Home – The single most sweetest word in the English language, at least for me. For a large chunk of my life, home meant our tiny little apartment in Fort Kochi. I grew up here in a small apartment with my parents and grandmother.
My school was just a five-minute walk away. Mom and I used to walk to the grocery store and beauty parlour countless times. Dad used to take me to a restaurant named ‘Elite’ whenever he was around. At ‘Elite’ I used to munch on vegetable puffs, coffee, and ice cream.
We also lived near the ocean, which meant a trip to the beach every weekend.
My favourite memories of staying here are those that involved going to the beach. My dad and uncle used to take me to the beach frequently. We used to walk on the long, stone pathway along the beach while eating peanuts.
Fort Kochi, or FC for short, represents what I still believe to be the best part of my life. This is why I was super excited to visit FC last Thursday when I’d gone to meet with a schoolmate.
FC looked exactly the same, but different. It felt extremely good to be back home.
I decided to walk around FC while waiting for my friend to arrive. I was walking along the beach when Govind called me. I was just a stone’s throw away from him. We met outside the park near my school.
It had been a year since I last met him. We met briefly at my best friend’s wedding.
Our plan was to visit the Muziris Biennale Exhibition taking place in FC.
The Biennale takes place every 2 years. It is spread across multiple venues in Kochi.
The Biennale showcases a wide variety of contemporary, international artwork especially curated for this mega event. This is the third edition of the Biennale, the first of which happened back in 2012.
Govind & I decided to visit Aspinwall, one of the venues for the Biennale. Spread across multiple buildings within Aspinwall, we came across a wide variety of artwork.
From paintings to installations to films, there was so much on display. Each piece of artwork focused on a specific theme.
Interestingly, most of the artwork we came across had this theme of modern technology blending in with everyday life engraved into it. This was eye-opening in a way and amusing in another.
There were a few installations that particularly stood out to me.
The first was an installation that involved a bunch of bulbs hung together at different heights next to each other.
The interesting thing about this installation is that these bulbs together represent the date of birth of the artist.
Another interesting tidbit is that as the exhibition goes on, each bulb will burn out one by one, until the end of the Biennale. Interestingly, the installation has been specifically made to ensure that all the bulbs burn out by the end of the exhibition this month. How cool is that?!
The next installation that stood out to me was a light fixture that was interactive in nature. I loved the manner in which the installation was assembled. It had this cool, otherworldly aura. Plus, it was amazingly photogenic.
The third installation that had me enthralled was the ‘Sea of Pain.’ A very poignant piece, it was a reminder that anything could happen at any time.
It is important that we cherish our lives and live it to the fullest for as long as we can.
In addition to admiring the artwork, we also spent some time near the dock, admiring the sea. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a deep-rooted love for the ocean. It has been my calmer, my healer, my go-to-place when life gets a little difficult.
After spending a few hours at Aspinwall, we went to a café named Qissa for a quick bite. Here, we met up with another classmate, Ronak. We spent nearly an hour chatting, having iced tea and eating sandwiches.
What a trip! Nostalgic, joyful and fun. It was the most perfect afternoon I’d spent in ages.
Hopefully, I get to visit FC again soon.