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Archive for January, 2011

Kerala often described as God’s own country is undoubtedly one of the world’s most favorite tourist destinations. I take pride in inviting my friends to Kerala and showing them this beautiful place and telling “Look, How beauteous the place is that hath so many Godly creations”  (Shakespeare). Here is a list of few things and places that one must not miss on a visit to Kerala. This list is based on my personal experience, visits, tours and trips to various parts of Kerala during various occasions. Also admitting few points are inspired from various other tourism websites. Take this as a guide if you are planning to visit Kerala. You may contact for more details. Wishing you all a pleasant stay in God’s Own Country. Cheers  !!

  1. Wake up to World’s Best (?)  Breakfast! (Appam, Tapioca, Idiappam, Puttu)
  2. Try a home stay with a traditional Malayali Family for your accommodation
  3. Go for morning walk in Paddy Fields!
  4. Take a Swig of ‘Madhura kallu’ (sweet toddy extracted from the coconut palm) and have with exotic karimeen pollichathu and tapioca in a toddy parlor
  5. Houseboat cruise through Vemband lake (start from Kumarakom/ Kollam, Stay on boat the whole night if you can afford and try the fresh toddy available with the food cooked on the boat)
  6. See Chinese fishing nets (can find along Vembanad Lake/ Fort Cochin) and choose your pick from the Fisherman’s net. Get it fried in the traditional way and eat.
  7. Kappa + Meen Curry (Tapioca + Fish) – Must Try Kerala Combo
  8. Trek into Forests of Kerala and enjoy wild life
  9. Wear a Kerala Saree / Traditional Dhothi (Mundu)
  10. Enjoy Panchavadyam & Pandimelam (Temple Music of Kerala)
  11. Cheer a Snake Boat Race (The famous Nehru Trophy Race is organized on the 2nd Saturday of August every year)
  12. Feel the rain on your body (Visit Kerala during Monsoon)
  13. Get an Ayurvedic Massage
  14. Enjoy Sunset on Beaches of Kerala (Kovalam, Allepy, Cherai)
  15. Get wet under Athirapalli or any other Waterfalls
  16. Ride on an Elephant
  17. Thrissur Pooram – The Festival at Thrissur Vadakumnathan Temple
  18. Visit Jewish Street and Synagouge at Cochin
  19. Watch a Malayalam Movie with friends
  20. Visit the lushy hills of Munnar
  21. Go for a boat ride in Thekaddy
  22. Learn few Malayalam Words, try speaking to local guys (probably while asking the way etc.)
  23. Go for a walk in to the sea at Kappad Beach, Calicut
  24. Trip to Western Ghats in Palaghat
  25. Explore exotic Wayanad.
  26. Visit the famous temples/ Churches in Kerala
  27. Walk into a palace.
  28. Watch Thiruvathira, Kathakali, Mohniattam or Thullal
  29. Visit Wagamon Hills, Elaveezha Poonchira, or Ramakallmedu
  30. Attend a Syrian Catholic Mass
  31. Climb to a tree house, live in one!
  32. Spend time on a riverside, cross the river, Get Wet!
  33. Drive through ThannerMukham, Allepy- Cherthala and spend time on the road side
  34. Sip Tender Coconut
  35. See how Rubber tapping + Processing is done and visit Rubber Plantations.
  36. Try traveling in a local Bus / KSRTC
  37. Visit an Elephant Training Camp
  38. Go on a pilgrimage climbing the hills at Sabarimala or Malayatoor or Wagamon
  39. Try playing Nadan panthukalli (a local Ball Game)
  40. Spend your evening at Marine Drive, Ernakulam
  41. Attend a traditional Kerala Wedding
  42. Try tune into any Local FM Channel ; Call up the RJ and come on air
  43. Enjoy a traditional Kerala Sadhya
  44. Sip worlds finest tea and Coffee
  45. Collect some Spices and take home.
  46. Shop for antiques (you find a lot of such shops in Jew Street and Fort Kochi)
  47. Sunbath on Kovalam Beech
  48. Climb rugged heights
  49. Try Coconut hair oil and take bath after a full body massage with coconut oil.
  50. Visit the Trivandrum Zoo, one among the best designed in Asia amidst a woodland, lakes and lawns
  51. Explore the Forts of Kerala (Bekel Fort, Tippu Sultan Fort, Plaghat etc)
  52. Explore the Prehistoric Settlements at Edakkal Caves, Wayanad
  53. Visit the Snake Park at Parassinikadavu, Kannur, which is the only one of its kind in the whole of India.
  54. Try a Swing in Kerala (especially in Onam Season)
  55. Celebrate Onam in Kerala
  56. Engage in Water Sports at Veli beach, Trivandrum
  57. Sit till late night on Shangumugham Beach, Trivandrum
  58. Spot Nilghiri Thar in Eravikulam National Park, Munnar
  59. Sunset at Varkala Beach
  60. Retreat to Wayanad for a peaceful Weekend.
  61. Rent a Car and Drive through Munnar/Wayand/Wagamon/Kumuli/Idukki Routes
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An unusual wake up call from my School Principal on 11-1-11 at around 2:30 AM woke me up sending a cold wave down my limbs. The call I would hate to remember as one of the most shocking I had in my Life. The message he had for me left me speechless. He said Mr. P. E . Ramachandran, Our Maths Teacher left this world yesterday night. Hardly 12 hours before this I was at my school and had spend quality time with this genius. And now, this news! I couldn’t believe it! Rather didn’t want to!!

