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An excursion in 1958

Posted in Uncategorized by K P Ramachandran on September 30, 2020

I am writing about our first family outing in my childhood.

I was only 10 years old when my father took all of us – we five brothers, my mother and Prabhakarachettan, our caretaker to Trivandrum for an excursion. My father was an agriculturist managing the family properties. He was well respected in the village. He was instrumental to the formation of Co-op society and other community organisations in the village. Even though he used to be busy in his works he found time for his social commitments. In his leisure times he used to take his family for Pilgrim trips to Guruvayur, Palani, Tirupati, Rameswaram etc. But this excursion was not only for pleasure but also aimed at educating us. We travelled to Trivandrum by train from Vaikom road station which was the nearest Railway station from our village. As our village was in an island, we used country boats to travel to the mainland. We travelled to Vaikom Road station by our own canopied boat. As it was a rowing boat it took three/four hours for the travel with two oars men. We were excited and thrilled by the boat ride and subsequent train travel to Trivandrum. On reaching Trivandrum we were taken to a Government Choultry near the railway station. This inn was run by the Government and was neatly maintained. We were staying in a large family room. Food was arranged from the nearby Hotel by our caretaker.

On 24th April 1958, our Prime Minister Pandit Nehru was inaugurating the main building of MG College at Trivandrum. MG college is the most prestigious college of Nair Service Society established in 1948. As my father was a union committee member of NSS at that time, he was also invited for the function. He organised this trip to enable us to see the places and attend the programs along with him. An international expo was also organised at the college campus on this occasion. This was the first such exhibition in Kerala. We were in high spirits since our trip itself was first of its kind in our life and the exhibition was like a bonanza. We could watch the inauguration by our beloved Pandit Nehru which was followed by dance and drama by major artists.

The next day we were engaged in visiting Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple and the famous zoological park in Trivandrum. The Trivandrum Zoo set in natural surroundings is one of the oldest of that kind in India. This was opened to public in 1857. The visit to the Zoo was an unforgettable experience for us.

 As our youngest brother took ill due to the changed environment and food, we were forced to take rest for next two days. After spending around four days in Trivandrum we concluded our trip and returned to our village in the same route. This excursion organized during the summer vacation of 1958 was an unforgettable experience in our life.


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