>> Friday, November 14, 2008
We had booked tickets to Kerala by train, a long 32 hour journey. However we were in for a hearty surprise, the Indian railways keeping our drudgery in mind, had upgraded our train to make it a “Nature trail /Eco tourism” special. The main attractions were the mighty cokroaches. We had a field day observing their behavior in extremely cold (read AC) conditions. Few of my co-passengers though were more interested in the rat family nearby and their hourly squabbles over the fact that the cockroaches were stealing the thunder!! (Yeah, they have ego-trips too!!)
Then there was the dreaded M word (marriage for the uninitiated). From birds and bees to the tallest coconut trees, all wondered aloud why “good luck” was eluding me. The only end result of all this being a new “Zen –like” expression on my face and more temple visits!!
The first place we went to was the majestic Padmanabhapuram Palace. The beautiful sculptures and wood work had us spellbound. The palace is breathtakingly beautiful and well maintained. We had our funny moments though … when my friend innocently asked one unsuspecting guide .. “But why didn’t Marthanda Varma, the king get married? Wasn’t he an eligible bachelor?” The look on the guide’s face was priceless and the rest of us were almost ROTFL. (psst we did have some cheeky answers from another friend for above question …but since this a family blog… ;) )
Kovalam beach was a major disappointment though .And what do I say about the Veli tourist village .. the sculptures or whatever you can call them were just best left to wild imagination …
We stayed at a wonderful home stay option at Alleppey. The hosts provided us with a cosy room in their house and lovely meals. Trust me, the way we were devouring food, I am sure they would do a background check the next time around… “Starvation victims will not be entertained!!”
The backwater cruise in the lovely houseboat however made up for all the missed trains and crowded buses. It was like a trip to another world, a journey we all will never forget in a long time to come.
As our train chugged out of Ernakulam Town station towards Pune and we waved out to A, I suddenly felt something was about to change... and it has indeed.. for better or for worse!!
I had one of the best trips ever. Made lasting friendships, one tiny grouse though being a miffed friend .. still wondering what went wrong in a matter of 12 hours.. I wish I knew... :(
As this post is on a journey, can baggage be far behind, considering we had loads of it . I’ll end this with a quote I read in Anita Nair’s book “Mistress”
“Baggage I suppose .. he said softly. None of us is free of it, and yet if we were, we wouldn’t be who we are”
P.S: Two learning’s from the trip:
1) It is not necessary to just own a camera.. You should know to use it too!!! (Yeah all my pictures look like they have been shot by a 3 year old)
2) Malayalis are very disciplined people, don’t believe me … ok then check the disciplined queues at the Beverages Corporation outlets.. even army drills will be put to shame.
Acknowledgement : I thank "god" for the first pic ;) in the post