Our hero breathes a huge sigh of relief. It looks like he is going to India after all! Now all he needs to do is get a stamp from immigration in Frankfurt.
"What do you mean I can't get a departure stamp?!"
"Well, you don't have a Visa and so I can't give you a stamp."
"Um... well anyway can you just... you know... give it to me anyway?"
"No. That would be illegal."
Another phone call to India.
"Hi Acha. Me again. I couldn't get a stamp from Frankfurt... looks like I'm back to square one. But I don't have a choice now anyway..."
"Well don't worry mone, fly into India. We'll take it from there."
Our hero makes his way to the gate and sits down on a chair. He wonders about the inordinately high number of things gone wrong. He almost can't believe it, except for the fact that it all happened. He checks out his surroundings and sees a small bar. "Nothing a few German beers and some Frankfurters won't solve!". An hour and a half later, our inebriated hero makes his way to the airplane. Many hours later, he is in Kochi, India. He walks up to immigration to see almost all of India's 1 billion people in line for immigration. He picks one at random and stands in it. An hour and a half later, he realizes that his line is moving at 1/10th the pace of all the other lines. This is mainly because the immigration official at the desk wants to know everyone's life history. He finally makes it up to the desk and wearily hands his passport over to the official. His mind wanders as he thinks of the different things that could go wrong at this point.
"No stamp?! You have to go back to the United States! Unfortunately we don't have a direct flight, so you will have to spend five days in Eritrea!"
"No stamp?! And what's this? A US Military ID? Explain yourself! Are you a spy?!"
"No stamp?! This is clearly illegal! Please wait while I shred your passport."
He is snapped out of his reverie by a question from the immigration official.
"Veedu evide? (Where's your home?)"
"Sheri... poyikkolo (Ok, go ahead)"
Our hero walks past the immigration desks and blinks. "I can't believe it was that easy...", he says to himself. He hums a tune as he makes his way to the baggage claim. "I'm almost there!"
"What do you mean you don't know where my luggage is?!"
"Well Sir, it appears to be missing. Perhaps it is still in Frankfurt, or maybe Dubai where you stopped in transit?"
"I can't believe this!"
"We apologize Sir, but you know... sometimes things like this happen. Please fill out this form. If we find your lugggage, you can expect it the day after tomorrow if it is in Frankfurt, or tomorrow if it is in Dubai."
Our hero fills out the form, and as he's doing so he realizes that quite literally, he has nothing but the clothes on his back. Oh, and his laptop, camera, and camcorder too. Fuming, he walks away and toward the exit. The dark clouds in his mind evaporate as soon as he sees the smiling faces of his family. After having started his journey on the morning of the 8th. Our hero is finally with his family... on the 11th.
19 thoughts on “The Worst Journey Ever. The Best Vacation Ever.”
Awesome post Viv. Awesome..
That was a nice vacation which you enjoyed. Your blog is quite interesting and informative. I appreciate your flair for writing as well.
Hey bro! lol jp my brother’s name is vivin too. that’s tight. he doesnt really like his name, tho.
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Was reading on the ancestry of the Nairs, when I got to see your website. How did you get all this material? Its wonderful. I am a Nair myself, have to check my Tharavad from my parents. Was born in North India so have very little idea of Nairs and their history. Parents are settled in Perumbavoor, so still do get to see Kerala once a year. Am based in Singapore now. Would be nice to keep in touch.
One thing i forgot to ask you. you made that article on nairs??? If so 2 points to note:
1.Nairs were never classified into kshatriyas, vaishyas and shudras.
2.Villakithala, velluthedathu and Chakkala nairs are not true nairs. No nair would knowingly prefer a marriage alliance with these castes.
Rest is in my posting in Discussion
No comments from yu about my posting in ‘Nairs’ in Discussion. Do you know anand Paliyath presently working as a scientist in NPOL
Sorry for the delay. Being in Iraq, my internet access is rather limited.
While it is true that I was the one who initially wrote the article, it has changed over time due to the fact that Wikipedia is a collaborative effort. A lot of people have made changes. Furthermore, I haven’t been monitoring the article lately, so I cannot tell you much about the new changes.
