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My kind of place

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MADHU BALAJI

Head to toe

India’s feet are as lovely as its face. Of course, I am referring to Kashmir and Kerala. For now I can talk about Kerala since I was blessed to have spent three good years working in Palghat. I was in my early twenties then, and a romanticist.

Pleasant experience

When I first landed in Palghat, I was struck by this pristine and pretty place. How can Kerala not be green and cool if it rains from June to December? You just wish you could paint or pen verses like a poet — there are sceneries galore. When free, I would take a trip to the nearby villages. Temples, streams, coconut trees…the villages have perfect setting to soothe the mind and body. Early morning is the best time to step out, you can see people look as fresh as the green grass, as if they have just come out after a shower — wet hair, an umbrella in hand and clad mostly in white. Unlike in other cities, rain doesn’t dampen the spirit of the people here nor does it hamper their normal routine.

Food and films

I am extremely fond of Kerala specialities such as kalan, olan and erissery. Every year on my birthday and wedding anniversary, my friend Subramanian, who is also a part of the Crazy troupe, brings home a good amount of kalan. His mother is an expert in making it. I cannot ask for a better treat. When in Palghat, I used to regularly watch Malayalam films. Most of the films are well-made and realistic. My favourite actors are Prem Nazir, Mohanlal and Mammooty. What’s more, I love visiting Guruvayoor and Sabarimala. It’s almost an annual event.

With heavy heart

I left Palghat. I sought a transfer to Chennai since my brother was planning to launch his drama troupe and wanted me back.

Revisit

I have been tempted to do that quite a few times. I have even taken my family there to share my feelings about the place with them. What’s amazing is that Kerala’s beauty, thankfully, remains unspoilt.

The actor spoke to CHITRA SWAMINATHAN

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