GOD’S OWN COUNTRY – 16th November’2012
I got chances to travel 12 states across India and I never got a chance to travel to Kerala in my long professional journey. I would not have taken any chances to go and work in Kerala as I have an aversion with the place and people. Many times we used to plan for the trip with my family to Kerala but could not make it because of various reasons. Especially in the last 3 years I know I would have planned minimum 10 times and I could not make it because of my leave and other schedules.
When I was about to come on long vacation my best friend told me that she will be coming to India during November and asked me whether is it possible to be with her in God’s OWN COUNTRY. Without even thinking for a second I told her that I will be there with her.
I called my friend in 3rd week of October and I told her that I can’t come to Kerala, due to my stress because of some other reason and my treatment was getting delayed. Even though it was preplanned by me and my best friend to have some good time together in Kerala, man proposes and god disposes. Neither my health condition was good nor her leave was approved and she was not able to come to her own place and I thought I could not make this year also to touch the MALABAR Coast.
I really thought that she will come as her leaves were approved, suddenly due to working atmosphere and tight schedules, her approved leaves got cancelled. I was thinking that I will go and give her a surprise and also to have some good time to cheer up myself.
Somewhat my mind was saying that she will come on 3 days as there was a holiday in lieu of new Islamic year. While going to bed, I was thinking she can plan her trip for 3 days instead of a week. I was not in a mind frame to call anyone as I was totally rejected from the worldly activities.
I got a call from my best friend on 15th November’2012 from her UAE number and she said that I reached India. I asked her when you came here, because I checked with my close friend and she said her leave got cancelled. To be honest, I didn’t believe her as she called me from her UAE number. I told my best friend, call me from your local number so as I will trust you. Then she said, am really here only. I told her if you are here, I can meet you tomorrow and I disconnected saying call me after getting the local number.
She called again within 1 hour from a local number and I was in a super market, I said I believe you now. I didn’t expect that she will call me when she was on a 3 day trip. Even if she would not have called me, I would not have felt bad, because I know she came for some specific reason and we will not be in a position to spend time together. When she called me I didn’t think anything and I said I will come tomorrow morning. I will take a train in the night and I will accompany you and thought that she should not feel lonely in her own city.
Initially she didn’t believe what I said was true as she knows that I am not supposed to travel long distance or not to strain myself for any reason. She was more concerned about my health and She asked me not to take any risk, you take your own time, I have a friend with me here. If you really want to come then come tomorrow evening any time after 4 as I will finish all my work. I can spend some time with you if you come here. I don’t want you to travel with me to all the places as I have more work to do.
I told her that I will call her back after checking for the flights and then I will confirm her . I came home, I checked for the flight tickets, there was a flight in the early morning and a flight in the evening. I thought to take the flight in the morning, since she said she wants me to come in the evening, I started to reserve the ticket for the evening flight and then I called her back saying that I booked the ticket. I will take a taxi from Cochin airport and I will reach the hotel. I will take the address after reaching the airport and we disconnected our conversation.
I was feeling it as a dream as I never expected that I will go for a day trip to Kerala. I would have gone to meet someone whom I love even for an hour that is not the matter, but when it is with my best friend, we planned to be there for 6-7 days and to roam around the god’s own country.
I told my mother and sister that I am travelling to Cochin to meet a friend of mine who has come from UAE, immediately they asked you should have asked her to come here. I love to go and meet her there and told them that she came on 3 days short trip. Even I preferred to go and meet her instead of asking her to come to my place, which will show that I am ready to travel to meet her. I know she will be thinking me as mad and she would have told her friend that see how mad she is and she is going to come for a day from Chennai to Cochin.
Next day I was very relaxed at home and planned to leave the house by 1.30 and did some household shopping. Normally I used to take the taxi to reach the airport but this time my sister was scolding along with my mother in the morning that I am spending too much. So I decided to go by train or bus which I have not done in the last 5-6 years.
My father came with the kids from school in his bike. When I saw him, I asked him to wait and to drop me in the nearby bus stop so as I don’t need to walk. My area people are not habitual to watch me walking and at least two will ask me why are you walking and where is your vehicle? To avoid such questions, I don’t prefer to walk unless it is really a walk. Another main reason is I don’t want to say that I am going to the airport by walk.
My mother warned me not to travel by bike even up to railway station and she said get down in the nearby bus stop and asked me to take an auto or bus from there. I had a big accident 10 years back in the same bike with my dad and she was feeling that I came from hospital and still under medication and a strict rule from the hospital not to travel at all and especially in bikes not to travel for 6 months.