The rest of the night was a sleepless one, with the shock of the sudden demise haunting me on one side and the flashbacks of those lovely good old days at school on the other. I tried to ring up a few of my school friends then. But it was in vain as no one picked up. And well, I knew how they all would be reacting so on a second thought I decided to make those calls after 6. Now waiting for my batch mates to turn up to leave to Ramachandran Sir’s house at Allepy, I thought I will write this.

Though there are many who inspire and influence my thoughts, there are only very few people in my life, who could and can really influence my decisions. Ramachandran Sir was one among them. The last decade for me was so full of him along with my other teachers in SKPS. I guess, it was in 2002, when we were in 9th, that we first met Ramachandran Sir. Even before he came to SKPS, we had heard a lot about this very strict disciplinarian cum Maths Prof coming from KENDRIYA VIDYALAYA, post retirement to tame the naughty SKPSIANS. To much of our surprise, his style was unique and much different from what we heard. There were many people who hated Mathematics, and I was one among them. From a struggling student to a 95% holder in Maths for 10th Std CBSE If I grew, a lot of credit goes to my Maths teachers at SKPS – Ramachandran Sir and Babu Paul Sir. It was not just my story but of many others too.

Ramachandran Sir’s classes were not just algebra and calculus ruining your brains. It was much more fun than any Mathematics class could be! Not denying the fact that ‘the cane’ treatment was inevitable in his class. But in this case, students use to love it. Ramachandran Sir used to give us little punishments, make us stand at back, some times wack us with his cane if we were too naughty. But no one ever to best of my knowledge felt bad with all that. Infact, if punishments could change you without inducing any fear or hatred to the person imposing it upon you, it was only with this man.

After my 10th, I still had chosen to continue in the Maths – Science Stream. After an initial log phase in First year of Junior College, my mathematics went into a real lag phase. While in other subjects I could get a decent score, Mathematics was my biggest weakness as Calculus made no Sense for me at all. More over I was convinced that my stream of choice should be medicine or management and not engineering. So integration and differentiation was the last thing I wanted to learn. With this attitude, I’m sure I would have flunked more than once in my 12th Mathematics. But surprising me and many others I never used to get marks less than 50 % in Maths as per school records. The secret was with my Mathematics Teacher (Ramachandran Sir, also my class teacher then), who had full confidence in my dreams and knew I wanted more time to settle in. Not disappointing anyone I cleared 12th Maths Paper too.

With the person he was, I feel our batch was the luckiest as he had a special attachment with us, which was evident from the freedom he gave us. He had a lot of confidence in each one of us. He knew us too personally that our dreams soon became his ‘dreams for us’. Till we all got into our Professional Colleges he used to ring up and enquire our whereabouts regularly!

