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Freedom Walk: Day 6 - Mulathilangady to Mahe

large_DSCN0921.JPGMorning dawns early, especially for happily fed mosquitoes. The misery at the Panchayat Hall is rather frustrating, but good for the trek. We exit the building rather quickly. "Rajmohan Maash” meets us at the building just before we leave. He has come all the way from home, a few miles away, just to say hello.

We have breakfast from a lovely little family-run restaurant on the way back to the highway. We pause to say hello to a proprietor of a grocery shop on the way. He shows us the news item in the local paper about the walk. Anoop tells us later about this man, who refused to accept anything more that 50 Paisa for the cost of miscellaneous spices bought the previous night. Anoop offered Rs. 5 first, then a Rupee, but finally had to dig out the exact change, because the shopkeeper didn't have the coins to return the change, and he refused to overcharge on he knew was obviously from out-of-town. *Sound of applause*.

The local school at Mulathilangi is inaccessible due to their sports day being today, and we have to make do with having a conversation with a teacher, who is delighted that the community that we will hopefully help to build across Kerala would be a great resource for their IT @ School program.

The Walk progresses, the sun holds its trajectory across the fierce tropical sky, and we reach Thalassery. We missed the IT @ School meeting at the local Government school, because we haven't made it here on time, but some of the teachers show up around the front of the school, and we manage to have a bit of tea and some chat, and build a few connections here and there – mostly redirected to Suraj, and FSUG, Kozhikode.

After sending the USB sticks with pictures from the last couple of days to Zyxware, Thiruvananthapuram via courier service, we head-off towards Mahe. The highway is an absolute nightmare for pedestrians. The pavements, if they exist at all, are just about wide enough to walk in single line. Private bus services that fly these routes employ drivers, who are worthy of Formula One Grand Pre qualifications. The vehicles run at incredible speeds along a rather narrow road, on more than a couple of occasions some of us have crossed souls with bus bodies nearly pressing past human bodies.

Jemshid, also fondly called “Thatha” by Suraj, shows up out of the darkness, and we now five souls plot on Mahe.

The Walk moves on further, towards Mahe – the curious Union Territory which is administered from Pondicherry, which is at the other side of the Indian peninsula. Vehicle number plates start with “PY” as opposed to Kerala's “KL”, liquor is available at nearly tax-free rates and the effects are quite obvious as Cherry gets and impressive personal oration in text book malayalam from a local Mahe-an. Mahesh Mangalat, one of the champions of Malayalam Computing in Kerala, has arranged accommodation for us at the “Kalagramam” (literally - “Art Village”) campus in Mahe.

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Freedom Walk Day 6 Photo Gallery

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