As far as your first point goes, I agree with you completely. The Kerala caste system was completely different from the rest of India. While the Nairs were the ruling class, the highly orthodox Namboothiris still considered them to be untouchable due to the fact that they considered anyone lower (according to them) than their caste, untouchable. In fact, even other Brahmins (Iyers, for example) were considered untouchable by the Namboothiris. In that sense, you are correct – the Nairs were never classified into Kshathriya, Vaishya, or Sudra. However, I was merely trying to show a comparative analysis.
As far as your second point, I am no authority on it, and therefore, cannot comment.
If it is the Anand Paliath I think you are talking about, then I haven’t met him in person, but we did talk online once. What is NPOL, by the way?
NPOL is National Physical Oceanographic Laboratory.
2.About my second point in my last mail, it is well known. You can ask anybody, anand for instance (No that he need be an expert. i just want to indicate that the idea is common place). You’ve been out of the country for long, I suppose. Then why are these castes (like Veluthedathu, Vellakithala, Chakkala Nairs etc.) not members of Nair Service Society (NSS), the premier organisation of the community?? On the other hand, they have their own associations like Villakkithala nair Samajam etc.NSS is in forefront in the criticism of the present reservation system of the government which it feels affects badly the members of the Nair community; these communities, meanwhile all belong to the Other Backward Category (OBC)enjoying the benefits of reservation system.
3.Parasurama may be a myth. But the very edifice of the caste structure and scriptures in every religion rests on mythological premises.So should you axe the Axe-Rama (Axe is Parasu in Sanskrit)? RAKS
Like I said, I do not know enough about that point to comment. I did not add that information. You may remove it if you wish, as long as you provide proper documentation and references to support the change.
I believe that the caste system originated as a system for the division of labour. The myths were most probably added later to give it religious legitimacy. No doubt, certain parties had vested interests. However, using a myth to explain the origin of the Nairs doesn’t really get us anywhere. You can add the information if you wish, but probably want to phrase in a way such that it is evident to the reader that the legend/myth of Nairs removing their poonollu to escape Parashurama is just that – a myth. It may or may not have happened. The real reason may be something else, and the myth may have been created over time to explain it. We do not know, and therefore you cannot state it as a “Theory of Origin”.
Please continue further discussion on my Talk Page at Wikipedia.
hai vivin we both have the same name . iam glad to; meet you please be in contact with me lets we rock and roll
check you e-mail!! I finally got some picture of you from our last trip to the pool. You almost killed me remember???? The worst driver ever!! Don;t take it hard, I still love you man.
I should be dropping by in BIAP shortly so I’ll definitely come visit you.
PS: did you get your movies back?
Happened to go through this post…..Have to say it was an absolute delight to read….Nice pics too….Looking forward to reading more in the future…..Keep up the good work….Cheers !!
WHATEVER DUDE! Ok, in all fairness, that was my first time driving from BIAP to the IZ and back! Hahaha! Hey, I got that picture of you in the gunner’s turret too. Yeah Ortiz has my movies – I just haven’t gotten them from him yet. Stay safe in Ramadi!
Glad you enjoyed the post – I try to update as often as I can. I’m working on one to put here within the next few days!
Hi again.I had posted a comment a few months back.I’m at university now-university of British Columbia in vancouver.Thankfully the experience is’nt too scary.I mean,the day before i got here,i was totally freaking out.The place is huge,but i’m settling down.I find your journal quite interesting.I was in India too in august before we moved to canada.
I’m doing Anthropology and lots of other courses here.According to my textbook,nairs are classified under Kshathriyas.I am a Nair and have often heard others classify it under shudhra. So,which is it?!! i have’nt located your article yet.
Anyway,your pictures and descriptions of kerala did make me feel a little home-sick.Kerala has to be one place that sucks you in with all it’s vigour and energy,and yet when you’re out,you’re so much more of yourself.Maybe it has to do with truly indentifying yourself and fitting in completely with the people. You should visit the Guruvayoor temple.Even with all the madness in the crowd,(some women can really push and squeeze through crowds!)it’s truly liberating to be so close to god.
juat saw you and raks talking about me.. i am anand. i work in npol. naval physical and oceanographic lab. juat wanted to say hai… happy holi and easter