After going to college, even with activities and events at college level taking up most of your time, our group used to make it a point to visit our old school and teachers at least once in 6 months. We were there for 12 years and it was not easy for us to say Goodbye to the place which taught us all the tricks to excel in life. Ramachandran Sir was the most favorite among all, as for a reason to come back to SKPS. When we fail to show up for some time, this gentleman used to make calls and ask what happened and why we failed to do so this time.

When people later in my life started telling that I’m so lucky and things often happen to me so perfectly timed and well planned I say 3 things – 1. God’s Grace, 2. Parent’s Prayers 3. Teacher’s Blessings.

This was my triangle of Success till now and would be the same hopefully for ever. The rest all would fall in place if you have these three. Often called as a ‘Masca Guy or a Soap Boy’ doesn’t make any difference to me as long as I am aware I am getting all the blessings. The rest doesn’t matter.

It was with teachers at SKPS that we learned how to respect and more over LOVE your teachers. Our teachers were never distant and far from us, they were part of your life so much that even years after leaving the school they are so dear to us.

And when you are sincere you get sincere rewards. For the past one year due to commitments and responsibilities at college I hardly came home or visited my school teachers. I missed many B’days, Anniversaries and forgot to even call them regularly. And I heard from my friends who went for visits and get-togethers at schools about teachers asking ‘what happened to Jino ?’.  And especially Ramachandran Sir was upset that often my phone comes busy and he could not get me on line for almost a year. So this time when I got a week long vacation, the first plan on my card was to visit Rev. Fathers and Teachers at SKPS. And so with the plan I went to School yesterday. Though many teachers whom I wanted to meet were on leave, I was so happy to meet Ramachandran Sir. He talked with me for about 10 mins during lunch break. He was still complaining about me not calling and my phone being busy always. He asked me to check whether the number of mine fed on his phone was the right one and promised me he will call me as I get back to Bangalore. And as I said Bye and walked off to meet other teachers the least I expected was to hear the news of his demise within few hours.

We will miss you a lot, dear Sir !

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2010 – Indeed has been the year of Violence !! A very lucky one for me !!! Here is a list of 100 moments which i could think of  in the past year !! May be i’ve missed few events please excuse my ‘hyper’glycemia  and ‘hyper’ tension on a New Year Day :p

