Posted: July 6, 2009 in My life at xime...
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It was a much needed vacation after the three months of nonsense classes and tiring assignments…

Winter Vacations are always fun. I could meet all my friends; hang around as we wish, eat whatever we like… and yes, complete entertainment guaranteed…

“When is Alex coming?” Irvin asked Lloyd.

“Most probably on 23rd noon”

“So where are we going this time?” Irvin looked at us eagerly for suggestions.

Lloyd and I looked at each other and then back at him… For the next two hours we discussed the plans very actively… Several ideas popped up. But we reached nowhere…

Finally it was Lloyd who injected some sense to that whimsy discussion “You know what, the plan is fantastic. But I don’t think it would work!!! Now let’s forget that and think something new and practical!”

That time, Irvin & I looked at each other, bewildered…

“No we stick to the plan.” Irvin banged on the desk.

“No we change the plan” Lloyd banged on the door.  

Anyway we didn’t let that funny discussion go on endlessly.  Soon we came to a conclusion and informed Alex about the plan.

On 24th morning, we started off to Ponmudi in Irvin’s car…

The journey was smooth as the climate was warm and pleasant. In half an hour we crossed the city limits… The ride from there was not that easy as the roads became narrow and curved. But it was green and beautiful everywhere… which gave a great feast to our eyes and cameras.

Somewhere in between we stopped in for breakfast… It was a small hotel and the place looked kinda deserted… but we were searching for one for a long time and so decided to settle with that one…

 “Five more appams please” Irvin ordered when I thought we were finished.

“Ok then, give one more plate of chicken!” Lloyd added.

The food was yummy as they had made it in typical Kerala style. The appams were awfully soft and juicy… maybe because they had mixed toddy or yeast into that. The best part was the spicy chicken curry which was topped with some green tasty leaves & they served it hot!

The bill was nothing compared to the quality of food they served.

“Sir, in the evening we are making kappa and ‘karimeen pollichathu’. Will try to get some river fish too…Would you like to drop by when you return?”

We looked at each other. Obviously, we didn’t want to miss that. I am sure no Keralite could resist that tempting offer!

“Alright! Count us too!” I said.

The woods became deeper and taller as we went further… The sun’s rays kissed us through the fine gaps between tall trees. Some soft music was flowing inside the car…

Alex and I enjoyed taking photographs of nature as we both were passionate about that… Irvin and Lloyd were enjoying the drive through the sharp hair pin curved roads…

By noon we reached Ponmudi. It’s one of the famous hill stations in Trivandrum. This place is famous for its tea gardens, wilderness and trekking. In addition to that one can spot quite a large number of tourists at any time of the season. Certainly, it’s a great place to visit if you like trekking and wilderness.

The trip was fabulous and fun filled… especially the trekking part. By the end of the day we all were very tired but the kappa and karimeen thoughts gave extra energy to all…


SUPA – that’s the heroine’s name (Socially Useful & Productive Activity) -One of the things which I liked in the XIME curriculum. Each student was supposed to work with an NGO for 21 days, usually immediately after winter holidays, and help that NGO substantially in whatever ways possible – That’s the aim of the activity. Also we needed to submit a report to the college once we got back to the college. The report would eventually be evaluated and graded.

The only flaw with this program was that the college never checked what students actually did in the NGO. They just gave grades on the basis of the glamour of report. So most of the students took this ‘Activity’ lightly and enjoyed their vacation. At the end, they brought some charming report and that’s it… quite a smart way of working… Well, some said that’s what a manager was after all! But there were few, who gave their time and effort to the welfare of the society. Lucky and blessed were those, who did the noble deed to satisfy their consciousness.

I worked in an NGO which educates the visually challenged people. For the first time in my life I started thinking about their challenging, yet colourful world. Their stories and skill sets were different, but they were just ordinary human beings trying hard to catch up with the ‘normal’ human beings to make a living… to earn bread & butter for himself & his family… But how often do they succeed?

There were some who had no complains about being in that state as they had never experienced the beauty of vision… Then there were others who lost their sight after they reached a particular age, the depressed lot. The rest were those, whose world was filled with opaque things or probably just silhouettes…

“Tell me, Amal sir, will I become a great music composer one day?” Anish asked me after narrating his hardships. His eyes were wet…

Anish was partially blind and all he could see was some hazy silhouettes. He dreamt of becoming a great music composer… but…

“One day you will, Anish. Just keep the faith and believe in yourself”… I knew well that those words alone wouldn’t help him much in his pursuit of his dream… but.

We are lucky in many ways, but never have learned to appreciate it. We are accustomed only to whine about the things we miss in our life; hardly have we ever valued the comfort the almighty has bestowed upon us!

There is one thing I can say for sure…. The world of blind is not as dark as one might imagine… but it’s colourful… in fact, colourful with imagination and creativity …


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  1. Rose says:

    amal……….. u wrote the facts about SUPA project…………….. thats it na………………….not boring something realistic………………………….. ur experience. …………………. any way whole life cant be filled with comedy……………

  2. Anonymous says:

    SUPA Self Used Pastime Always

    Its gud some ppl wrk fr a change 🙂

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