We are four; working for MNC companies, decided to travel to a serene village – Naduvil at Kannur District in Kerala. The journey was me and Pranathi from Hyderabad by air to Mangalore and Vinay by Road joining us there. Sukanya took train and reached Naduvil via Kannur. Naduvil is close to the Eco-tourism centre VAITHALMALA, the Western Ghats cross Coorg in Karnataka (the Switzerland of India). We made it on 24th for a three day Spiritual colloquium with the Life-Coach turned Space Scientist Dr T P Sasikumar (DrTPS for many / Chachu for me). At Naduvil DrTPS has his Centre of learning called JNAANAM (means – Knowledge) under his trust – SHIKSHA (www.drtps-shiksha.in). Years back when we met DrTPS, we realized that there is no age limit for gaining knowledge (http://shiksha-hp.blogspot.in/) (https://www.facebook.com/groups/drtps/)
Day – 1 (24-April-2014, Friday)
Three of us (Pranathi, Vinay and Anusha) reached Naduvil via Mangalore from Hyderabad and Sukanya reached Kannur from Chennai. While in the cab from Mangalore, through Kasargode-Payyanur- to Naduvil; the journey filled us with old memories of our SHIKSHA HP sessions at Hyderabad on holidays and weekends. We cherished the attachment we have with Chachu (DrTPS), despite the mother tongue and cultural difference. The road trip from Mangalore to Naduvil was so refreshing, with so much of greenery all around. As we passed Karnataka and entered Kerala, we were still unable to believe whether it’s a dream or reality. On the way called Chachu and asked him the route which we have to take to reach Naduvil. Chachu explained it perfectly and also sent me the messages with clear routes. Though the driver nodded that he understood, he was confused as he didn’t know the names of most of the places. Here came the smartphone for our rescue, the navigation tool perfectly showed us the directions and the driver too was happy as his burden was lessened. Once we reached near Rajarajeswara Temple, I was able to feel the increased breath rate and feel the heartbeat, so excited I was. We crossed Naduvil Secondary School (Our Chachu’s School) and from there in another 200 meters was the electric post number 160(as directed), a lane beside this electric post took us to JNAANAM at 1pm.
I saw this house many times on FB when Chachu uploaded the pics. Seeing it live was different. I was unable to believe my eyes and felt that it is a dream. But no, I was really here, it was an awesome feeling and there are no words to express the feeling which I got. Once we got down, there were a bunch of students whom I spotted and my eyes were looking for Chachu, then I saw him recording the video. While we were taking out the luggage from the cab, two students came running towards Pranathi and grabbed her bag from her hand in order to help her. But she was very much scared by that sudden action as they did not utter a single word while grabbing it. Later understood from Chachu that, he instructed them to help us and they immediately followed his instructions without uttering a word. They being from the village had the trouble in English/Hindi and had inhibition to communicate.
Sukanya was already part of the receiving group (she reached Naduvil around 9am) along with Chachu and was in a big Close-up smile; showing how much she is got mixed well in the environment in just two to three hours. I was able to spot the excitement in her eyes; possibly a feeling that we would have been sharing. He introduced us to his sister, she was so kind and loving. He then asked Sukanya to show us the rooms and other facilities. The steps to reach upstairs were so different, in fact everything was so different and creative in that house; a DrTPS-Touch. I initially had my own reservations on a village as there could be no good facilities and could have scary ones (ants / flies / snakes – I am so sceptic on these). But here all that is needed to make us comfortable is around and facilities and people are so sweet, cool and warm.
A vibrant open sit-out on first-floor
Sukanya told me that this is the place where Chachu sleeps. “So much of creativity”, I thought to myself. Sukanya guided us to the room where we placed our luggage and got fresh up in the attached bathrooms. So much of lights around and felt the nature’s touch with the pure chill water shower even during the hot summer.
We learned that there are students (around 20) from different part of Kerala for the five- days session with Chachu. DrTPS is seen as an inspiring life example for all of them. Scolding, making to work, sharing, caring, loving, acting, creative-innovative activities are part of life here with his students as we had a bit of its taste at Hyderabad for over two years week-end sessions.
