I read about Kerala and learned it was famous for boat racing, coconut trees, Onam and Khathakali. Later, I learned it has a 100 per cent literacy rate. When I developed an interest in politics, I learned it is the state which accepted socialist ideology by electing the first left-wing government in India.
Now I am in Kerala doing my PGDM. To reach Kerala from Bihar it takes 55 hours. One has to cover more than 1,500 km. – a journey of more than two days. Here the food – dosa, puttu, kadala, appam – is totally different. In the beginning I had a lot of apprehension, wondering if I would be able to adjust to a new place, new people, new culture and most important, new food. But there is a saying “Where there is a will, there is a way.” Now I am happy enjoying my studies as well as Kerala.
It is a state which is totally different from all other states. In Delhi and Bombay you will find beggars on the street. In my home town,Patna, I saw lots of beggars. But in Cochin you will not see any beggars. When the rest of India celebrates Durga, Puja, Deepawali and Holi this state does not. They have their own festival called Onam which they call a national festival. It is the time when merchants get 80 per cent of their business.
In Kerala, most people get their income from the gulf. More than 20 lakh Malayalis work there, so here you will find most labourers are from outside the state i.e. Bengal, Orissa (officially Odisha since November 2011)Bihar, etc.
This is the first time in my life that I have lived in a hostel. Here, hostel life is one of strict discipline. You have a 9:30 p.m. curfew to be back in the hostel and once inside you can’t create too much noise. The hostel environment is full of energy, warmth and friendliness. Here you will find students from all over India and you can learn languages like Gujarati, Tamil, Kannada, Bhojpuri and Malayalam all in one place.
I found the local students very fond of bathing. Many times you will see them bathing at midnight. They are more logical than emotional. When you hear them debating a particular topic you understand how education has raised the intelligence level of the general public.