I went on an unplanned little trip to Wayanad today. Minivalliamma(mother’s elder sister), and Harimama(mother’s elder brother) and family(Ammuammayi and Devika) were going on a tour to Wayanad and Coorg. Ever since they planned the trip, I’d been bugging them to drop by at NITC on the way, as they wouldn’t get another chance to see my college, at least while I’m here.

They reached here around 9.30 am. I proudly showed them my room(in its pristine natural state!). Valliamma was a bit perplexed by the amount of cobwebs in the room, but when I told her that I had cleaned my room only twice this year- once at the beginning of S7 and again at the beginning of S8- she realized that I was hopeless and didn’t mention it again. Then we went around the campus in their car.

Since tomorrow’s exam was only in the afternoon, and more so since it was Economics, I decided to go with them till Wayanad and then come back, so that I could spend some time with them. We stopped at Pookkote Lake and did some boating. But the main attraction of the day was something very special and rare.

My grandparents used to live near Mananthavady back when Valliamma was a little girl, till she was five years old. She says her earliest memories are of that place. She’d not gone there since. She’d been longing to visit that place for a long time and at last it had come true.

Over the last few days, Valliamma had been very excited about visiting Kelloor (that’s the name of the place). When I went home a couple of weeks back she recounted to me whatever few fragmented memories she had, of the place and the people there. We even spent some time going over Wikimapia trying to locate the place.

The house which my grandparents used to live in was near an LP school, so we used that as a landmark. Of course, the old house itself would have long since given way to other structures. We are talking about more than 50 years ago (Valliamma turns 58 next week). We had some difficulty in finding the school mainly due to some confusion in its name, but we eventually found it (which actually turned out to be 150 years old).

Obviously, Valliamma doesn’t have any clear memories of the place, but she was so happy and thrilled to just be in that place and walk around- to find that the place actually exists outside her memories. I was humbled and felt very lucky to have been able to share this moment with her. I was very glad that I decided to make the trip- these are such rare moments.

We then proceeded to Mananthavady where I bade them farewell and returned to college.