Posted: 5 Oct 2004 1:12 am
I was googling for a story that I'm working on. I'm a creative writing student in Bowling Green, Ohio (enrolled in an MFA) and I am currently working on a collection of short stories and a novel on Kodai. I came upon your article on Kodaikanal. I grew up in Kodai, living there from the age of 6 till I was 18, for the most part in a 120-year old British bungalow near the lake. My parents in fact still live in Kodai, and I will be going back this December. Our new home is built on the edge of a mountain, and some mornings when I woke up, I can see the clouds beneath me. I really miss this out here in the plains of Ohio.
Your article made me terribly homesick! I(Haven't been back for more than a year now.) It also made me reconsider a lot of the ideas I have about Kodai from an outside perspective; which I'm already doing in a sense, living in the US and writing about home as a displaced Indian. Much of my writing is about immigrant experiences and displaced peoples, hybridized identities and warring sexualities.
About your article - I loved the bit about Milk Bikis - such an Indian type of biscuit! (and i'm enjoying the luxury of saying biscuit instead of cookie here:)) Also your commentary on th elections - yes, they do bring up a heat, a tension that disappointingly is never resolved. Somethign I hope happens in the US, though I have my doubts about that.
You said you were in Kodai in 1998 - in 6 years, much has changed. I'm afraid Kodai is no longer really in an 'embryonic' state, as you had descirbed it. It's a lot omre crowded, though it hasn't gone the way of Ooty or Shimla. It still bears a return visit - do consider another trip.
Thanks so much for the great article - and for your others, some of which I have been reading through.
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Subject: Ah, lovely Kodai!
Posted: 5 Oct 2004 1:01 pm
Thanks so much for telling me about Kodai, even if it is developing a little faster than either of us would hope. It'll take a hell of a lot of development to spoil its charm, though, especially if the outer villages can retain their rural roots; it is, after all, a pretty spiritual place, and that's always hard to break.
And as for Milk Bikis, just the thought of them makes me miss being on the road in India. Luckily you can buy biscuits in England which are identical - Malted Milk, they're called here - and every now and then I treat myself. It's a wonderful nostalgic combination of India and my childhood - highly recommended!
Anyway, thanks so much for posting, and say hi to Kodai when you visit. What a great place it is...
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