Somehow I was in a mindset that I have to go in train or by bus only. After a long time, I was with my father in his bike and I said bye to my kids and went with him. I thought he will drop me in the nearby bus stop, he didn’t then I thought may be next bus stop he will drop me, he didn’t stop there also, then I felt he will drop me in the railway station which was nearly 4 kms from my home. He didn’t stop even at the railway station and I considered that he will stop at the main bus station so as I can take the bus to the airport. Even before reaching the bus station, there was a round-about flyover, he could not balance it properly, and literally the foot rest in which my leg was resting hit the roundabout wall. As I expected it, I didn’t get hurt and I was little strong to give the balance for him so as we didn’t get into the bus which he was trying to overtake. Otherwise our story sorry my life would have ended in that moment as I would have been under the back wheel of the long trailer bus. First time in life, I was not scared and felt that I missed the opportunity to die. Within twenty seconds, another sumo would have hit us very badly and once again, that driver was little smart and he handled it efficiently and I missed another opportunity to get struck in accident. We crossed the bus station also and my father said, he will drop me in the airport, in general we don’t communicate much and since he said I will drop you in the airport I was not able to say anything to him. I just said ok and we proceeded. When we were nearby airport, I asked him to drop me at the entrance itself and I took a brisk walk after much strained travel from home. It’s not a long distance hardly 15 kms, but the hurdles and the way of riding the bike made me to feel so tired and felt like I can’t travel by air. I felt like I am going to get all the pains back in life. All my 55 days of treatment gone wasted. Anyway as per the plan, I proceeded. I called my mother and asked her to call me back once my father reaches home. I didn’t tell her anything. .
After completing all the formalities in the airport, I called up my best friend and she said that she will arrange a vehicle to pick me up from the airport. She gave me the taxi drivers number and asked me to call him as soon as I reach the airport. I told her that I will reach the airport by 5.00 PM.
When the flight was about to move I felt like too heavy and literally with tears as I was in a feeling that if my best friend asks me something about my pain, what will I tell her? How can I avoid such topics? I told myself, I am strong and I can manage anything. I am really strong, stronger and strongest of all. I know that I can manage any situations.
First time, I was traveling in the day time and I was not able to sleep in the flight. Luckily got a window seat and was seeing the bay of Bengal from a high altitude. I never saw it and when I saw it, first feeling from heart was if this plane crashes down, I will be so happy. Immediately I said sorry, for my death sake, I don’t want all of them to die. Then tried to deviate myself from the worst feeling, started listening some music, always a medicine for me and now a day’s food as well as medicine is music only.
After 1 hour of flying, again I looked at the window and felt so blessed when the clouds were shinning and touched the heart so nicely. When I looked at the ground level, I came to know that we reached the greenness and touched the Kerala borders.
It is really a wonderful feeling to see the clouds nearer and the greenness under your foot. Bluish sky, white clouds, and greener even a dead heart will beat for the beauty of it. I realized at that moment, why it is called as GOD’s OWN COUNTRY.
Without any delay, the flight landed and I reached the airport 30 minutes before and I called the driver around 4.45 PM and he reached the airport within 15 minutes. I was inside the airport and had a chance to have a chat with the singer Unni Menon, who was looking like a down to earth man and voluntarily had a chat as if he knows me for some time. There is humanness in celebrities and only the normal people feel that they are stardom. It was really a pleasant time to have a chat with him.
It was not very tough for the driver to find me and just with a phone call, I was able to feel that he is the driver came to pick me up. I have to thank my best friend for sending the vehicle, because neither I know the language nor I was in a good mood or to go on my own to a new place as I was totally disturbed mentally.
As soon as the driver picked me up, he called my best friend and informed her that we are travelling. Initially we planned to go straight to the hotel in which she was accommodating herself. Within 30 minutes, she called the driver and asked him to come to a different venue and told me that she asked the driver to come to her flat so as I can see her flat.
We reached the sky scraper flat and we waited for her to come down. She came in ten minutes. Hey SH your hug & umma really means a lot. I was so happy to meet you on that day in that place and this day will be in my memories forever. She was accompanied by her sister’s son and her Friend Rasiya (Another sweet lady to keep in my prayers all the time for her support and attitude).
What a beautiful place, atmosphere was so nice and I felt like I have to book a flat in the same place as it was so calm. I got the peace like anything. It was not a hill station, but the view gave me a feeling like hill station. Can heaven be better than this place, I doubt so. I guess she took me to 16th floor in which she has booked her flat. When I am typing this I am getting the same peace of mind my dear friend.
