Date : 22nd of April 2008
Characters : 4 wayfarers
( Class 3 pupils - 2 (male)
Class 7pupil - 1 (female)
Working professional - 1 (female)) :D
Destination : Tripunithura Hill palace
Foreigners say that if you ever travel in India it must be in an auto rickshaw, the three wheeled bug-like marvel of Indian automotive technology. ;)
So in this marvel we began our excursion. But soon enough I realized that we had a crisis in hand.
Kids generally have only one thing to fight about regarding their road odysseys. Namely, ‘Who gets to sit at the sides?’
And voila! I had with me, three kids in give-me-the-side-seat-or-I-will-strangle-you mode.
Autos have (unfortunately) two side seats. Somehow I manage to sit at the open side. That’s settled. But alas the other side remains.
I really don’t remember who reached it first since what I could see was an agglomeration of the three in a bundle.
“Stop pushing meee!!!”
“I reached first!!!”
“Nooooooooooo… get out”
I am considerably scared owing to the fact that my brother holds a yellow belt in karate. Alright I agree yellow one is considerably low profile but there is no use assessing its merits and demerits when my bro feels like demonstrating his karate skills right then.
Autochettan is having a jolly-good time watching the spectacle.
After a fight good enough for Jackie Chan to reproduce, my sister finally wins. (Girl power :) ) And there goes my brother’s face into a very close reproduction of a football (slightly modified but very close).
General sportsman spirit expects the winner to cheer up the loser, shake hands, hug...
But by now you must have realized that here, such a mechanism would end in swollen faces or broken body parts. :/ Wishing to get all three at the destination as full packages I tell my brother how failures are the stepping stones to success and stuff to that effect. I think he didn't quite love the lecture from the way he glared back at me. And I retreat back to enjoying the wonderful view outside... beautiful...seriously!
Kids have a wonderful quality. They fight this minute and the next will sit and play like cronies. So did my dears... :)
By and by the clouds cleared and the mood turned light. By 10.45 we reached the gates of Hill palace. (Finally!)
All three were in high spirits in spite of the horrid April sun. With their stylish caps on and tiny carry bags on shoulders they really looked cute... :)
We took tickets at the entrance and entered the vast grounds.
The palace is on a slightly raised hill. Tarred roads lead to the palace winding on and on like a zigzag rope. But there was a shorter route. 118 steps (Thanks to my brother’s onsite math revision) lead straight to the palace doors.
Our small group started towards it, pausing on the way to click several pix in different poses.
Suddenly on the way we see the board leading to the children’s park in the opposite direction… I experience a centrifugal force in that particular direction and realize it’s my brother trying to sprint into the park. Somehow managing to pull him back, we start climbing.
We enter with high hopes of clicking pictures sitting in the king’s throne and with the old warriors’ swords but thanks to the security the camera is confiscated and we are left with a bottle of water. :(
This did not really bother the trio. The point of animated discussion now was
‘Who will sit on the throne first??’
Smelling another combat we start the tour around the palace. The kings in the olden days lived real lavish you must see! Passing through the old jewellery rooms, bedrooms and what not, finally the courtroom is in sight. The Throne!!
One among the musketeers spots it; somebody shouts; the thrilled threesome rush towards the mighty throne; the security glares at me; I run after them; And to my utmost relief they are blocked by a sort of barricade. Whew!
A bit disappointed, the rest of the tour is not conducted in very good spirits. But the rest was mostly history. So it wouldn’t have excited them any better.
For the history lover’s info: The hill palace was the central ruling place of the famous Kochi royal family till the first few decades of the last century when the royal rule finally came to an end. All sorts of artifacts ranging from the royal clothes, jewellery, perfumes, utensils, spoons, armours, shields, swords, carriages, pots etc. are exhibited. But one exhibit that caught my attention most was a unique piece of instrument for punishing criminals who had committed severe crimes such as attempting to murder the king or extreme treason. You could say it is one of the most savage ways for capital punishment. The instrument is neither a guillotine nor a garrotte. The criminal who is persecuted is hung from a tree in metal shackles. It totally covers him but at the same time offers ample open space (so he is not suffocated), has such a construction that the criminal can actually stand upon it even though he hangs from the tree. So how is he left to die?
Well, of hunger and worse still, eaten by vultures or other birds of prey.
Anyways we come out of the palace and find a nursery close by. My sister is crazy about plants so she coaxes me to buy a couple of saplings. Her wish is fulfilled. Member 1 happy for the day!
The rest 2 are tugging at me with 2 requests:
Ok, Deer park I agree. About Fanta and Mirinda I take a short lecture about Plachimada and poisoning and ground water replenishment and blah blah. But sigh; you guessed it right. One Fanta less in the shop.
Being almost 12 the sun is scorching atop. So nothing eventual happens in the deer park. The deers look so ancient that the lady who was inside to feed them caught more attention! :/
The trio started picking ‘manjadikkurus’ from the pathway enjoying every moment. :)
We walk back realizing that the major attractions in the hill palace are over. I walk towards the gate to call an auto when whoosh! Gone! How could I forget the park?!!
Another hour is spent with me running around all the slides and swings and see-saws yelling ‘Let’s go home’ ‘Mummy is calling’. In fact Mummy really was calling and firing me for being late. Anyway after about an hour of fun and frolic they themselves come and tell me
“Povaam???” Who said kids can't be sensible? :)
Coming back in the auto, we were all really tired.
But honestly, It was one of the best feelings ever, seeing those three exhausted but gladly smiling faces. :)