13 students who are best academic performers of tenth standard were brought by their teacher Krishna Kumar from Mala. Though Tenth passed in high merit, these village students lack the confidence in facing the outer world. Krishna Kumar had an association with DrTPS in 2009 and he is sure that a few days with Chachu would change their attitude and will give confidence to travel on the path of success. They were here with Chachu since 21st April and we reached him on 24th April.
As usual Chachu was on his laptop when we saw him at downstairs. We had a good Kerala lunch. Lunch for all of us were arranged through a home-made local catering through one Mr.Mansur. For the post-lunch session we sat in a line ready for acquiring knowledge. I was able to see the difference and the pretext in the students from Mala and as I know Chachu, found the bit of his touch in their style of interaction. They started a rapid fire questions at us to know more about us, this is what and how Chachu makes their students to communicate. We answered all their questions, though there were some difficult questions we managed to answer them. It was indeed a wonderful experience to have an interaction with all those students, they were so fun loving and excited bunch.
Had so much of interactions with them, then those students have readout the report on what all they have learnt since 21st April and then Chachu explained them the importance of gaining Knowledge then shown us a few funny informative videos. There was a parent of a student, Rosly. The time I said her Namaste, she just hugged and kissed me. It was a different experience for me as I have never seen a stranger showing so much of love on a first meet. Then I realized how much loving and caring people of Kerala are!! This lady cried while expressing her feelings. I was surprised as to why she was crying. Then she said that she became very emotional by looking at the way we are attached with Chachu. She said these days it is difficult to find such affection between parents and children too. By seeing her crying even Chachu’s eyes have wet. Chachu is so affable how could anyone resist not getting attached to him!! I realized how much lucky we are to get such a guru like Chachu.
Once we were done with these interactions, Chachu took us for a walk. He cautioned me to wear shoes, then I realized that it is not just a simple walk, but a trek too. There is a passage from his home which leads us into woods. So awesome the place was.
Trekked for some time through the woods and reached a beautiful road. I have roamed around so many places in India, but have never seen such a beauty which could be compared to this serene village.
During this walk, Chachu explained us about his village. After this refreshing walk, we came back and had a cold water shower, which made me feel so energetic. To add to this Chachu made a Lemon Tea for us, so tasty and delicious it was. I generally don’t drink Tea, but this was really different and I loved it so much. Chachu, Krishna Kumar Sir and the students had a shower outside from the water from well. I missed it, I wish I too could have experienced it. Anyways, there is always a next time.
Group – 1 prepared a skit on agricultural workers. It was on a secret script stealing and Shaapa (curse) followed thereafter. It looked to me like an ancient story. They performed so well. Balaram (a teacher from Trivandrum who came to JNAANAM with his friend who is a professional photographer) was the director for this skit. The care taker lady of JNAANAM - Karthyayani Chechi (Chechi in Malayalam means sister) is the one who gave life to the Skit by her enchanting song.
Group – 2 prepared a skit on the latest happening in any street. When there is some mishap happening, especially to young lady; people around are interested in capturing it in their mobiles cameras and may be reporting rather than saving the life of the people. They did it well.
Cultural Eve made its interesting part by Krishna Kumar Sir and Sony (Rosly aunt’s daughter) enacted Chachu’s role as a teacher conducting Sessions. Everyone had a bit of songs in Malayalam, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil to fill the time. Mansur came bringing dinner for us and Chachu asked him to sing a Malayalam Muslim song and he sang it so well.
After the singing program we had dinner. Post dinner session all the students shared their learning experience with Chachu. They explained how they have benefitted, changed and improved after coming to Chachu. Their teacher Krishna Kumar thanked Chachu and congratulated his students on the positive changes that is brought in because of the session at JNAANAM. Most of the participants were in the parting emotional mood.
