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dimanche 26 juin 2016


I have had a very long standing relationship with Cochin in India, perhaps the ancient Jewish connection.
A few months ago, my cochini jewish friend Elias sent me the above video and I wrote to him: I want to meet this remarkable couple. 
On my return to Cochin on a  recent trip, Elias took me on his motorcycle to the humble tea shop of Vijayan and Mohana. It was truly a great cultural experience for a traveller.
A humble tea vendor, who sells his tea and snacks at a modest price of 5 INR (7 us cents each) and saves about 5 dollars per day towards a trip that he would take with his wife of 40 years. As you would see in the video this is a love story, the fibre of our own lives, a moment to question the beauty in our lives and search for it in the lives of this humble couple of Cochin.
the brother of Vijayan is an Auto Rikshaw driver who gave us the details of the shop. Elias is on the left.
Soon we arrived at the tea stall of Viajayan and Mohana. Elias explained that I am a Jewish Traveller and that I  was very impressed with his determination and that he is the best propaganda for Kerala Tourism.
Kerala,especially the coastal and hilly country, is a pretty place but as you know there are lots of pretty places in this world, but Kerala, especially the only town I know in Kerala, has a wonderful collection of people:
such as Vijayan and Mohana, the humble people who have accomplished and given more to the world than the IT nerds and western wannabees of Cochin or Bangalore, who have been the best brand ambassadors for Kerala and its people. How many Keralites or Indians can claim that title?
And there are some illustrious members of the Christian families who have lived here for millennia. I have travelled more than once just to enjoy the company of these people, not to mention the sumptuous Cochin food that accompanies these occasions.
The tireless Jew of Cochin, Elias comes to mind, who has somehow resuscitated by being faithful,  the history of the Jewish people along this coast, nearly 2000 years old. 

(Two Jews and a World Traveller Keralite. How many well off Keralites can claim to have visited countries as varied as South Africa and Israel?)

For all those people, who only dream but do not know how to make those dreams come true, please follow the example of Vijayan and Mohana..
and wish them both more enjoyable and fascinating travels. They are the best ambassadors for Kerala and its people, more interesting to talk to and have a better understanding of the human mind and aspirations than majority of the educated people I have met in Cochin. Their message is not only for people of Cochin but also has meaning for all of us because of its universality.
May the Great Spirit give them long years of life and fulfilling travel paths.