Sep 18, 2011

Legend of Hymavathy

Her name was Hymavathy. She was a beautiful girl, lean and tall, fair and graceful, born in the 1950s in Trivandrum, the capital of the South Indian state Kerala. The reason why you are not able to find the name Hymavathy in the contemporary naming culture of Kerala society may perhaps be that it has got weeded out from the vocabulary conscience of the people here.

Born and brought up in an orthodox Brahmin family, Hymavathy was privileged to attend the renowned University of Kerala campus for her higher studies. Motivated by teenage frailty, Hymavathy fell in deep love with a young handsome boy, and they became inseparable. During the free hours, they both spent some time together in the forest like areas within the campus itself. In the wilderness, there was a small pond. It was sitting on the banks of this pond (some call it a lake) that they both used to share their joys, personal worries, secrets, and perhaps more. The layout of the campus could most possibly be the same as today, since development in Kerala usually happens in a slow manner, thanks to the bureaucrats. 

As she was about to lose her butterfly days of teenage soon, her parents hurried to find a suitable boy for her. Since there was already a boy, who occupied her heart, she did not give consent to any of the proposals brought by her parents. Later, when her parents journeyed into the depths of her heart by asking questions, that secret surfaced. May be due to their conservatism, or because of the boy’s background, which was set in a separate caste, her parents never allowed that relationship. Heartbroken, and totally distressed, the beautiful Hymavathy, one unfortunate day of the 60’s went to the lakeside without anybody’s accompaniment. Bidding farewell to the surrounding solitude and to her beloved one silently, she jumped into the pond, and died. 

Since she left the world, without fulfilling her womanly passions and desires, her soul was in a distressed condition. Without being able to leave the earth and its environment, it appeared in the form of a white apparition to many people in the surrounding areas, and wept terribly. What gushed forth from its eyes were not tears, but red clotted blood.  

It was two decades later only, this Blogger was born in a different place far away from the precincts of the above mentioned incidents. By the passage of the half of a century, the neighboring rustic areas had given way to modernization. As a result, one of the largest technology hub of India, Technopark was set up in the neighbourhood, even when the government’s initiative University of Kerala remained the same with its haunted wilderness and forest like terrains, except some new buildings, departments, and hostels germinated somewhere within. 

The Blogger grew up and as part of education, he travelled to Trivandrum. During the end of his media related studies, he got placed in an online news portal, which was functioning in Technopark’s biggest building, Tejaswini. Since he dealt with news, he had to do night shifts. Many of his colleagues working in night shifts with him were living in the Trivandrum city located some 15 kilometers away. He was living in a rented place in the Trivandrum city, and the commutation was easy for him with the help of his sincere bike. 

Though their shift usually ended at 12 O’clock in the night, none of them had the habit of going home in the night, except him. What he did was actually saving time; work from 5 to 12 in the evening, go back to home traveling 15 kilometers to have a peaceful sleep till eight in the morning, and collect a handful of free hours of the day to get involved in some other activities which he was interested in. 

Either envied by his time saving trick, or in order to save him from the grudge of the supernatural beings, two female colleagues told him about the legend of Hymavathy pond, and about the spirit of the girl who roamed around with her unsatiated lust and unfulfilled desires. He was shocked, and his shock was doubled hearing the accounts from some other tongues. As per the legends, if someone goes to Hymavathy Lake alone, he would feel someone at his back who tried to push him to the water, though no one could have been found around. The Blogger checked the internet and found some narrations of the Hymavathy pond, in which a huge sized figure appeared to a night time traveler while traveling on a two wheeler through the route which lay straight in between Technopark and Kerala University. Another night time traveler had seen a woman at the back gate of the University accompanied by the scent of the Jasmine flowers, when there were no jasmine plants growing in those areas.

Even after hearing all these stories, the Blogger continued his mid night travel, with pulsating heart, and dried lips. During those hours, what illuminated the isolated tarred roads was only the headlight of his vehicle. He passed that route, fearfully expecting a scented apparition of a woman in white dress at each and every juncture and curve. Finding him harmless the next day, his female colleagues gossiped that he was escaped only because Hymavathy was in love with him.

Dear readers, sorry to disappoint you again without a twisted end; either impressed by the courage of the Blogger, or hindered by her natural affection towards him, Hymavathy never tried to harm him.

In Pictures:
Picture 1: Young woman (corbis.com)
Picture 2: Snap of the Hymavathy pond as seen today (Courtesy: http://angelicidol.blogspot.com)
Picture 3: The night time snap of the road between Technopark and University of Kerala, through where I used to travel (Courtesy: http://www.technoparktoday.com)

(In the following map, you can see the areas. The University of Kerala campus and Hymavathy Lake are marked clearly. The buildings you see on the left bottom corner are part of Technopark. In between, the one you see with the label, Karyavattom-Thrippadapuram road is the one which I used to travel during night time. Using the Zoom and direction controls, given at the top left portion, you can get to know the places more accurately)


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