Hardly a day goes by in my life without recalling the goodness and beauty of my beloved village Haripad in Alappuzha. The color palette that nature offers here is dreamy and it has always caught my eye.
Now, I often close my eyes and the beauty of Alappuzha unfurls like a reel in my mind. The backwaters and the rural landscape paint vivid pictures. I share a unique emotional bond with Thiruvananthapuram, the city where I grew up in. But when it comes to vibrant childhood memories, nothing can beat Haripad, the land of my ancestors. My grandmother would have hundreds of stories in store to tell us whenever we visited the ancestral home at Haripad. When I think about it now; I feel that my mind’s camera might have captured the images of the invisible colors and characters in those stories.
The temple festivities at Haripad during the month of Medam held an allure. It was that time of the year when the schools would be closed and all the cousins would gather at our ancestral home. Since both my parents are from Haripad, invariably there were a lot of relatives around.
Even when I had the chance to travel the world wielding my movie camera I was amazed at the visual brilliance of the Mannarasala temple, grove and pond. They have, no doubt influenced me as a cinematographer. I would proudly say that I have never seen the pristine beauty of greenery anywhere in the world as I have experienced it in Alappuzha. The rural charm of Haripad, the vibrant colors of Mannarasala and the grandeur of nature in Kuttanadu gave me my very first lessons in visual art and cinematography.
The visual scope that these places offer is amazing and it is because of this reason that I felt immense joy when I made short movies on Mannarasala Amma or about the farming culture of Kuttanadu. It is almost as joyful as working in a big Hollywood production. I have visited many places around the world but whenever I imagine a beautiful visual of the innocence and goodness of a village; it is always the image of my beloved Haripad that comes to my mind.