Thrissur Pooram

Posted June 30th, 2009 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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After many many years, I witnessed the Thrissur Pooram again this summer.  Pooram is the Malayalam local lingo for almost any temple festival— and the one held in the town of Thrissur is supposed to be the grandest of them all. It is usually held between mid April & mid-May at the Vadukkunnathan temple in the town center.  Thrissur Pooram is especially famous for its gathering of richly decorated elephants sponsoredDSC_7022mainly by the two neighbouring temples of Parmekkavu and Thiruvambady who indulge in a friendly rivalry displaying colorful parasols or umbrellas. This is both preceded and followed by a stupendous musical display and some really amazing fireworks.  Thousands of people descend in Thrissur for the 2-3 days of the pooram to witness this spectacle creating a humongous crowd—possibly the largest public gathering of people that I have ever been a part of.

When I was in India, I spent every summer in Thrissur with my cousins. Pooram was a big part of my vacation.  Although the actual pooram lasts only for a couple of days, the excitement starts atleast a month back when the Pooram Exhibition opens. The pooram exhibition is a like a “mela” + expo where there are stalls from the smallest shopowner to relative big shots like the Railways and the big publication houses. I recall that a couple of times there was also a stall where the nearby medical college exhibited their jar of organ specimens from their labs.  In the pre-mall era, the exhibition and the shops was a big draw for all of us kids and we usually spent a couple of our vacation days and almost all our pocket money buying small knickknacks such as earrings, necklaces , bangles for the year. We would then eat some cotton candy, ride the giant wheel and religiously roam the entire grounds before strolling back home—happy & satisfied. Continue Reading »

Let us Cruise to the Bahamas…

Posted June 4th, 2009 by Deepa and filed in Travel
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Photos:  Bahamas Trip

Bahamas_139While I was transferring all my entries from my previous format into this new wordpress page, I realized that I had not written anything about our Christmas cruise to the Bahamas in 2008. Although this is delayed, I want to note down my impressions (or memories) of the cruise.  We went on a 4-day cruise on the Royal Caribbean ship called “Monarch of the Seas” to Nassau, Bahamas. This trip was planned as a “test–drive”. We wanted to see if we liked a cruise vacation before we went to Alaska next year.  And of course warm Bahamas sounded like a great place to visit in the winter.

I had no previous experiences of  how a cruise ship should be so I was pretty impressed with the humungous ship with its many lavishly decorated lounges. The food was delicious– there was both quantity and variety.  Almost all the dining rooms had free food— there was a few restaurants where we needed to pay but given the choice in the dining rooms and buffet area—we didn’t try any. Most of the ship’s employees were Indians: the guy who checked our tickets, some of the ship’s photographers, the dining room staff and a lot of the kitchen crew.  Three out of the four waiters at our table (bread waiter, head waiter, wine steward) were Indians. In fact our head waiter was from Bombay— Vile Parle to be precise. He was excited to know that we were from Bombay , and immediately said “Let me tell you my name, You will like it”.  His name was Anthony Gonsalves Continue Reading »