Trivandrum was were I spent most of my life. The best thing I felt about the city was the theatres, that were all clustered together in a 1 and a half kilometre radius making it convenient during my college days to bunk classes and tramp around to find the seemingly better movie and take a ticket for just some 20 Rs. at that time to sit in the front rows with my friends. It is still the best thing about the city. I remember going to see Saving Private Ryan in New theatre, one of the biggest theatres in Trivandrum and having had to outrun a couple of other hooligans to get into the line at a respectable distance from the counter. The theatre was huge and I just had to pay some 50 Rs. to watch all the blood soaked action from the balcony, compared to shelling out close to 350 rs. in a multiplex in Bangalore which was only 1/10th the size of New theatre.
The next best thing about the city was its beaches with the Shanghumugham beach being the closest to my place. You had to go round the perimeter of the airport to reach the beach and at a point in the not so distant past only morons with beards and a look of perpetual sadness used to come to the beach. I used to enjoy going there because there were so few people and you could hear the rumbling of the sea and occasionally smoke a cigarette or feel the cool, damp wind on your face. It was better when the sky was overcast, for the ocean would turn a gray and remind me of some of the scenes from the comic book Tintin. But nowadays the morons have gone and the beaches are filled with families who seem to have no other purpose in life but to come to the beach in the evenings and create a ruckus in which the magnificent rumblings of the sea gets lost. It is no longer that old romantic place where you were left alone in your thoughts and the only company were some melancholy bearded men who looked liked they had lost something or maybe someone.
The other beach, the famous Kovalam beach was some 25 kms away from my place and was a haven for the sunbathing tourists. The red and white lighthouse on a small rocky cliff adjoining this curved beach with shallow waters, is a sight to behold.
The city also has a zoo where no one goes and a magnificent temple, the Padmanabhaswamy temple where the crowds have picked up, not entirely because of the god but because of the recent discovery that the temple vaults hold treasures worth more than lakhs of crores. I can’t even imagine the number of zero’s in it.
Trivandrum is a nice city, clean, good food, beaches and hills. But in spite of all this it is a sleepy little place.