evenings calmly. A random person enjoying the beauty of flowing water smiled at me. His smile was as pure as the crystal-clear water in the lake. Sometimes, one smile can make your day. I could find this in the people of my city. Everyone can seethrough you,cure everything with a twinkle in the speck of a second. The minds of these people are as vibrant as the golden hues in the sunset.
The next exciting place that attracts me the most is the beachside in Kollam. Beaches grace the city where people go to spend quiet evenings. As I was walking by the beachside enjoying a hot coffee cup, I could see the fishermen community working hard to get ready for the day.
My friend said, “Look at them. Life is so hard!”. But I could find a sense of pleasure in their hardwork. Though life at the shore is safe from the wild waves, they still long for the call of the ocean, worshipping the sea as their mother. Then I realized that happiness is not about spending time in an air-conditioned office room or attending online conferences.Satisfaction is all about the love we pour into our work. Even these poor fishermen were blissful in their life, actively sailing in the sea waves andrevelling in music and songs during the night. Life is short. I learned to enjoy each moment to the fullest from them.
I was yearning to take a boat ride back home that evening. The lake certainly seemed enormous from my vantage point low down in the water. Soon, I moved on to smaller, narrower canals, some human-made and some natural.The fascinating glimpses into the lives of people who make their living on the backwaters caught my attention. It includedsmallholders washing their cattle, a man depositing alluvial mud collected from the lake’s bed as a fertilizer for his coconuts, children having fun in the water. Iron-fisted, healthy people who teach us the value of determination and perseverance resides in the heart of Kollam.
Till now, I was talking about the central parts of Kollam. Exploring this place’s hidden beauties, one can find, ‘Kanikkar’, tribal group living in the forest areas of remote Kollam. They have a prosperous cultural heritage; their primary source of livelihood is agriculture and are fond of dance and music.I have heard a lot about them. In my view, they are the real ancestors of the earth. The pleasure of living in the lap of nature is evident in them.
Like the rest of Kerala, Kollam is climactically temperate with generally sunny weather peaking in heat during April-May. The monsoon falls from June to September.The climatic conditions vary vibrantly according to the seasons. Similarly, the people are diverse, ranging from active, energetic people like the hot summer to calm-minded, serene souls as the raindrops at monsoon time.
The lifestyle of the Kollam people is simple and original.The bonds between a child and its parents, friends, couples, and relatives are cemented based on trust and love values. According to us, when trust is lost, everything is lost.
One day, I met a lady selling newspapers strenuously amid a traffic signal. I asked about her life; she replied, “I am ready to work hard till my back aches as I want to educate my children. Education is the most powerful weapon that decides our future”. These people give a great deal of value on education and transform the ancient tradition and culture to posterity.
In recent years, People in Kollam has shifted to the modern culturegiving way to modernized buildings, industrialization, technological advancements and shopping mall culture.Tradition and culture should be an integral element of every human being. No matter how far we have travelled in life, the most exciting thing would be a return ticket. A longing home, someone waiting for our return in the courtyard, vibes of our homeland, all these things keep us drawn towards our focal points. What is the noblest goal of travelling? Now and then, after exploring the broad scopes in the world, it’s better to travel back to the roots – the place where we were born and brought up.