Coonoor Fiction

I was browsing through an old Femina from 2011 when I saw this. Wow. Someone from Coonoor has written a book and the book is set in Coonoor. How did I manage to miss it all these days.

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The book doesn’t seem to be available now, but there is a sample story from the collection on the website and it seems pretty ok. While it was weird reading about a fictional town of Monele near Ooty in Love Kills, it seems even weirder to read about Alwarpet, Bedford and Alankar Bakery in this story. Localities you’ve actually walked around in. A bakery on whose counter you have sat on an eaten the same apple cakes.  A nice kind of weird.

The author is a familiar name. Of course I don’t know her personally. We were from the same town, but totally different circles. Interesting how she describes her love hate relationship with Coonoor in this article.  I don’t intend to imply anything negative here, but I remember that she was a bit of an Urban Legend in town those days. Ofcourse most of those stories that shocked indianculture then were exaggerated and embellished, I’m sure.  She talks about her rebellion and how she felt a total misfit back there then. I can totally relate.

But somehow she has been drawn back to Coonoor and has gone on to write a book of stories set in that very town. That’s the beauty of Coonoor.

I too have a love hate relationship with Coonoor. This line from Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects perfectly describes the town

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Maybe someday I too will write a book set in Coonoor, based on people living in Coonoor.  And I’ll reveal some deep dark secrets with the disclaimer that it is purely fiction. I’m evil that way.

 (Note: Not mentioning any names in this post because I don’t want a Google search making things awkwardly uncomfortable)

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15 thoughts on “Coonoor Fiction

  1. ..I’ll reveal some deep dark secrets with the disclaimer that it is purely fiction. I’m evil that way.

    Ok, I’m out of here 🙂

      • It’s a small world, especially in these connected times when content is so easily created and can be archived (digitally) for so much longer. Including the ability of digitization of erstwhile short-lived formats(and of rumors and opinions via social media) . So a friend-of-a-friend scenario is quite likely at a minimum. 

        Everybody has secrets, and possibly most are not really as secret as assumed as time ticks on. Maybe probing into it is akin to opening Pandora’s box. I guess you could just say that the hills were definitely alive and far, far from sleepy..roses and thorns(and what-nots) flourished. But that’s what makes it interesting. Come to think of it, there sure was enough ‘going-ons’ to help churn out quite a few stories. Characters and lives and activities. Awakenings, learnings, fears and stumbles. The geography(steep ascents/descents as well as the ample stretches of trees, plantations and gardens)and climate(misty/foggy/drizzles/heavy winds screeching and howling across valleys interspersed with good sunshine) and relatively large swathes of areas that were pollution-free has so much to do with it, as also the (eclectic and diverse) residents.

  2. Coonoor – always elicits the following memories – Sim’s park, St Joseph’s Boys School, Pasteur Institute (the only place to produce the rabies vaccine in those days), with that bit of rail track which had a central track of cog wheels. Coonoor was just a place on the way to Ketti, Lovedale and then Ooty.

    I was more enamoured by Ooty with its race course, the lovely botanical garden, the Assembly Hall, opposite to the entrance to the BG with its shows of English movies. I remember seeing Where Eagles Dare” and “The Dirty Dozen” there. I’ve had chai at Elanalli.

    PS: The world is indeed a small place, you might not require friends of friends kind of connection even. 🙂
    @Arun BTW – there’s no Pandora’s box – it’s just a box of stuff, how one perceives the stuff is purely a personal perspective – quite often we might look at them with fond smiles 🙂

    • …the Assembly Hall, opposite to the entrance to the BG with its shows of English movies. I remember seeing Where Eagles Dare” and “The Dirty Dozen”…

      Assembly Hall and Bedford (Talkies?) were great escape getaways from the humdrums of dreary subjects and classes..especially Bedford, early on..I think I did see the “Dirty Dozen” there..”Where Eagles Dare” was(and maybe still is) a fav book for a long time..ive got to see the movie sometime..hoping it evokes the same thrill and excitement as the book did while snuggled inside a warm blanket on a cold winter night..

  3. @The Visitor:

    BTW – there’s no Pandora’s box – it’s just a box of stuff, how one perceives the stuff is purely a personal perspective – quite often we might look at them with fond smiles 🙂

    I actually do ie look at memories and have a laugh over it. Most of it was just fun. Yes, a happy smile is what is sported.

    Incidentally, the general topic and the ensuing discussion seems to have opened a flood of memories. We are generally in-undated with so many things in everyday life and possibly “much water has flown under” over time that  memories do need some sparking. I have fond memories of all of the above(institutions, locations, activities,thoughts etc), and since a large stint of growing up was all over here, it’s tough to place them all in any order besides a collage..

    • @Arun

      I have fond memories of all of the above(institutions, locations, activities,thoughts etc),

      Quite a coincidence – 3 virtual entities, unknown to each other, meeting by chance and having quite a lot in common. 🙂

  4. It is a small small tiny world and with all these friends of friends algorithms it is quite eerie how Six Degrees of Separation is being proved right. So who knows, maybe we are just six degrees away from actually knowing each other. given that there is a common Coonoor connection 🙂

    But all this Coonoor talk has made me want to start some kind of MemoryProject 🙂

      • Oh.. I thought that was some generic project like the #100HappyDays thing. Looks like there are a lot of kinds of memory projects. What I meant was that I got this plan to start a blog with pictures of Coonoor. Not big touristy places. Places like a tea shop or a roadside corner that basically means zilch to anyone else but invokes fond memories for you.

  5. ..I thought that was some generic project like the #100HappyDays thing.

     
    give me a #100HappyHours anyday. With some music. And maybe a good book later.

    Incidentally, among the earliest vivid memories I have is of a tree-a mammoth tree that must have been at least a 100 years old, if not a lot more, supporting it’s own little ecosystem of birds,  squirrels, all sort of rodents and what nots(those fantasy books didn’t really help either, maybe elves and goblins as well). It was a tree that had to be crossed for most out-bound activities. The presence of the tree ensured 2 things prior to conquering the fear:

    – reach home before dark from wherever the days adventure took me
    – find innovative ways to avoid it if for some reason I was held up at something and reached the spot late. Sometimes pushing and making way through thick bushes and uncharted grounds along slopes with zero regard for scratches and wounds(and potentially other dangers that lurk about, now that I think)

    Ultimately the fear was conquered. I guess I just took a few walks around the vicinity of this tree for about an hour maybe around that scary appointed hour when things happened. Nothing happened, besides the usual sounds of crickets and bats (or whatever emerges at dusk). Along with that went the return-before-dark schedule.

  6. The #100HappyDays project does look interesting. Quite an innovative idea as well, as today’s fast-paced world and schedules comes with it’s own growing string of irritants that you may be hard-pressed to find a moment to capture and label as happy. I guess it allows you to start looking for such moments in everyday life, which is really the first step to a happier life as conscious efforts are made towards finding such a moment, if not actually creating it. Goes hand-in-hand with the scheduling mentality that we are all trained into possessing and possibly practice as well.

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