From Chennai to Moodubelle-Impression of a first time visitor to the Village

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Prof. T. Pilavendran
Bellevision Media Network

Chennai, 24 July 2010: Prof. T. Pilavendran, a Professor from Chennai wanted to give a surprise to his nephew, John Sounder Raj who was marrying Zeena from Moodubelle. He did not want his nephew to know that he would be coming to attend his marriage. As he happened to know about Bellevision and its President Valerian Alva and also Elias D’Souza, he decided to take their help in finding out as to how he could reach Moodubelle from Chennai. Both Valerian and Elias gave him a detailed description of the route and how he could reach Moodubelle. Prof. T. Pilavendran did follow the instructions given by both Valerian and Elias and did reach Moodubelle to attend his friend’s  and Zeena’s marriage. After returning to Chennai he wrote a letter to both Valerian Alva and Elias D’Souza expressing his gratitude and his experience about Moodubelle.  This is what he wrote:

Dear Mr. Valerian and dear Mr. Elias, first of all I regret for this delayed mail and hope you are good enough to bear with me. Thanks to your guidance and encouragement, I indeed had a pleasant hassle-free trip to Moodubelle and back after sharing a full quota of rejoicing in the marriage of  Zena. Your guidance gave me a feel that I went to a place which I already knew.

I expected to meet you there. However, I came to know that  you are abroad. It is nice to see that wherever you are you keep your native culture and hold together the Bellevision fraternity very strong. Others should emulate you in playing  the role of a good Samaritan to people in need of help and that too unseen strangers. That is the real spirit of being a good neighbour as Jesus preached.

Dear Elias, I had the pleasure of meeting your dad who approached me himself and talked to me and we came to know each other. He felt happy you responded to me.  

The one thing that struck me in Moodubelle is that the people of Moodubelle are genuinely good-natured, unassuming, gentle, flocking together, accepting people warmly and living together as God’s children. They are definitely hard-working and equally keeping a good level of living, maintaining standards of refinement and relationships. They remind me of the people of Lake District in UK  who figure in the poems of Wordsworth, people known for "plain living and high thinking". 

The church of St. Lawrence is imposing and the vast space that is  provided in front of the church is unique and adds to the majesty of the church. I found such vast space in front of the Mother of Sorrows Church at Udupi. The Konkani Mass offered by the priest was quite interesting and I liked it and I had the opportunity of Second Reading during the Mass.

The church hall gave a good ambience of togetherness. I very much liked the ceremony associated with the wedding reception which gives importance to people knowing each other and new kinships developing easily.  I found Zeena  to be  a warm enthusiastic girl from Moodubelle and will keep the name of Moodubelle in high esteem. The children of Moodubelle are playfully innocent and throbbing with enthusiasm and vibrancy of virtuous living. The reception ceremony in the hall was conducted elaborately with lucid loud commentary by a young Master of Ceremonies. The one thing I liked most was the emphasis given on knowing the couple, their family members and relatives  in detail and extending human warmth to the new relationship. Mr. Benedict Noronha the advocate played an excellent role and I too had the opportunity to speak in response to the toast. The wine and food were excellent. 

However, in the marriage ceremonies I found one difference. That is in our community the Mangalsutra is put around the neck of the bride by the bridegroom during the Holy Mass solemnizing the marriage, but in Moodubelle I observed that the same ritual was performed during reception. 

The journey  from Chennai to Mangalore and onwards to Udupi and Moodubelle and back was totally hassle-free, thanks to the clear idea that both of you  had given to me and also the arrangements made by the bride’s family for pick up from Mangalore station, accommodation in Udupi and conveyance to Moodubelle and back. The travel from Udupi to Moodubelle reminded me of Kerala and Goa suburbs. Earlier while travelling from Mangalore to Udupi, I was happy to see the famous Suratkal Engineering College. I had the opportunity to  taste Udupi coffee frequently. However,  the food shops could not impress me much maybe because I was moving about in a limited radius. Since Udupians are busy running good hotels outside their native place in many parts of the world, they might not have paid much attention or time for their native soil. 

It was really a memorable trip for me because I primarily found a good lot of God’s children. This is the first time I have prayed in the church dedicated to St. Lawrence. I have lived for 27 years in different parts of north India such as Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar and have also visited places in England, France , Italy , Qatar and Singapore. However, my trip to Moodubelle is no doubt a trip to remain in my memory forever like a few other trips. However, there is no doubt that the goodness and humility of the people of Moodubelle is unique and I bow down to that. 

My wife also accompanied me and equally enjoyed the trip. She conveys her thanks and best wishes to you all. Zeena’s parents, brother and others were nice. May God bless them. Our relations will continue and please do remember me when you visit Chennai. 

Best wishes

Prof. T. Pilavendran

(Prof. T. Pilavendran has been a visiting  Professor to LIBA, Loyola College. He was also HR Professional in Steel Authority of India Limited)


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Comments on this Article
Ramesh Hegde, Moodubelle Sat, July-24-2010, 1:57
Thanks Professor for your good words about people of Moodibelle. You are always welcome to Moodubelle and if possible stay for a few more days
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Sat, July-24-2010, 11:23
Belleans have warmly welcomed a son-in-law from Chennai, promoting national integration! When we read 2 states, story of my marriage, a novelette by Chetan Bhagat, we get a window at how literate and educated class displays its prejudices when it comes to social relationships across regions. That the Prof had the first hand opportunity to see for himself our village and its culture, and go back with application is very nice.
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Sat, July-24-2010, 9:15
It was pleasing to read the letter fromProf. Pilavendran. Yes you are right, people of Belle are good at hospitality and integrity. You being a well wisher of our native, may you visit our town many times in the future. Wishing you good in everything.
Victor DSouza, Moodubelle / Doha Fri, July-23-2010, 8:33
Contents of the letter from Prof. T. Pilavendran are touching. This will surely encourage us all to do what Valerian and Elias did. We mangloreans are brought up that way and it shows wherever we are. I do agree with Prof. T. Pilavendran regarding hotels in Udupi, except for few the hotels at Udupi are not as impressive as they are outside Udupi.
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