Dont let the poor behind in this economic surge
In today’s newspaper, there is a plea to include everyone in this economic surge. 60 per cent of the country is illiterate and I find that only about 25 per cent of the country is intelligently literate. The figure is higher for Kerala but even there, judging by the quality of young people working in tourist industry, one is left to wonder about an education system that has left so many people incapable of learning anything but only capable of memorizing. For the powers to be it is good to have a large stock of people who are not educated and freely available for labour at a cheaper rate. Thus the resurgence of much of the tourism sector, where one could employ many more people, the service sector where many more people than necessary could be seen to be working. To me there is no point in talking about the hypocrisy of the matter, when 400 million people, nearly 40 per cent of the population live for one usd or less per day...
The educational system has already fallen down, the public health is tethering on breakdown, doctors have been driven into the private sector to make a comfortable living but even for those who can afford to pay, the acumen is not clearly comforting or correct from the diagnostic point of view.
I certainly hope that they will spend some money, decrease the corruption and the huge pockets of bureaucrats who become rich by taking money to do the work they are paid to d
The new economy caters for those who are seen as productive members of the society. Not workers not wage earners but those who know the system to lubricate it well enough to get ahead financially. It does not take originality to do this, but it does take corruption and increasing corruption.
India makes me realize that for all its poverty, Cuba is much more oriented towards helping its citizens than India and that the solidarity the Cubans feel with each other is a quality alien to the ordinary Indian.
Hareesh and his Ferrari Part 2
Because of his friendliness and his way of talking, I decided to give him a Che coin from Cuba and he was very happy. He wanted to give me his emal . I gave him my card with my email in it. He took me back to the hotel and from there to the jetty from which I was to take a ferry to Ernakulum. While at the jetty, he wanted to take a picture with me and said that he was going to put my visiting card and our picture together in his autorikshawa and hoped that it would become an eye catcher for the tourists he hopes to ferry in his Ferrari, in actual fact a Bajaj autor rikshaw. He was laughing and joking with his fellow auto rikshaw drivers and when I said good bye to him I knew I have met a happy man.
Hareesh with his Ferrari from Cochin, kerala
Hareesh and his Ferrari
Cochin, 13th July 2007
The other night, looking for an autorikshaw at 6 30 pm, and finding nonw, I had walked towards Mattanchery, where I was supposed to meet Rockey Neroth. While none passed me by, I could see a line snaking around the entrance of the ferry to Ernakulam. A group of autorikshaw drivers were there, joking around . A young man came over to me, spoke in the typical pidgin English of this tourist area, he, pointing out to another driver, is your uncle. Okay I joined along, going over to the driver (who had somewhat of a grandiose name of shah Jehan, the emperor who built Taj Mahal)…
Soon Rockey arrived in his car, and off we went.
I had not thought about that incident until this morning, as I was walking towards the Pharmacy to buy some medications. The autorikshaw stopped, the same young man, where are you going? Just to the pharmacy, I am going that way hop in, without hesitation I Jumped in. we drove the short distance to Tara Medical and while there, I invited him for tea at the restaurant next door
My name is Hareesh. And that is my Ferrari. And I could immediately tell that he is naturally friendly and that he was not looking for anything from me. Just to pass a little time away. He showed pictures of his two boys. And asked me where I am from?
To make matters less difficult, I said Cuba. For some reason he said, do they speak the same language there as in Argentina? I realized that he might have met some argentine tourists. Me gusta cochin mucho, lluvia y calor pero me gusta. He said. To my surprise.
The Quest Features & Footage is an independent media initiative based in Kochi, India. It is an outcome of the concern felt by a group of journalists in the print and electronic media about the content of the mainstream media. The attempt is to promote journalism that digs below the surface to throw light on conditions determining real social development.
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They very much remind me of independent minded journalists who are interested in social welfare of their communities. They remind me of the courageous people at
Consumers Association of Penang, 228 Jalan Macallister, 10400 Pulau Pinang 04-229 3511
The authoritarian malaysian government tried to shut them down a couple of times.
Nuance in the English Language
A recent survery conducted revealed the division between belief that one speaks the language and the actual ability to communicate the language. While close to 25 per cent of the Indians felt that they spoke English, only 5% could actually speak English, the other 20 per cent could barely communicate. You would find that while making new friends, especially uninvited ones, in Cochin. The nuances of the English Language are lost on them. One cannot blame them, after all they might speak Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi and English is a late comer to their language treasury.
I saw this poster in Kalvathy road on my recent stay in Cochin. Advertising a comfortable stay in air conditioned comfort, they showed a caricature of christ in all the full gory of having been crucified recently.
Malayalam speakers are right to say, we dont understand them, either!
I met Suresh the owner of Touristland India travel agency just a stones throw away from the Ernakulam Junction Railway Station, four visits to Cochin ago, in Ernakulam. Since then he has become a good friend and is extremely keen to organize and help with all matters related to tourism. He tries to get tickets reserved on an overbooked train, has contacts with airline booking agencies, got me bus tickets couple of times, and more importantly offers his friendship without any ulterior motives. I have been to his house at Vaikom many a times and stayed over a couple of times and always enjoyed the authentic kerala food prepared by his wife. He has two lovely children and they are as friendly as their father.
On this visit, he was waiting for us at the Cochin Airport and put his car at our disposal for the stay. He came over to Fort cochin to visit us and also shared lunch and dinner with us. A lunch at Metropolitan Hotel where his agency maintains a desk was on him, despite my pleas to pay for the lunch.
South India is well known for its coconuts and the coconut products. Everything of the coconut tree is used. Do try fresh coconut - the juice is very refreshing.
No = yes
Remember, that side to side moving of the head (western negative/no) actually means yes. It can lead to confusion if not realising this.
Due to the Portuguese colonization for so many years, there is still a lot of catholics here. In the photo you can see one of the many splendid catholic schools in Fort Cochi.