With school now out for the boys we decided to go on a little trip .
We started off to a historical little village called Panchalamkuruchi about 20kms from Tuticorin, to see the Memorial Fort of Veerapandiya Kattabomman.A warrior who first opposed the British rule.We didn’t know the way to any of the places we went and reached our destination with the age old method of navigation; asking bystanders for the route. All along the people were remarkably helpful.
We reached the fort , got our tickets and as we walked towards the memorial hall constructed by the state government, I got goosebumps thinking that we were standing on a place where people fought valiantly for their freedom
The guide walked us through the the paintings on the wall ,narrating the tale of Valor .It was hard to hold back the tears,if not for treachery and betrayal, these mighty men would have stood their ground, proud and tall. Kattabomman was later hung from a tamarind tree . what a sad way for the brave to die!
We drove through stretches of barren dry land, quarries and tiny indescript villages. I marveled at how people contently went about their business there, I try to imagine me living there , I don’t think I can do it for long.
As we passed through one after another , dad and mom told us tidbits about these villages, one unassuming little village was the back bone of many readymade garment factories they told us. Another was the birth place of a famous freedom fighter V O Chidambaranam. While Mom and I knew about him , the boys didn’t, so my dad narrated the story of this freedom fighter, his struggles and hardships during the freedom struggle to the boys as he drove our omnivan.Though very interested in history, they couldn’t comprehend things….like being yoked in place of bulls to the oil press ….…. first they didn’t know the oil press , then haven’t seen one in action….we managed to show them an abandoned one….still somehow I felt ,in translating to them , we failed to convey the depth of emotions ….the pain and agony associated with it .
As we crossed from one side of the highway to the other, we were surprised by the stark contrast that greeted us! Coconut groves and farms lined with cheerful bougainvillas in full bloom, doubling up as fences were a treat to the eyes and mind.The much cooler air helped to keep the general mood in the van happy.
Next stop was Holy Trinity Church Sawyerpuram
We walked around admiring the beautiful stain glass and other details in the church. It was so calm and serene in there.
After we all prayed there, we set out again onto our next stop…mostly lost in our thoughts as we gazed out through the window, enjoying the greenery and the contrasting red soil.
Some one piped up with “I’m hungry “and we decided to stop for lunch…. in the next shaded area.Luckily for us, we found our perfect picnic spot under the welcoming shade of a large tamarind tree.
As an added bonus, there was a drinking water pump on the other side of the road . The boys were quite fascinated by it and took turns pumping water for everyone to freshen up a bit.
We then dug into the scrumptious picnic meal of Tamarind rice, coconut chutney and fried chicken, mom had lovingly prepared for us all.So delicious ! I think we all ate a lot more than we usually do!
With full bellies , happy hearts, a smooth ride, and the gentle breeze lulling us to sleep, the boys and I went off to zzzz land only to be awoken at the Church.
We walked around this church too, sat on a bench there taking in the peaceful , calm ambience and praying.
We sat outside in the car and watched life going on as usual ; children going to home after school hours, parents coming to pick up children,some children waiting for their parents to come pick up , playing with their friends, for while, as we gobbled up the egg sandwiches .
It was time to go ,as dad always found it difficult driving at night, with full beam headlights nearly blinding everyone on the road.We did stop for coffee at another little village. People watched some more and came back home before the sun went down.
We enjoyed this trip more than we expected, perhaps because we went on this trip after a really long gap or maybe it was the novelty of visiting places we have never been to.Surprisingly the teen who started out in a rather grumpy mood, having to leave behind his gadgets, admitted to having had a great time. He requested we do more of these road trips, before we go to , whichever place God has destined us to be as a family.