Category Archives: Photography

Back to school

A visit back to your school invokes nostalgia so much. After finishing high school in 1994, I went back there only once. I would pass by the school quite often, as it is just 2 KMs away from home, but never felt like walking in there. But last week, I thought I would just show my 3-yrs old son around the school as he would always point out and say “here comes your school!” whenever we passed by.

Sree Narayana Boys High School, Kanimangalam, was and is a modest school. There is a story behind why I joined this school that is about 2 KMs away from home while having an English medium right in the back of our house. I was a school topper in the lower primary school which was also nearby. That school was run by nuns and they made a deal with this other school that I would get admission there from 5th standard onward, because my family couldn’t afford the school fees and they would have to admit me for free. The founder of that school was an old man clad in monk-like saffron clothes whose name was Acharya J C Chirammel, also known as “Chaakkoru Maash”, and he readily agreed to take me in. But then he passed away in a road accident. His son was a priest and he denied the help offered by his father (very priestly indeed). So we had no choice but to move to a school where we did not have to pay for education. That is how S.N. Boys School came in to picture. I have mostly good memories of the school. The teachers were kind, the atmosphere helped grow the extra curricular activities and got some good friends who still remain good friends. Here are some pics.


This place that looks like an abandoned historical site was once abuzz with the chatter of students and parents. The stage you see in this picture has witnessed many school anniversaries, youth festivals and send-off meetings.


Next to the old and abandoned stage is a portion dedicated to teach children the basics of farming. There was a student who was watering the plants. I also met the current school head mistress there. She is an alumni of the S N girls school next door. She asked me whether there were enough children in our batch. There were plenty of children in each class room in our time. She said now there are very few students. The surge of modern schools has resulted in this. The class room you see on the right is which used to be my 6th standard class. One of our teachers was K V Sreedharan Master, who is a former BJP chief of Kerala. He had a hoarse voice which, as the children used to say during that time, was a result of police beatings during the times of Emergency. He retired the next year, when I moved to 7th.


This is how the old and infamous ‘kokkaRNi’ looks like now (‘kokkarni’ is sort of a farm pond). There used to be a time when this place was a camp of the notorious senior gangs in the school. They boozed and smoked beedis and weed here. They also used this as a rear entrance to the girl’s school next door even. Other children did not dare to go to this part of the school when there were seniors around.


This is where the children came together every morning for the school assembly. The stage you see is where I, Saleesh, Saji and late Sreevatsan used to stand to sing prayer songs during the assembly.


Another view. This used to be a lotus pond in our days. The class rooms you see at the end was one of my first class rooms when I joined the school for 5th standard.


My son Ryan in front of the statue of Swami Ramananda, the school founder.


Another picture of the school campus.




Nelliyampathy is a hill station in our neighboring district Palakkad. I have never been to the place though it is pretty close (must be around 80 kms max to reach). So when my nephews planned for a trip to Nelliyampathy on last Saturday, I jumped right in. We started in the morning and came back by night. It was a fun trip with the young ones in the family.

There isn’t a lot to see in Nelliyampathy. It was a sunny day when we got there, yet there was cool breeze in the air. So the climate on that day was somewhere in the middle of being too cold and too hot. Our first stop on the way was Pothundi irrigation dam, but if you go there don’t waste too much time. There is a beautiful garden in the area and that’s a good place to relax a bit, but the dam in itself doesn’t offer much to see. There are some small waterfalls en route to the top of the hills and there was one place that we stopped by when we returned and spent a lot of time. It was a picturesque location and we enjoyed our time there. Another place to see is Seethaargundu view point. That place offers some nice view from the hills and is a major spot. There was another peak called Manpaara, but we didn’t go there.

Ours was a day trip but there are some nice resorts to stay if you go with your family or friends. But when you are outside, there isn’t any good restaurants to eat; at least we could not find any. Below are some photos from our trip.

A beautiful church somewhere in a rural area with a huge Pietà replica; en route to Nelliyampathy

A nice view of the hills on the way

Another view on the way

The team posing for a photograph en route.

Pothundy dam

Boys striking a pose at the Pothundy dam garden.

Seethargundu view point – friends from the evolution period saying ‘Hi’. :-)

Lunch time for the old friends – at Seethaargundu view point

A view from Seethargundu

This tree must have been photographed a thousand times by tourists to Nelliyampathy. I have seen numerous photos of this on internet. This tree is situated at Seethaargundu.

Taking my fair share of fame by posing with the famous tree

The boys at Seethaargundu

Literally scratching each others back ;-)

Dear Valentine

It does not matter how rough the weather is,
How turbulent the waves could get,
How far the shore is or how long we must travel.

What really matters is that we’ve come this long,
Rowing this boat of life together,
Having you by me and I by you.

(The photo was shot at Alappuzha, Kerala, during the Nehru Trophy Boat Race season in 2007.)