"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

Travels To My Aunt


When my sister and her husband come to Kerala, we always enjoy a visit to our aunt in Kottayam.



Matriarch to a vast and global extended family, she lives in the old family home, built at the beginning of the twentieth century by our grandfather.

This is the house in which our father spent his childhood, my sister lived as a toddler and I was conceived.



My grandfather and two of his brothers bought three large adjoining plots of land in what was a quiet rural area just outside the city. Each built themselves a family home.

Over one hundred years later, one of the plots has been sold up and developed into a commercial complex. The remaining two estates sit slightly uneasily, their houses with massive coconut, mango and banana-filled gardens, marooned like peaceful tropical islands in a bustling ocean of inner-city life.



Our aunt, as always, offered bright, entertaining company

And delicious food.



Maybe not quite Brideshead but, none-the-less, our ancestral home revisited.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.



4 responses

  1. Shireen Jacob

    Thanks for those great photos of my mother and the Kottayam house. I am sending the link to all my friends!

    February 7, 2011 at 3:25 am

  2. Nandini Kuehn

    Thanks to Shireen and you for these fabulous photos of a grand house. Also enjoyed reading about your life in Cochin… and the poems you posted. Btw, we met in Corrales when you last visited. Cheers. Nandini

    February 8, 2011 at 3:33 am

    • Hai Nandini,
      I remember you well. Thanks for your comment. Hope you’re keeping fine. J

      February 8, 2011 at 7:15 am

  3. Pingback: That Special Time Of The Year « Neither Use Nor Ornament

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s