Baseless rants, Frivolously Yours, Places

Walking into the pages of Jane Austen’s books

So after the cousin got married, we sent the couple off on their honeymoon and packed our bags to Kerala. Kerala has always been a personal favourite. I love waters and mountains. And Kerala is a generous giver of those pleasures.

On the way to Thekkady

We hit Thekkady first. It was pre-monsoon, which meant hazy mornings, warm afternoons and pleasantly chilly evenings. We spent a couple of days there – loitering around the town munching vaazhaikai & jackfruit chips, stopping at random tea stalls for that glass of glorious tea. We attended a couple of shows – Kalari (martial arts) & Kathakali. Excellent performances really. We also took elephant rides and it was so much fun. There was a plan to visit the Periyar lake but unfortunately it was closed that week due to some recent heavy rains, so had to pass on that one.

From Thekkady we went on to Nedumkandam. We’d booked a homestay there. It was a lovely piece of property and had the best view. The vacation was just like I had wanted it – lazy & without an agenda.

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View from the bedroom

The entire week followed this charming routine: Wake up to the view of misty hills, sit in the garden chair and ponder on the beauty of life while sipping hot coffee, curl up in the sofa and read, walk around the town in the afternoon, get back, enjoy that steaming cup of chai, lie/roll in the grass in the front yard till the delicious aroma of kappa & beef curry come wafting out through the kitchen window. Run like the wind to the dining table, eat, hog, stuff yourself and land in bed. This routine, generously sprinkled with magical trips into the world of Jane Austen’s characters – PERFECT.

Local Market – Dried Fish
Local Market – Quail Eggs

Just walking in and around the town felt like I was transported to the pages of Jane Austen’s books. Like Elizabeth or Elinor walking across over moors, among heather bushes, picking wild flowers from the fields. There were some friendly hills in the town, which meant very less effort to climb. So that’s what I did, I went up these hills – just walking, skipping gaily, humming & singing. And once at the top, you can feel the wind trying to blow you off the hill. Whew! I am visiting this town every year. This is a beautiful beautiful place.

All that is missing is a basket
Traipsing through fields of grass

There is this place Ramakkal Medu nearby, where they have a giant statue of a Kuravan-Kurathi couple. Oh and there are these wind mills on these hills and it is fantastic to see! Another day we went to a waterfall in a nearby village called Etithope. It was so pretty and I am glad we did it. We had to descend quite a long way to get to the bottom of the falls, but it was just worth it. There was a cocoa bean and nutmeg plantation and I badly wanted to flick some. But i wouldn’t know what to do with it later, so i just walked on.

Cocoa Bean Trees

Yes, Please do visit this place. It is so lovely. No I am too lazy to describe stuff in detail. Please do yourself a favour and go visit it, trust me!

Also, totally stuck on two songs that I dug up from an ancient playlist. and on repeat ever since

Shukraan Allah – Kurbaan

 

Vaanam Keezhe – Thoongathey Thambi

 

Take care,

pH.

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Baseless rants, Frivolously Yours, Places

Uphill & Downhill

As per usual, it has been sometime since the last post. I have taken up a new assignment at work and have quite a few things on my plate. I couldn’t find time to write. I haven’t even had enough time to read and my TBR tray has a pretty tall stack.

Talking of books, I had been reading Picadilly Jim sometime back. I was only halfway through it and had lost the book. And somehow mysteriously it has now appeared on my work desk. You are forgiven, penitent thief.

A couple of weeks back I went uphill to Kotagiri for a short holiday. It was a sweltering summer in my town. The mind ached for a cool place and the body faltered to the Nilgiris. It was a refreshing change going from 33 – 35 degrees to 14-15 in a matter of 8 hours. I went with the family and we stayed in a cozy cottage in the middle of a tea plantation. It was the perfect place to unwind. Misty mornings, filtered sunlight with generous downpours for a couple of hours in the afternoons. Plus a most beautiful view to wake up to. The world is a beautiful place.

Waking up to this

There is one thing I wanted to write about – Panamarams. I have always liked the routes I take to work. One of my older jobs had me take the East Coast Road everyday, and I would travel around 3-4 hours overlooking the sea. Yes crowded buses, sweaty passengers who assume they are playing kabaddi – but you could still just somehow become oblivious to all that and just get lost in the beauty of the sea, the sand, the horizon, and those lovely panai marams. Palmyra palm or Borassus or just Pana maram. The blue-brown seascape & the pana marams would seem like the ever present backdrop and the towns would be the foreground frames that kept changing. Everyday on the ECR was like watching a bioscope show.

I think I can boast of a decent memory, and I have seen a fair share of panamarams pretty much everywhere in the state. Tall, dark & handsome. No wonder it is the state tree. There used to be so many of these trees just strewn along the geography of Tamil Nadu. They just grow on their own whims & fancies. The pretty palms. And their nungu fruit!

Palmyra Palms

The road that I take now to work has pana marams too. But I think they are getting lesser in number. I remember there used to be large paddy fields not very far from home. The borders were lined with palms and there used to be so many parrots in those trees. I would wander around those fields on weekends listening to the parrots, hunting bugs & beetles, living life to the fullest.

Now, i can’t remember when I last saw or heard a parrot. I don’t see as many palm trees. And sadly, those paddy fields aren’t there anymore either.