My first Kasavu ever . Bought in Cochin many , many years ago , the fine cotton still draping like a dream . The Saree is actually “engineered” so well I should say as its long Pallu weighed down with the only Zari on the Saree ensues it falls well and stays on the shoulder. On a steamy morning in Calicut, it stayed uncrushed and in place all morning and well into lunch taking in its stride the long walks through the narrow the streets of Kuttychira which houses three absolute gems of old , heritage Mosques and some absolutely striking old homes where families of over 35 members still live together .
How rich , how diverse and how beautiful is our land and how loving and unquestioningly affectionate are those who people it.
With so much care and pride Mohammad Ali Saar showed us all around this intriguing and beautiful neighborhood and gave Shajahan and I a special , no holds barred tour of the 700, 1,100 and 1,300 years old Mishkal Mosque , Jammatpalli and Muchandipalli respectively .
Pointing out intricate calligraphy and wood work ; the water tanks and the teak pillars he told us the incredible history of the place and took us to meet with the people who lived in some of the old , rambling homes there . It was like setting foot into a Time Machine. Transported into another world . Pillars and rafters in deep brown teak, cavernous interiors and heavy doors , brass knockers and never ending verandas !
As for the mosques , they defy description by mere words. Looking like any of the Ambalams that dot the Kerala landscape, these mosques , built centuries ago in the traditional , local architectural style, speak volumes about peaceful coexistence , acceptance and respect of others’ belief and faith. It is said the ruling Zamorin gave all the wood required so these imposing structures could be made.
The thought came to me later in the evening as we sat on the beach after our patient group meeting was over . Nothing has really changed . We do love each other and live as brethren . Just the last 24 hours saw all of us breaking bread with each other under the benign and benevolent gaze of Mother Mary in Jinto’s home one night, to all of us feasting on typical local fare at the eatery on our way up to Wayanad and now , Mujeeb singing with such a devout demeanor , Sharanam Ayyappa and Gruvayur Appa ninde … And taking us all with him as he scales those pure notes .
And the Neiyye Appam the corner walla store keeper brought me to eat “hot hot” this morning with the Chai and the elderly man sitting by saying oh please come again and I will tell you the stories I grew up listening to . Each house has one !! And each of them a heart as beautiful as the lady in the Burqa who posed for the picture with me.