Etched are reminiscences of a rich tradition and history in the lanes of this city. I have always walked in S.M. street and adjoining places, noticing the 1st storey of the old buildings that are dotted in these narrow lanes. I have always noticed: there are glitzy shops in the ground floors of these old structures; (one among them is the Standard Watch Co; in SM street; a glitzy salwar shop occupies the ground floor and on the dilapidated 1st floor, this watch repairing shop) Everything new occupy the ground floor as if it shows a reluctance to encroach the past. It is a place where some dilapidation stands as direction sign to the glorious past, resting on top of this peripheral glitz; they are the structures that lived centuries; many were libraries; some coffee shops and the walls of some of these places would have witnessed the Ghazal nights and gatherings of that sort in these places. Have always wondered about these places and have looked upon them with great curiosity; but due to my inability, never could gather more info about this unearthly abodes! I am not being a retrograde by wanting those dilapidated structures there anymore; but they push me in to sudden reality; it just makes me remember the evolution of city. It makes me realize and draw a picture of my life; where I lived.
This sleepy town was the fulcrum of trade that happened between kerala and middle east, how can miss china? Because all i am going to tell is about China. Beypore port which makes Uru's (Huge sea vessels) still sell some of them to customers on the other-side of Arabian Sea. Zengh-He, a Chinese ( Eunuch-Muslim, Truth thy information ) admiral, who belonged to Ming dynasty, who now is being considered as one of the pioneer sea man, visited the shores of calicut many a times. Though not much of what Zeng-He did and created is not any more; but nuances is what make history gripping, thus calicut also doesn't seem to be out of this. In this; article, it says the spice bazaar in calicut operates its costing not on computers but with hands with a kerchief covering this process. Security?? Unix?? This queer way of costing was devised by the Chinese and locals to over come the barrier of language! Necessity is the mother of invention; any arguments? courtesy: praveen. Western travellers; Ibn Batuta and Marco Polo also did land in Kozhikkode and the scriptures left over by them explain it better than anyone .All these very well make a brief about the history of kerala, which for sure is not recorded any school text book out there.
Music and Food is also a speciality of this sleepy coastal town; where Vasco De Gama descended and this incident which is supposedly an ungracious day in the history of this nation. Ghazal masters and the great Baburaj, Kozhikkode Abdul Khader and many of them, who made mark in the film industry and literature hail from Kozhikkode. The kozhikkodan biryani is a delicacy which can explain a lot about the varied cultural influences and evolution that happened in the city. It has always helped and promoted its distinguished sons and daughters. On the intellectual map of kerala Kozhikkode holds a place which is undeniably great. Attempts to sabotage this- known-truths about the cultural tolerance and acceptance that people in kozhikkode hold is well ,an ongoing practice and it has culminated bloody sectarian violence in places like Marad; which in fact was a bloody stamp and drub on this city's secular face. Music, food and sports have always stood across these differences and has been enjoyed by everyone discerning caste and creed.
Intellectuals are an important part of Kerala society. There is a chunk of them in calicut too; who argues and theorizes from Shakespeare to Karl Marx. I have been lucky enough to know an awful lot of them. In Alakapuri bar, former Meriya Bar ; Nalanda Hotel (Not that i was binging around in all these bar's) and these kind of places witness these kind of argue-theorizing sessions. All well and good; it all ends in Marx and if someone is "out of that Marxist box" might even suffer an "intellectual besieging" - That person is not any,more sought after in these sessions. Differences are many and rivalries are too much. All of these might get a saucy turn; when the "spirits" are on. Some of them; theorize sitting right in the middle of the city; SI apartments (Near fathima hospital!). I wont call them; being in an ivory tower because they are not entitled to be addressed so. Topics range from Pasolini to the importance/impulse of diving states in India Linguistically. These questions are not asked on their own; everything is explained and argued and deconstructed in the shadow of politics and in the end inevitably Marx. So Khasakinte Ithisaam became a Bourgeoisie novel; Pinarayi vijayan is a social democrat; dividing states linguistically affected revolutionary movements that were present at that time, Europe is disillusioned that; they can compliment Human-work force by technology as there is a shortfall in birthrates and so on.
Football is quintessential for any one in kozhikkode; Worldcup 2006 did witness a glitzy display of support for different nations; that are dotted on different continents. I have always noticed a particular affinity for Argentina in kozhikkode. Maradona did the trick, for sure. Brazil too have many supporters and EPL did help England garnering some support base too. I remember some matches i watched in the corporation stadium; the gala atmosphere with packed stands witness; timely betting for the first goal scorer;first corner and what not. People in kozhikkode for sure immerse themselves in Football. Calicut has produced greats like Olympian Abdurahiman and so on. Bureaucratic hurdles have always mulled this game to develop over the years. When sevens (A game of football, where there will be 7 members in a team) seasons starts off in Kozhikkode and the adjacent district Malappuram, Players from various African Nation's descend in Kozhikkode and they will timely picked up by club officials and sign them on for a season. I have watched this affair with utmost curiosity, as they come down knowing the season, but not invited by the clubs. They are picked from the Railway Station as they get down!
My life and my knowledge about Kozhikkode is limited; These days it has almost shrunk to home-Kidson Corner-home-Relatives home-home. I might have missed out on lot; there will be more to add; issues to forget and learn from, but it is a facscinating sea-town with Kalanthans for sharja Shake, mananchira square for a mild nap for hundreds; Cee pee cool bar for Faluda; and for all those fried an broasted chickens- a Chick King too. (Not much, but nice!!)