Photographs of strangers. Strangers who resembled family. Awkward conversations about unknown blood relatives. Names of mutual acquintances get tossed around to fill the silences. Trips to ancestral villages can be any of those things. However they turn out to be- they eventually become unforgettable memories!
Goats that wouldn't bother breaking away from their normal routine of sleeping on the middle of the road. Moss covered walls- giving a touch of bright green to those walls that are otherwise faded. Bright yellow flowers blossoming on the roofs of houses. Residents who were no strangers to the "visit" from the "long lost" "sons and daughters of the land" from the towns.
An ansestor who had become a "saint" was apparently burried in this little village. This was a quest to find the place where he was originally burried.There were two temples in the village- a big one and a amall one. They shared a priest which meant that the deities had to wait for their turn on a busy day!
The day we were vising the village, there was another family who were performing rituals at the temple. It tunrned out that they were related to us too. Only- no one could remember the relation that related us.
Village deities are a delight! There are so many stories of these deities rescuing the ones in distress. They usually leave behind a long trail of miraculous adventure tales that the ones involved liked to recount in detail- to whoever visited the place. While the children waited for the food to land on their plates- these tales kept growing longer and longer...
The saint happened to be burried beneath shrubs and weeds that covered a slight mound of land. It's a matter of faith and it was believed that he was burried right there.
A temple beneath a tree. The tree that stood and saw the village grow. The tree which stayed behind in the childhood memories of the lost cousins!
My father had often told me stories about how he had to walk for miles to get to his school. There were still those children in the village, who had to walk all the miles to reach their schools...
And finally, like in all stories, there are still those children, who like to have their picture taken by the visitors from the town! Perhaps they'd never get a copy of those pictures. Still, they'd insist that they be photographed. Years from now- she may meet more of my kind... The lost sons and daughters of the village... Perhaps one of them might even have her photograph for her!
The deities, the trees, the flowers on roofs; goats, wells and the dust on the stone horse's hoofs- these shall remain in the village forever! A memory of the time that paused for a while- in that beautiful village called- Keeranur!
Trip: Nov 22nd-24th 2014