I have a very nice friend, Barani Jalandar from college. She had been asking me to visit her native for long. And i had been smitten by the idea of celebrating pongal in the village... and the fact that there is River Cauvery running through their village made it all the more alluring.
So we decided to go there for Pongal this year(13th thro 17th Jan'10).. We both bunked college on 13th Jan to avoid the holiday rush in the bus. We started from Coimbatore early in the morning at about 7:00 in the morning and reached there roughly at 9:30.
After landing at Erode we decided to go on a shopping spree before we went home. Well before I proceed further, Unjalur is located between Erode and Kodumudi and is 45 minutes away from Erode. Now that I have got the location right back to the shopping...
We took a mini bus ride from the bus stand to panneerselvam park, where all the shops like Barani Silks (which was the target for us), Chennai silks etc are located. We had our breakfast at the Trichy Cafe which is well known for its quality taste in food.
Shopping at Barani Silks was a great experience. My friend and her family are regulars to that place and since she had befriended some of the staff there it was nice to shop there. We picked some salwars and sarees. We spent nearly half a day at the shop and started to Unjalur and reached her place in time for lunch.
I had been warned that her family makes people eat "well" but facing it in reality was a new experience in itself. After the lunch I had to have some soda with salt to be able to walk around. After lunch we went to the river side to get a free fish pedicure done :P we sat there with our legs in water for some time and talked. Later we went to the Unjalur Railway Station... That place.... will talk about it later.
Her family is very friendly, caring and big!!! It had been a long time since I saw a family that big. All the brothers and sisters arrived the next day. All that pulling the legs, making fun was really nice... There were so many events organised for Pongal like, sports for kids and elderly, parisal potti, running around the village for the youth, throwball for women (we participated in it... i LOL everytime i think about it... was fun)... etc... etc...
We went to a dam about 15 mins away from her place. The dam was built to distribute water to both the districts Namakkal and Erode through irrigation canals - I was told. We were playing around for sometime and got back home in the early evening.
There is always a play enacted at the village. I forgot the title of the play. A stage is constructed in the middle of the road and we all sit in the streets to watch it :) The play starts late in the night about 10:30 to 11:00 and goes on beyond midnight. I was feeling dead tired and it was loud so we went back home before the drama ended. But, it was so much fun, romantic duets, fight sequences, even club dances... the story was a complete package :D guessable ending though :)
Tamil movie Aayirathil Oruvan had released for pongal.. since it was very much expected we wanted to watch the movie. So pakkathu oor Krishna Theater ku ponom. :) Sadly the place is pretty developed... :P they dont even have a tent kottai but call their place a village...
There is one more important thing... Kilinja jeans, funky t-shirt, paratta thala, color mudi, china set nu city la pasangala paathuttu... vaetti sattai la village la pasangala paakka avlo nalla irundhadhu... it was so refreshing... from then on I decided that when I get married I must make my man wear dhoti from time to time.
Day four was just another lazy day. There is no rule at the house like you must wake up this early you must not nap in the afternoon... Perfect to spend a lazy holiday :D
We had actually planned to go to kodumudi that day... but all the over eating had caused my digestive system to perform over time and it was upset about it :P so we just spent the evening at the railway station.
The railway station at Unjalur has become closer to my heart. It is perfect for having heart-to-hearts and walking in the evenings. People will want to either travel down memory lane or open up and talk... The place has got its charm. I told my friend that I would want to spend an evening in the railway station with my better half.
There is this thing with girls, when they come across something nice and romantic they tend to build dreams with it... me no exception :D
We had to get up early... We decided to go home by train. The buses would be too crowded. So we took the Egmore - Mangalore express from Unjalur and landed at Coimbatore at about 11 in the morning.
It was a beautiful holiday... Man! I'll never forget it. :)