The Venice Of The East

People say you are in your first year of marriage, young, no commitments, both have jobs, living together in Bangalore - so everyday should be a picnic, a holiday :) Well, it more or less is, more so on the weekends when we have the whole day and no work. It is a picnic in mind space, but then cooking, shopping, washing, cleaning, moping just don't make it a picnic in any real sense. Initially like every new couple with a married tag, we made an unending list of places to visit, innumerable ways to spend our weekends, but somehow slowly the weekend chores have taken precedence. I have moved on at work space also, and when after 5 days of IT Support, Saturday - Sunday is for a peaceful time at home cleaning up everything that has accumulated from 5 days at work.

So it was rather a surprise when during our latest trip home, there came this chance for a boating trip in Alappuzha. My native in Alappuzha, a place called Haripad. But then Alappuzha had been one place which came on our way to Haripad, and a place about which the people in my office kept enquiring. There ended all my connection to Alappuzha until I formed a new one.

What waited for us there was not just heat and humidity, but waterways with either side laden with greenery. People gazing from either bank when a motor boat and two people with cameras tried to capture what they felt was a normal day to day life. People who live a life close to nature, but then circumstances seldom allowing them to enjoy the nature which people from far and near come to capture in still and moving shots. Little children who waved, and chaps who whistled. Old people who appeared shaking their heads, probably thinking about what had become of their once calm and quite backwaters. Bold ones, young and old, who rowed their private valloms defying the currents sent by big motorised boats. Fleets of house boats which very much define the God's Own Country abroad. Coconut palms stretched in a never ending line which made us wonder where the end of the world is. Temples lined on the banks. Election banners occupying prominent spaces. Small cool bars selling coke and cigarettes.

That is Alappuzha as I saw it and the ripples that it passed through my mind. One thing unsaid might leave my impressions of this trip incomplete – the wonderful lunch we had at KTDC’s Yatri Nivas in Pallathuruthy– a homely Kerala meal accentuated by the wonderful tasting dishes, refreshing buttermilk, karimeen fry and chicken curry.

Unsaid and unapplauded my blog turned one on April 28th. I still remember that fateful day I started blogging and I am sure it was one of the best days of my life. Thanks to all of you out there, for all the encouragement and feedback.