My Best friend choice is always best and she asked me to see the flat. Suddenly she asked me, come here When I was busy inside her flat. She asked me to come to the balcony. To my great surprise, the outside world was so greenery and from 16th floor, it was looking that I was in some hill station and to witness the greenery. But this friend of mine didn’t ask me to witness the greenery, but to hear the music which was played in a temple (Om Nama Shivaya), I was really shocked to see her facial expression, for me it is divine music but as a Muslim born and brought up lady what makes her so happy? When I saw the happiness in her face showed that how much she loves me and how much she feels so happy to be there with her at that point of time. I know she doesn’t have any discrimination in religions but still the feeling of happiness from her face was the best feeling which I could never get it from anyone else in the world. She said, if you hear the M.S voice it will be so great and especially in that environment it will be awesome. Hello Madam, Can I get the key of you flat for few days to enjoy that atmosphere? (Just kidding).
We were not able to spend long time as the sun was about to set and she was also very tired as she was hushing up here and there to finish her activities before I land there. Almost she was able to do everything and couple of work which was planned for the next day.
I have to say about the driver in detail. Mathaiyi is the driver’s name, owner of an INNOVA, a soft and sweet person. My Best friend is really blessed to have good people around her. I have to say she got best people around her when she needs good people by her side. (Self-Praising :))
A very good person by heart is what I can describe about Mathaiyi. By profession a driver and we are strangers. He knows all of us as his customer and the way he has helped was awesome. My best friend also knows him by his profession only. He has taken care of my friend like anything from the time of picking her from the airport and in arranging the accommodation and for her regular works. Apart from this, he has taken these ladies for a grand lunch at his residence, where they met his wife and came to know that this person has got the delight in treating the people like this and this is not only with them, which was said by his wife Smitha. Smitha is also a nice lady because she is supporting Mathaiyi, without thinking anything and following his words just like the words from bible.
When we started towards the hotel, Mathaiyi started telling my friend that we will have dinner at his residence and then he will drop us in the hotel. I was shocked to hear it because as a tradition or even out of love, he could have taken them for lunch, but again for dinner which is not required because we were about to drop her sister’s son in the railway station and the station was nearby the hotel. We could have taken our dinner in the hotel itself.
We dropped SH son and my Best friend tried to convince him not to give any trouble to his wife. But he said that she has prepared the Chappathi’s and we have to come there to have the food. I was feeling so scared to have food outside and especially in Kerala I was told veg food is very rare and difficult to get. Being a vegetarian and with lot of restrictions in my diet after the treatment, it was very difficult for me to say yes to have food in a strangers place. My best friend gave a reason also that I am a vegetarian and we will have outside and she wants to treat me with Kerala food.
After hearing that he stopped the car nearby a veg restaurant and said that he will buy some Veg curries so as I can have food along with them. Then I said, don’t buy anything, I can have chappathi’s with Sugar which is my normal diet at home as I have a lot of restrictions. He didn’t believe and my SH explained him that I am here for treatment.
What a way to treat people, I have to learn it from Mathaiyi and Smitha. I don’t think I can do it like them. It was so good to see them, with beautiful smile, heartfelt of happiness, great way to offer food to people. Let the God bless them with this attitude forever. Only very few have this kind of qualities and I am so happy that I met such kind of people and I crossed some good fellow-men when I am alive.
We had heavy dinner and they were very upset that I had chappathi with Sugar but I love that and tried to convince them. Smitha asked me to come for the next day dinner so as she can prepare veg food for me. I told her that I am having lot of restrictions in my diet and it is easy for me to get food outside and not to strain herself in preparing something for me. I told her that if I leave late in the evening, then I will come to have something but not heavy food. As I decided that I will take a flight due to my jerk in the bike and travelling by bus or train was not a good decision after spending a huge money and time for my treatment.
We left Mathaiyi place and reached the hotel. My Best friend was feeling whether it was a dream or truth. She pinched herself and I too tried to pinch myself to check whether it is true or not. I never expected that I could make it as my health was so damaged both physically and mentally.
We were chatting for some-time and she said you lie down and talk, don’t strain yourself. We planned for the next day what to do and I told her not to worry or to think to spend time with me, because priority is her activities and I can make myself happy by spending time with her. We planned to go a trip in Kerala for 3-4 days as per our first plan.
Rasiya is her friend and a wonderful person to spend time with. Blindly I can believe you and see anyone my dear friend. I have that much confidence in you and also that god will show only good people to you. I really admired this female and for being such a noble personality towards my friend and her cousin. It’s not easy to give such an impact to a stranger and the way she was talking to me was like as if we know each other for years together. I know she will think about me for some time and same way she will be in my everyday prayers for her beautiful heart to help others.
