Thursday, May 24, 2007

In Tamilnadu, every public figure has a decorative title before their name, mostly self-conferred. In Kerala this is not the case. The decoration is at the state level. It is known as “God’s own country”. We all know that God is concerned about orderly living and naturally he would never make a foolish choice about his place of possession and residence.

For over a decade I worked as a sales person in a Bombay based Multinational Corporation and I was in charge of industrial selling in the entire Southern States. The travel every month used to be for more than two weeks. In each state I observed some difference from other states on their attitude towards work, hospitality and general approach. But what I have observed on my visits to Kerala was really unique.

On my way from Madras to Trivandrum, the difference becomes obvious mainly from Trichur onwards. As the train approaches each station there will literally be a congregation of people from all walks of life in great expectant moods. As each person or a family gets down, there will be a great reception in the form of hugging, embracing and holding hands. I have also seen tears of happiness flowing out mostly from mothers and wives. In my heart I also participate in these moments of happiness. Probably some of these persons who arrived were away for years together to earn a living outside the State. There is no dearth for human love and affinity to one who is near and dear. I used to observe each face and derived some pleasure out of it, as I was also one among them who had to leave my native State to earn for a living. The first time I went out of State to Bombay, my parents gave me a tearful farewell. I could return only after three years and when I returned my younger brother and my father was at the Station to receive me. My father was in tears of happiness to see me because he knew that I too was torturing myself distantly to run the family and finance the education of my siblings. When I see all these things on my travel it is an occasion to remember my past and share my oneness with all those who assemble at the Railway Station. So we have seen the happy faces and now let us be on our return journey from Trivandrum. What we see exactly now is the reverse. The same gathering will be there, but with a different look. Most of them will look sad and particularly mothers and wives will be wiping off their tears. Once I saw a newlywed girl crying in grief, as the train started moving. None could control her. It was not at all a pleasant sight to see the sad faces of many at the Station. It may be years before they return again. As the train move they too move along with the train till it gains speed.
I am extremely emotional by nature and such sights take off my morale. So I make it a point that any contact for sales I make will be only on my onward journey and never on my return journey. -
K. Mathew Thomas

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