Reptriation flight from London to Kochi helps this newly Tamil married couple to rejoin together and they have only praises about Malayalees – UKMALAYALEE

Reptriation flight from London to Kochi helps this newly Tamil married couple to rejoin together and they have only praises about Malayalees

Wednesday 1 July 2020 3:07 AM UTC

Palaniselvam and Dr Vinothini

Newly married Palaniselvam got stranded in the UK due to pandemic. His wife, who was here with him only had gone to Tamil Nadu briefly but due to lockdown she also got stuck there. Finally with help from the Malayalees Stranded in UK whatsapp group the couple were able to reach home. On their return Palaniselvam writes a blog to share his experiences of the flight from London to home. Palaniselvam works as a software engineer in a reputed organization in the UK. His wife Dr Vinothini is a homeopath.

“Yadhum Oore Yavarum Kaelir”

(Every village is my village and every person is from my relative)

My Journey via Vandhe Bharat Mission 3 – From London to Kochi on June 27

By Palaniselvam

I would like to pen down my first ever blog in my 28 years history! Since the feelings made me to do so and it has to be cherished forever in my life and also could be very helpful for others at these difficult times.

India is the land of many cultures and languages, a diverse nation. We often say, ‘Unity in Diversity’ but haven’t got much exposure to understand the real truth. But life is full of surprises and beautiful things, right? Come I will try to picturize on what happened in my life during the Covid 19 pandemic and how I have been rescued from UK to India.

I don’t want to waste your time in describing how cruel this Covid-19 is ruling the world and how much deeply it has impacted many people’s mental and physical health. We all are in a extremely different world now which we haven’t even imagined about!

I am a software engineer working in a reputed organization and came to work in the UK. My wife is a homeopath. We are newly married and we were in UK together until December 2019. She visited India alone for a short while in Jan 2020 and planned to return back in March 2020. It was very hard for both of us to stay alone but we havent got any other choice.

Covid-19 pandemic was declared, on an evening in March and received news that all international flights are banned in India. We were shocked and just prayed for things to return to normalcy (what could a normal human being can do in this unprecedented times). We expected all will be sorted out in a couple of months and we will be united in end of April or early May. But God has some other plans for us. Nothing wwent our way as we expected. I know it is the same situation for the entire world.

Mentally we both became low, and by the time there was a downward spiral in my health condition, my varicose veins became more painful. Couldn’t do my normal activities. I was wandering to go back home, since I couldn’t manage myself being alone in the UK.

I initially booked ticket to Chennai via High Commission of India (though tickets were not available online, they arranged it for me due to health issues). Later HCI announced flights to Kochi (which is just 4.5 hours drive from my hometown Erode, Tamil Nadu). I decided to go to Kochi and also due to my leg pain I couldn’t sit for longtime on a single position so I opted business class ticket to Kochi.

After booking ticket, I was clueless on what quarantine rules Kerala had and how I will reach Tamil Nadu. Luckily I was introduced to Anoop of  ‘Malayalees Stranded in UK’ Whatsapp group) by Sid. He quickly added me in that group. 

I gathered lot of information from the group to prepare myself for the journey towards Kerala from UK. I could see so many volunteers who are eager to share information on how to book and what happens during the journey and after it and it was more reassuring for me.

I was thinking that I am now in a safe place where I am being looked after by some really nice people and felt so happy and relieved to have around so many friendly persons who kept answering my at times silly questions.

Apart from Anoop, I found Sajida, Dr Ajay and Sanjay and several other chipping in with whatever information they have found about any flights and any updates.

Luckily I got to know there is no concept of mandatory institutional quarantine in Kerala for international passengers. That was a great relief! Though I can understand the seriousness of Covid-19  and necessity of quarantine, I was longing to see my family.

I personally feel, “Kerala government is of the people, by the people, for the people”. Kerala government truly values the people emotions as well as their methodology to control Covid-19 is really commendable.

They understand very well on what is required to be done mandatorily and not required at all. They are evolving very dynamically on current unprecedented situation. Other governments should learn from them and shouldn’t hesitate to adopt their plans in controlling the disease spread.

Iam in strict home quarantine now. I’m maintaining social distance from everyone in family, my food will be kept outside room. In fact Iam in a separate room in 2nd floor. But the joy of being in home after a very long period can’t be explained in words, that too after a huge impact on my physical & mental health.

Coming to the real agenda of this blog ‘Unity in Diversity’. I spoke with Anoop that I would need someone to help me since I couldn’t stand or walk for longtime due to Varicose veins pain.

Before assigning a volunteer for the 27th June flight troop, Anoop gave me the contact for India’s famous doctor Dr Roy Varghese for  varicose surgery in Kerala and he was very casually sharing his experience about varicose veins.

His call was so caring for me, and I came to get some other help but I got very useful information from him. God is Great, he is sending each & every person in our life whenever we are in need. No matter of race, religion, language, ethnicity, etc. Thanks a ton Anoop!

Then I was assigned with a volunteer /mentor named Bassim, a student. I have been given with his number and my number shared to him. Totally there were 20 pairs like this. Beautiful thing in it is, this Whatsapp group and information shared in that forum made us to unite each other even before we see in person.

I spoke with Bassim before the day of my flight. Such a kind hearted guy. I was little anxious that I’m the ONLY Tamil guy in that flight/group. Bassim spoke few words in Tamil too, I realised how they value other people and their language.

Next day we met at airport. I sent a photo of mine to him. As soon as he saw me in the airport, he popped to me directly without hesitation and started caring for me. He quickly attached with me.

Wherever help was required he stood 1st to get it for me. Right from wheelchair, security checking, during food intake, departure temperature checks, arrival at Kochi, Rapid test, baggage collection, exit of Kochi Airport he doubly ensured all are intact!

Meanwhile, while we boarded flight to Kochi from Mumbai I got call from Anoop enquiring how is everything going on and he ensured about my health too. I experienced  utmost care from my Kerala brothers during this unusual situation and unusual flight journey, which will be scripted in my memories forever.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu has a natural bond which was truly experienced during this pre-departure, flight journey and post-arrival! I would ensure that I would do the same for my beloved Kerala people if they have landed in Tamil Nadu.

Hats off my dear brothers and sisters! Thank you very much. Praying for all well-being of our community. There is a proverb in Tamil – “Yadhum oore yavarum kaelir” meaning ” Every village is my village and every person is from my relative”.

It suits us all since we were living in UK and returned to India but to different state and we got many relatives in this flights.

Regards, Palaniselvam