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.

Places

And, We Tripped into God’s own backyard.

I am back home after a short vacation to “God’s own country”. We had first planned for a trip to Goa. But the planning was so last minute, and no tickets. Plus, Goa was apparently very hot that week. So we turned the rudder towards Kerala. Trivandrum, Munaar, Chalakudy regions were already done, so Cochin and Allepey were zeroed in on for the week. Throughout the trip, I was wondering why men actually called Kerala God’s own country. Was it for the beautiful green landscapes with water anywhere you turn reminding you about God’s mighty creative hand? Or was it coz toddy, lottery and women in weird clothes were in abundance and every man felt like a god? I still wonder.
Chinese Nets - More of a decoration than real fishing equipment
Chinese Nets – More of a decoration than real fishing equipment

It was a short trip but very refreshing. The weather was awesome. Nightly rains, and the days were that perfect blend of wind and shade. After the pre-programmed visits to multiple churches, marine-drive drive, dysfunct chinese fishing nets in fort kochi, I happily spent the night watching back to back boring movies on KTV.

And the next day, In Allepey, we stayed on the proverbial boat houses. The food was excellent on board. [ Yes, ONBOARD. And I will stick to it ] . We “docked” at a place  that had almost 20 coconut palms per sq. ft. Yes, dummy, that is an exaggeration. But it was almost that, almost. Dark, breezy nights, Coconut leaves swaying in the air along with 300-400 floating houses lit with mild yellow lights. The view was fantastic. The huge Vembanad lake was like the sea and It felt like a page out of Christie’s A Caribbean Mystery. Just minus the murders.

The following day and the pockets of my shorts were filled with beach sand from Allepey. That beach was beautiful. Clean, almost deserted, and high tide-d – just the way I like it. There was a long metal structure that extended into the sea. Eaten away in places by salt, and rusted so much that the nuts and bolts looked molten into one metal piece, It looked so beautiful. I badly wanted to somehow walk into the sea holding it. Yeah, I am that stupid sometimes.

Beautiful Crashes
Beautiful Crashes
Anyways, we had to get back home after some shopping. It was very revivifying, like it was a short trip to God’s own backyard, really.