The Trupti Swipe

I had a rest day yesterday. I believe that’s what they call it in the fitness world. I just felt lazy after three days of intense workout. So I wake up today morning fully motivated and ready to burn.

I make my morning green lemon tea and turn the tv on as I sip it. All TV channels are streaming live feeds from Cochin Airport. She has arrived. 

Political groups cum devotees gather outside the airport. Police increase security. Debates ensue. 

Let’s roll back a bit. Trupti’s history in social media in Kerala and in general among the less aware is of an atypical female of Indian origin, one that flaunts all the norms of behavior of an Indian lady. As a result, the faithful society of Kerala do not find her in any manner to be an eligible representation of women in this country. 

It’s no longer fun to live in Kerala. On the back of a natural / man-made calamity, we are hardly finding our feet. A series of damning decisions made by the Supreme Court in the last couple of months has not allowed the climate to change much here. 

So what is the problem? Why are we fighting religion? Religion is faith. Faith holds people together. It is blind faith, but it is a binding force. It can move masses. It can create revolutions. The constitutional overriding of faith for an insignificant equality in a solitary private place in India seems to be simply bloated up. 

In a nation that doesn’t have freedom of expression, where a women is assaulted every other minute, I can not imagine what impact women (non-believers) wanting to visit Sabarimala. 

I have visited Sabarimala four times. What I really enjoy about it is the 41 day fast. Fast can be in many forms. But I challenge my mind to ‘stay within boundaries’ during that time evading materialistic joys. Then I do the holy climb. For me it was never about the outcome of the journey. It was always about the journey. 

The uniformity of clothing, the same chants, the interactions of people from all walks of life, all seeing each other as just a swami.. a human.. for a change. Irrespective of faith, history, belief and rituals, the highest order of the country with such ease opted to make a decision on gender equality over faith of people. This is in fact the biggest fallacy of democracy of a large nation. 

Only the highest authority of the region can make a socially acceptable decision. People debate reasons why women were denied and the time has come to change it.

If change has to come, so be it. But it doesn’t have to be abrupt. We are in no hurry. Wonder where today’s drama is gonna go. I am not looking forward to the next month and developments in Kerala. 

Day 4 – Swami Sharanam

Woke up as early as 3am. Took a bath and headed to pick dad from the Airport. En route while driving over, I was forced to slow down at a Paripally temple, where the festival procession had taken onto the road. On the way, came across 11 elephants in the 60km drive.

Coming to the new Terminal was some experience. Normally we take a right from Chakka circle to head towards Shangumugham beach and to the airport. But the new terminal meant, we stay on the By pass road itself. 1.2 km further from the Chakka circle, a small single lane road from Ananthpuri Hospital gradually climbs up and opens into a 3 lane one way road which slowly but steadily opens into the new international terminal that is spread over 32,200 square metres.

[Too much security denied me capturing the photos of the terminal to share here]

Here are some facts about the new terminal:

  • The new terminal has been constructed at a cost of Rs 290 crore. Spread over 32,200 square metres, the facility can handle 1,600 passengers at a time and an annual capacity to handle 18 lakh passengers.
  • It has 30 check-in counters with Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE) facility for easy transit of passengers, 14 immigration counters, two Customs counters and four security check counters in departure. There are 12 immigration counters and nine Customs check counters for the arriving passengers. With glass being a major portion of the new structure, it also provides natural lighting inside the building.
  • Another attraction of the new terminal is that visitors can enter the terminal building up to the point that they could see the departing passengers even after checking-in, which is not possible in the existing terminal. The entry fee is Rs 60 per person.
  • The Airports Authority of India will be charging user development fee of Rs 575 per embarking international passenger from Tuesday. Passengers who had not paid user fee along with the ticket will have to pay the amount at the special counters at the terminal.
  • The terminal is fully-air-conditioned terminal with wi-fi connectivity and is designed to handle the passengers of two A-300s and one Boeing 747 aircraft at the same time.
  • A domestic terminal, a new air traffic control station and a cargo complex will also be built in the near future.

It’s been a year since I met dad and was a great day to catch up with him. Enjoyed a Falafel for breakfast, read the previous day’s Arab Times and in the evening spent time with him at our native place.

Swami Sharanam.

Day 2 – Swami Sharanam

Today woke up an hour late. Yet to come to terms with my ceiling fan – the regulator no longer works and it gets terribly cold in the morning. Morning temple visit was uneventful, though cycling on a light stomach seemed arduous.

Lunch was sumptuous with mom showing a sigh of relief and joy that she no longer has to cook so much. [no fish cutting|cleaning etc.]

In the evening while returning from the temple, stopped by at the football ground near the stadium. Its been so long since I ran on a pitch. Two teams were playing a practice match under a coach. I was enjoying the bundle of energy and enthusiasm of the kids playing. The way the coach re-enacts the play [pausing all the players on the pitch to show one player what he did wrong] was so helpful, and in a few minutes, I was finding myself getting vocal just like the coach. So before things got out of hand, I headed back home. 🙂

Swami Sharanam

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