Around 11.00 I slept unknowingly and that was the first day I slept after a long time at 11.00 PM even before thinking that I have to sleep. Next day morning I told her that with deep pain in heart and with heaviness in mind and with physical ailment, I got a good sleep without any sleeping pills, I had a good sleep. Thanks for making the time so good for me. I think she came nearby my bed and asked me something before I was into deep sleep, but I don’t remember what she asked me also.
Next day, she was about to meet some vendors for interior and some other work. We had heavy breakfast and started our day. We planned to go and complete her work as we have to catch our flights in the evening. We can’t keep any pending work, but to her greatness, she wanted to take me to some place and decided to go for boating and we hired an individual boat and went for an hour to see the beauty of Cochin.
I have to say that my best friend is really a best friend, because I was not true to her. I kept my face so bright and with great smile but my eyes were shedding tears like anything. She was not aware that I was crying or with so much pain in my heart. I acted well, but still I didn’t show my pain to her and was feeling that I am very happy with her. I acted only to make her comfortable and nothing else to hide.
Some feelings it is better not to share with others and that’s the reason I was not able to share it with you. I thank you for trying to make me so happy. I really enjoyed that 24 hours even though there was some deep pain in my heart.
After the boating, we went and she registered her flat, and the way she shown the papers was beautiful and that photo is for you to cherish our good time. I really felt very happy at that point because I was witnessing that great day with her. I used to feel so happy to be part of some property registration and it will be like a grand festival when it is at my place. I will be filled with my family, friends and a great lunch will be there as part of celebration. Unfortunately she was alone and only 2 of her friends were with her. Due to time constraint we were not able to have a special lunch or party kind of celebration, but since we 3 were together, it was like a party time only. I prefer to take a big party from you in UAE my friend.
We were very close to end our trip and we were running short of time. we moved out and went to the interior and as per our plan we were supposed to vacate the hotel room by 2 and we were could not finish our discussion with the interior. She was not doing it slowly, but the requirement and the details what we needed were time consuming. Since this visit means only for very few particular reasons, we did not rush up. In the meantime, we used to look at our watch, because I was supposed to reach the airport by 3 as my flight was at 3.55PM.
After finishing the work with the interiors, we started towards the hotel. On the way we stopped our car and did a small shopping of shoes and sandals. I saw an Archie’s cards shop and rushed into it saying two minutes to my best friend. I came back with two greeting cards and my best friend asked me for whom it is and I told her that you are going to carry this. Then she said, if that is the case I have to see that. I gave it to her saying that before I write anything you can read it. I gave the cards to her and she returned it to me. I was sitting in the front and started writing, in between she asked, are you writing a story? I didn’t write a story, but only heart-felt feelings.
On the way we stopped at some bakery (K R) to buy some sweets. I told my friend that I will send the special sweets for her through my friend who was about to leave to Abu Dhabi in next two days.
We reached the hotel around 2.45 PM and in between I got a couple of calls from the travel agent and I was supposed to take the flight by 3.50 PM. We were in the Hotel and I was in the last-minute to finish the card, got the tapes from the hotel staff and finished and gave it to my friend and asked her to give it to someone special.
To the greatness of Johni Chettan another driver we were able to catch the flights and I got a chance to see the outskirts of the town.
Again the Travel agent called us and told the flight is delayed and its Air India flight, I was little relieved from tension. We left the hotel and reached the airport around 4.15 PM. Travel agent helped me to do the check-in. To my surprise, Actress Urvashi was there and was sitting nearby her but didn’t try to speak to her as I was mentally occupied with something else.
I called my best friend and informed her that everything is fine and don’t worry, take care, I asked her to call me once she reaches Abu Dhabi as her flight was at 5.30 PM. After the check in formalities, I tried to call my best friend and Rasiya said that she has gone inside and the mobile was with Rasiya. Again I called the travel agent and he said that she has done the immigration also and she is inside the flight. As usual with my prayers I left the god’s own country.
Nobody can give that much comfort. I am not an easy-going person when it comes to a new environment or new people. You gave me the comfort to be so cool with your son, Rasiya and Mathayi at the first sight.
I don’t know why they are calling as GOD’s OWN COUNTRY., but my dear, you gave me the comfort that it is my own country. I don’t know whether I will touch the GOD’s OWN COUNTRY again or not, I love the way you treated me and it will be there in my life as long as I live in this world. Thank you my dear, Thanks for your hospitality, Thanks for giving me a chance to touch the GOD’s OWN COUNTRY and Thanks for everything.