After this, we went upstairs to sleep. As we know in another two days, we have to leave, we didn’t want to sleep. We wanted to utilize the time talking to Chachu. The students were supposed to leave the very next day and hence nobody was in a mood to sleep. Pranathi slept as she was tired, but Sukanya, Vinay and me sat on Chachu’s bed beside him and started having discussions. Sony too joined us and expressed that she too is not interested in leaving. As a result, we did not allow Chachu to sleep till late night (in fact till early morning). He used to force us to go and sleep, but we didn’t listen. I felt that if God appears before me and asks what I want, I would ask him to stop the time here.
Day – 2 (25-April-2014, Friday)
I was not able to sleep the previous night and hence slept early in the morning at 5 AM and got up at 5:30 AM. In the morning the view around the home was very good, filled with mist. I took my camera and started capturing the beauty around. It was a breath-taking view.
Then, we got ready as Chachu said that he would take us around as he got a session in Universal College of Engineering, Payannur. After breakfast we started our journey starting with a spectacular view of hills located near Naduvil. So magnificent was the view with all the 15 hill-folds seen with mist filled in between. We clicked few pictures and proceeded towards Payannur.
The drive towards Payannur was also so fun. We all enjoyed it a lot. On the way stopped at a New India Hotel for a Tea at Pilathara.
Universal College was felicitating the 10th class toppers and has invited Chachu as the chief guest. The management of this college was also so welcoming, they received us well. We got a chance to meet Chachu’s Sanskrit Professor at Payyanur College who was the Registrar of Kannur University later. He is the one who recommended this college to invite Chachu. Chachu used to tell us how simple his teacher is and how he helped his son in becoming an IAS officer, the newspaper cuttings that were separately pasted as National, International and Regional over the partition wall has helped his son to acquire General Knowledge starting from his primary school level. Felt very happy to meet him. We meeting our Guru’s Guru... An awesome feeling isn’t it!!
After the program, the college management took us to Greenpark restaurant which is located diagonally opposite to the college for lunch. After the lunch, Chachu took us to Payannur College, where he studied BSc.
We proceeded to Payannur Sri Subramanya Swamy Temple. On the way, we met Chachu’s friend Vijayan Perumba’s wife. Chachu introduced us to her. We stopped at a Khadi store where we saw Payannur Khadi Silk Saree.
The temple pond had lively small fish. We also visited Chachu’s friend Shanta, who shifted back to Kerala from Delhi. An old couple, they too were so warm and welcoming. Loved the experience. I missed clicking a pic with them. Vijayan Perumba’s hotel was like a dhaba on the roadside on the way. We had a delicious Lemon Tea. It is so tasty that I did not waste even a single drop. Have to learn their secret recipe. (After this trip, I went to Goa and tried ordering Lemon Tea in various so called 5 star hotels, nothing has even tasted close to his Lemon Tea.)
We visited ‘Naduvil Higher Secondary School’. This school is managed by Chachu’s family. From the school, we went back to home. We met Chachu’s Brother’s family. Chachu’s brother Prof. T.P. Sreedharan and brother’s wife, Dr. Rashmi (Chachu’s brother’s daughter), Goutam and Gayatri (Dr Rashmi’s children).
I had a short nap, so don’t know what happened. Sukanya told me that, Chachu’s friend and his wife have visited. Chachu didn’t want to disturb me while sleeping, so he didn’t wake me. After dinner we had discussions on Kerala’s cultural tradition.
At 12:30 midnight I woke up everyone as I was excited to experience Theyyam (The traditional Malabar – North Kerala – Art form representing God in Dance Form. Theyyam was getting make-up and all the rituals being performed. Initially, it was as like as if we were watching a Horror program Live after 2nd show. We were totally scared. I cried when they cut the hen’s head. The Theyyam was in a trance and performed an aggressive dance. That raised my hear-beat. I was very much scared. After two hours as it came out of trance the scene was of silence and blessing. The God coming and communicating with all around and chatting on your daily troubles to provide solutions was a first time soothing experience. There we met many known to Chachu and they were all live during this early hours around 2.30 am. Santha Teacher was known to me on Facebook.
