Friday, January 6

YEAR:  2017 | Tags:  | | | |


Sree Padmanabhaswami Temple, Trivandrum, 11:55


This morning the two animals carried on from where they left off yesterday. They both went upstairs to Naa’s room and started tentatively approaching each other. According to Naa it all went peacefully, and Polly overcame her fear of Elvis.

At 11:00 Santosh came to take us to Trivandrum. We stop first round the corner from Sree Padmanabhaswami Temple, which we have visited most years. We cannot go in but we can view it from outside. This time Naa and I wait with the rather scared dog while Irma visits a shop that makes and sell wood carvings to get a gift for her father. The area fills with hurrying people as monks ready themselves to start a ceremony, and then suddenly the whole approach empties as the temple itself fills.

We will then make a brief tour starting with DC Books where Sanal has asked us to pick up some books in Mayalam for him. We will follow this with Modern Book Centre and Fabindia where we will buy some gifts.

At 15:00 we will drive to the Old Coffee House at Shangumugam Beach, which I read about in MetroPlus, the several-times-a-week supplement in Hindu Times. It aims to ressurect an old Indian tradition of sophisticated beach cafés, and it succeeds admirably. We will all like the food and we will all leave full.

When we arrive home we will hear Polly squawking but see no cat. Irma will eventually point out that she has finally fallen off the terrace wall while we shopped and ate. She has landed on a rocky ledge six metres down with no way back up and only a further ten metre drop into a steep-sided lake to look forward to.

We will spend an hour trying to rescue her with a bucket on a rope but she won’t climb into it, even when we put food inside. It will begin to get dark and we will resign ourselves to seeing if she will survive the night. Finally I look and decide that if she went to the left she might manage to climb up the rocks.

Fortunately she has learned to understand and obey “come here” instructions. If I say something and pat the seat of a chair, for example, she will race across the room and jump on it. I will therefore point to the rocks and call to her. She will look up at me and then start climbing.

After a couple of minutes she will disappear and Naa, round the side of the house with Elvis, will shout “She is here!”. The cat had worked her way through the thick shrubbery and will now look up at me from a rock about three metres dow. I will offer more advice by pointing and talking and she will work her way up and then make a final impossible-looking leap to land in a small gap in the wall.