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vendredi 5 février 2010

Forty Eight Hours in Cochin.. Love in the time of ..?

I spent exactly forty eight hours in Cochin.. from arrival from KL on Air Asia (good flight) and then leaving by train to Bangalore ( a comfortable journey)
What all happens in the course of this time?
As I enter the offices of India Tourist Land run by my friends Suresh and Sunil, the usual laughter greets me, they are truly happy people, despite the stress of having to answer mobilephones constantly from customers wanting a thousand things..
Before the invitation for a cup of tea came along, Sunil mentioned: Yehudaji, would you have time to go to my native village near Kollam and advise my sister and her daughter about their Thyroid Problems?
What should I do? I have just arrived in this noisy city with ancient amnesia for me, I am a serious student of the history of Jews in this city.. I am to meet for long discussions on the history of this city with both Babu, the Last Jew of Cochin and also Mr R, an erudite man from an ancient christian family with a charming smile and a generosity to match. Then there is Sarah, the ageing jewess, the last of the 9 jewish inhabitants of the famed Jew Town of Mattancherry.. also to meet with Densal the genial host of Ft Cochin.. perhaps a lunch at Fort House Restaurant? another at Hotel Metropolitan?
All these things flashe through my mind. I have just come back from four days of immersion in the Yoga philosophy and an ancient way of balancing your life. Then I thought of American Indians, my teachers. They would say exactly this: your services are needed by a young girl with a medical problem you can take care of, the drive there is tiring and it would take up most of your precious time here in this city, but without sacrifice, you will loose the power you have to heal people.
I said: we will go tomorrow.
The phone rings, it is Mr R, in his sing song Malayalam accent but impeccable english, he would be there in a few minutes to pick me up to take me to his home for drinks and then dinner at Lotus Club of Cochin.
I will not waste time on Clubs, as they are not my particular interest, but I have to include the fact the first president of the club was Mrs Bristow, Lady Bristow to be exact, 1932, the wife of Sir Robert Bristow, the father of modern Port of Cochin.
So I shall post details of:
The remarkable Mr R of Cochin ( owns a factory that makes coir mats that can be bought at Walmart in the USA)
Our excursion to ancient Quilon, once a seat of a thriving community of Jews but now the journey is to diagnose and treat a thyroid condition in a thirteen year old.
After meeting Babu, whose daughters have similar names to children in my own family, Avital and Lea.. i even thought of a title of a book to write down all the lived in knowledge he has.. The Lamentations of the Last Jew of Cochin..
A wonderful Kerala Lunch at Hotel Metropolitan, the three lovely sari clad ladies who can brighten up any one with their seductive smiles...