1.       Thank God

2.       2nd year Practical Exam

3.       Vacation Get together at Roshans House

4.       Veegaland, Athirapally, Cherai Trip with Rv and Davi

5.       Mad Ads, Mime – Victory at JNC 2010

6.       Aunt sr. Meletia’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations

7.       Committee Taking Over

8.       Muse  2010 – Staff Council Presentation

9.       Watching Sachin’s 200 runs in ODI (in St. Johns Rec Room , with Nitin and others)

10.   Grandfathers sudden Demise

11.   ICS – Clean Sweep by 2007

12.   ICS- Hockey Finals

13.   Sports day 2010

14.   Laugh Out Loud Victory- in St. Josephs after the MCC incident

15.   High Tea, in the mess

16.   Summer Carnival 2010

17.   College Retreat at Kengeri

18.   EASTER 2010 – at home

19.   Vagamon drive and Pilgrimage with Dilip, Gilin, Kiran and KV

20.   Easter Dinner

21.   Mess: Tea with H.E Francis kallarackal

22.   ICC – The Hungama

23.   ICC – 2007 Champions

24.   ICC – Mad Ads

25.   Campus Dinner, in Lawns

26.   Graduation Night for 2003

27.   Kantheerva stadium – Nike Face OFF

28.   Batch Treat at Paramount Roof Top

29.   Muse Meetings in my room & B- MID

30.   Johnite Premier League Season 2 – the success and controversies

31.   Release of JOHNITE SCREAMER

32.   IPL – Finals – Big Screen Telecast in Mess

33.   Mannar Church Mother Mary’s Feast – May 2010

34.   Muse Sponsorship hunt

35.   CHAP – Rural Part

36.   Adventurous Trip with Sheldon from Mugalur to Blore during CHAP

37.   Autumn Muse 2010 (Cultural and sports Fest)

38.   MUSE ROCK 2010 – parikrama and Avial

39.   LOR Treat by Dr. Andrew

40.   Getting Stuck on the flyover at 4 AM with Davis’s Car (+ Nitin)

41.   JIPMER SPANDAN 2010 – THE VIOLENCE

42.   Room Parties – with batch mates/seniors and some violent Babies

43.   Movies at Shivajinagar with Rv, Jyothis, Narayan etc

44.   Autumn Muse Success Party 2010 – In mess

45.   Batch Trip to Coorg

46.   Kolar SDUMC FEST – Victory

47.   Kolar Car Accident & The Drive Back

48.   Various Other College Fests

49.   Mad Med Show 2010

50.   Ithu Seri Na ? Skit for Com. Med Dept

51.   Onam dinner 2010

52.   Papa, Mummy, and Kunjai – VISIT TO BLORE FOR ONAM

53.   Onam Celebrations with – Cousins, Uncles, Parents at Bijo’s house

54.   Muse 2010 – Final Presentation at Directorate

55.   Family Trip Calicut – Palaghat

56.   Christmas Vacations 2010 at Home

57.   Family Reunion and Grandmas First Death Anniversary in October 2010

58.   SKPS BATCH REUNION at Linsu’s House on 27th Dec.

59.   Bangalore Visit by SKPS Friends – Dileep, Rahul, Rony,  Kiran, Jasmine

60.   Planning and executing Jingle Rock 2010 – The HIT

61.   Jingle Rock Meeting at the Directorate

62.   3rd year University Theory  Exams

63.   Party after Pepsico Payment

64.   Batch party at Florence’s House

65.   Dr. Anil’s Treats

66.   Combined Study with RV for Com. Med Paper 2 Univs.

67.   Prelims Practs Combined Study with – Jeff and Omkar

68.   Moments with Mad Med Men Jnrs Team

69.   December 31st – Dinner with Rv and Mathew at Blue Petal

70.   B’day Celebrations 2010

71.   Lunch Buffet with RV and Babu on 15th Sept at Shelton Grand

72.   Misc abrupt decisions with Ja Ja Ja regarding Committee , Muse etc

73.   Batch Meetings with 2009 Batch

74.   Teachers day Celebrations 2010

75.   Sr. sahaya’s B’day Celebrations

76.   Christmas Mass and post mass Get-together at St. Johns on 25th Dec.

77.   Misc Mess Table Talks

78.   Campus day 2010 Skit with Sr. Beenama and Team

79.   The attendance shortage issue, Classes that I attended in CG 116 + The ones I got Proxy !!!

80.   Grand Alumni Reunion in Mess

81.   Alumni Reunion of 82 Batch in Manipal County and MMM Performance

82.   Marathon at st. Thomas and the BIG ARGUMENT

83.   Night before Muse Rock with Avial Band in their Hotel Room

84.   The sleepless nights Before Muse

85.   The 12 hour long continuous work for the Muse Boucher

86.   Designing of the Muse Posters and Invites the day before Rural Chap Staying awake all night, in the Comm. Office

87.   Hour long conversations with Dr. Binu, regarding Muse

88.   Meetings with – Dr. Kuttappa, Dr. Nachiket, Dr. Mary,  Dr. Anil, Dr. Anuradha

89.   Meetings with – Fr. Lawrence, Fr. Mathew

90.   Getting Diagnosed as Hypertensive !!!

91.   Meetings with – Dean, Dr. Sandhya, Dr. Varghese

92.   Several Saturday Meetings with Prabhu ’03 before Muse

93.   Various End Off Postings in 2010 – especially Paeds

94.   The Late Night Talk with Dr. Binu, Dr. Reji and Dr. Preetesh after the Alumni Party !!

95.   Partying with – Mess workers, various other staff of St. Johns

96.   Alex Manoj Mathews – drummer Boy a great Friend and Senior

97.   Work with Dr. ramesh on the Research Journal Website

98.   Go Karting, Edge, Paramount Roof Top etc. with my Friends

99.   My batch mates, babies, friends, well wishers especially the fellow Committee Members

100.   Time spend thinking about Everyone who hates me !!

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