VILLAGE MARKETS IN TRAVANCORE KINGDOM 1940-1950'S -[NOW KERALA ]

THOSE DAYS THERE WERE NO MALLS.OR BIG STORES IN MOST VILLAGES AND TOWNS OF KERALA .MARKETS USED TO BE CONDUCTED ON THE ROAD SIDE BY FARMERS. SITTING UNDER  AN UMBRELLA.ESSENTIALS LIKE RICE,VEGETABLES WERE BROUGHT AND SOLD  FROM THE FARMS
 THERE WERE VERY FEW BUSES RUNNING ON COAL GAS
2OR 3 TAXIS [FORD OR CHEVEROLET OR AUSTIN] ;CARS WITH CLOTH TOP ;OF 1920 ERA SNORTING STEAM FROM THE WATER CAP ON THE BONNET,


NO RAILWAYS ; .NO TELEPHONES,AND MOST OF ALL THE WHOLE PLACE WAS DEPOPULATED AND DESERTED EXCEPT FOR FEW 'KUDILS' MEANS "THATCHED HOUSES
WHERE THE SEMI SLAVES OF THE AREA USED TO STAY (AND THEY WERE CALLED BY THEIR CASTE NAME:- "PULAYANS" THOUGH THEY HAD  THEIR OWN  NAMES LIKE 'KODIYAN',AND 'KOCHUCHERUKKAN' AND 'CHATHAN' AND POKKAN ETC FOR MEN AND CHIRUTHA ;KALI ETC FOR THEIR WOMEN}AND THEY WERE FORCED TO CALL OTHERS INCLUDING HIGHER CASTE AND LAND LORDS  AS 'THAMBRAN'{MEANS LORD/OWNER} THE BRITISH DID ONE GOOD DEED IN TRAVANCORE OF 1850'S WHEN THEY STOPPED SALE OF THESE PEOPLE   ALONG WITH LAND AS SLAVES, BY PUTTING PRESSURE ON TRAVANCORE RULER
I KNEW SOME FAMILIES WHO USED TO CLAIM TO HAVE GENERATIONS OF THESE PEOPLE WORKING ON THEIR FIELDS IN 1950;THAT IS WHY I MENTIONED THE WORD SEMISLAVE;AND AS A CHILD I NEVER KNEW THEIR POVERTY WHEN THEY CALLED ME KOCHU THAMBRAN [MEANS JUNIOR OR SMALL LORD]


IT WAS COMMON TO TRAVEL BY CYCLE TO GIVE IMPORTANT AND EMERGENCY  NEWS .
PEOPLE USED TO TRAVEL FROM MAVELIKKARA TO KOTTAYAM EVEN FROM TRIVANDRUM TO KOTTAYAM BY CYCLE
{THE FAMOUS CYCLE CHAMPION OF TRAVNCORE OF 1950'S WAS KNOWN AS "SOAP" [real name 'HYDROS' ]BECAUSE; IT SEEMS HE CARRIED SOAP FROM TRIVANDRUM TO KOTTAYAM FOR SALE;A DISTANCE OF 200 KMS DAILY}
                                  P.W.D.  STEAM ROAD ROLLER

 NO RADIO /TV/INTERNET ONLY ENTERTAINMENT WAS  HAND CRANKED GRAMAPHONE

MARKETS USED TO BE CONDUCTED IN SPECIFIC VILLAGES AND TOWNS  ON SPECIFIC DAYS ;WHICH WAS KNOWN TO FARMERS OF THE SURROUNDINGS AREAS

MARKETS WERE CALLED "CHANTHA" IN MALAYALAM . SOME MARKETS FUNCTIONED IN VILLAGES EVERY EVENING AND WERE CALLED " ANTHI CHANTHA"MEANS EVENING MARKET .
 THOSE DAYS THERE WERE VERY FEW REGULAR SHOPS IN EACH SMALL TOWN [EG:- CHANGANCHERRY TOWN IN CENTRAL TRAVANCORE ] HAD A FEW 'KACHA' SHOPS[MEANS SHOPS MADE OF WOODEN PLANKSOR ROCK STONES AND COVERED ON THE TOP WITH PALMLEAFS

IT WAS A REGULAR FEATURE TO SEE KERALA FARMERS GOING TO "CHANTA" IN LONG LINES OF BULLOCK CARTS ,ABOUT 50 TO 100 CARTS ONE BEHIND THE OTHER .MOST BULLOCK CARTS DRIVERS USED TO SIT AND SLEEP THE WHOLE DISTANCE WHILE THE LEAD BULLOCK CART WAS GUIDED BY THE LONE FARMER AWAKE
 TO TRAVEL FROM "ERAVIPERUR" (A SMALL VILLAGE IN THOSE DAYS)TO "CHENGANACHERRY" (A VERY SMALL TOWN THOSE DAYS) {A DISTANCE OF A FEW MILES-FEW KMS;USED TO TAKE 3 TO 4 HOURS OR MORE BY BULLOCK CARTS .THE ROADS IN 1950 WERE NOT TARRED,SO IT WAS A PITY TO TRAVEL ON THOSE ROADS WITH LOOSE ROCK(METALS ).THE SOUND MADE BY THE ROLLING OF THE BULLOCK CART WHEEL OVER THE ROADS WITH ROCKS  USED TO MAKE A JARRING KDAK KDAK KDAK NOISE ALL THE WAY


FOR THOSE  PEOPLE WHO HAS NOT SEEN A LONG LINE OF FARMERS TRAVELLING IN BULLOCK CARTS I AM PUTTING A FILM HERE :-

Phagun(1958)-Sun Jaa Pukaar (Asha Bhonsle)

 Bharat Bhushan, Madhubala
Music: OP Nayaar






 LIFE WAS VERY DIFFICULT THOSE DAYS
 BUT NO VIOLENCE AND POLITICS AS IT IS NOW BECAUSE PEOPLE USED TO BE SCARED OF POLICE AND THERE WERE NO POLITICAL PARTIES AT THAT TIME EXCEPT CONGRESS PARTY

COMMUNIST PARTY WAS BANNED AT THAT TIME  BY NEHRU; FOR USING VIOLENCE ;SIMILAR TO NAXALITES OF TODAY

 I AM HAPPY TO SEE THE TREMENDOUS PROGRESS MADE BY KERALA AND INDIA AND ITS PEOPLE IN JUST 50 YEARS .THOSE DAYS IF ANY BODY SAID INDIA IS GOING TO BE A SUPER POWER IN JUST 50 YEARS THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED MAD