Day -3 (26th April 2014 – Saturday)
I woke up at 5:45 AM in the morning after the Theyyam Show. Knowing that we are going to miss this splendid surroundings around from today till the next trip, we sponched views around.
Chachu’s friend Unni Theendakkara Pandhottom from Delhi came to visit this beautiful home in Naduvil. We had good chat, light discussions. Enjoyed a lot.
Chachu’s teacher Santhechi visited us in the afternoon. She was so friendly that we immediately started discussions and she explained us about her Hyderabad trip.
We want a drive to Kudiyanmala but while experimenting the routes, we reached Chemperi. Champeri is a remote village but that houses one of the best Engineering colleges in Kannur District - Vimal Jyothi Engineering College. Unlike the engineering colleges in Andhra Pradesh, this college is very beautiful, well spread beautiful garden, well maintained campus.
From there we drove to Paithalmala route. On the way, we had car dance. It is difficult to explain it here. To know about this car dance, one has to experience it – you could try with a car mechanic when he goes for a test drive for the wheel alignment. We saw a house with beautiful garden, asked Chachu to stop the car so that we could click few snaps, Chachu stopped the car near that house and started a conversation with the owner. We were surprised as to how he so easily starts a conversation and makes a friendship with strangers. I realized that there is still so much to learn from Chachu. Those people took us inside their home, and showed us rabbits, birds and dogs which they raise. They offered us watermelon to eat. Chachu had a chat with them while we enjoyed clicking few snaps of their beautiful garden and pets. We then thanked them and headed on to Naduvil route.
Just close to Naduvil town, we had lime soda. I am actually a fan of Lime soda and I try lime soda in almost every restaurant where I go in all the seasons. But nothing could beat the taste of this lime soda which I tasted in Kerala. Then we tasted the Kerala banana, which had a very peculiar taste.
On the way, we met Chachu’s eldest half-brother (P T K Nambiar), he was reminded about the function (Annual day of P P Krishnan Nambiar, who is Chachu’s Chachu) which is being held on that day at Naduvil High School. We went with him to his home. The grandson of Chachu was good at history, all the trail questions were answered without a hinch.
We too attended the function at Naduvil High School. We experienced how these kind of functions will be held. We met many of Chachu’s cousins.
While we were packing getting ready for return trip there was heavy rain. We thanked Chachu’s relatives for their warm welcome to us and left for Payannur Railway station with Chachu. On the way to Payannur Railway Station we again went to Chachu’s friend Vijayan’s hotel and had a hearty dinner of Ghee Rice, Pulkas with green peas curry and a lemon tea. The food was delicious. We said bye to Vijayan uncle and headed towards Payannur Railway Station.
Here came our three day Kerala trip to an end. Though we were sad that it came to an end so soon, but we have got enough memories to cherish and enough learnings to implement till we plan for another trip to Naduvil.
JNAANAM Centre of SHIKSHA at Naduvil gives a wonderful living experience in a Serine Village like Naduvil!!!
The divine camphor smell that spreads all over the house, serene early morning sunrise.The bee sounds,early morning mists.Refreshing lemon tea,appetising authentic Kerala cuisines like puttu,Malabar rice,chana masala.Caring, loving and warm people of Naduvil who treated us like their own daughters.Beautiful western ghats,heavy rains.Our 'CAR DANCE'.Colourful,beautiful
houses of Kannur that reflect the style of Kerala architecture.Too colourful public transport buses.Kerala temples.Breath taking 'THEYYAM' and most importantly our GURU Sasikumar Drtps and all the TIME we spent with him.Our trip to Kannur might be just for 3days but the people of Naduvil and all the experiences we had in that heavenly place will always have a permanent space in our hearts.I truly thank my Guru from bottom of my heart for everything he has done for us.We Pranathi Kavuru Durga Anusha Vinay Vicky Sukanya Chandrashekarenpromise you Sir that we'l make you proud of us one day. .