My second trip to India was inspired by the spectacular prose and narratives of Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things, a novel set in a small town on the famed backwaters of Kerala. I read the critically acclaimed novel way back in college, unaware that years down the road, I would embark on my own journey to “God’s Own Country”.
Imagine my delight at being chosen as one of the 29 travel writers and photographers from all corners of the globe to participate in a Kerala Tourism-sponsored two-week jaunt across the state of Kerala. The experience let me learn so much about the local life, culture, tradition and landscape.
Wildlife gets right up close, as you can see be our interactins with these lovable creatures at the Kappukadu Elephant Rehabilitation Centre in Kottur. My friend Roja seems delighted by her encounter with this gentle giant.
These Chinese fishing nets that dots the shoreline of Kochi makes for a magnificent viewing at sunset. These unusual fixed land installations used for fishing are mostly found in Kollam and Kochi in Kerala.
While strolling along the beach one morning I met these football players, “Angel Boys” as their coach told me. “My name is Angel and these are the Angel Boys” the curly haired woman in black stripes proudly tells me. A game of football by the beach is the perfect way to start the day in Kovalam, Kerala.
Tea plantations appear like green cotton balls laid out as far as one can see in the cold highlands of Munnar, the ‘Tea Country’ of Kerala.
On a random stop en route to Wayanad, I chanced upon this man preparing to serve “Adicha Chaya” (One meter tea) to a local. I ordered one and truly enjoyed this chai tea prepared in a unique method of stretching both hands (at a distance of one meter) while pouring the chai tea into two cups apart. This practice produces a potent concoction of the tea’s mixture, a frothier texture and improved taste.
On my first morning in Kerala I was welcomed by this image of mundu clad fisherman about to wander into the vast sea. Their chiseled sunburnt bodies against the fine golden sands and blue water reminds me of a painting depicting a normal day at the beach of Kovalam.
Your travel to Kerala will never be complete unless you spend a night a the famed backwaters aboard one of its iconic houseboats. This was taken at Alappuzha, where we watched a spectacular sunset slowly crash into the horizon. It was a surreal moment that made me feel like I was one of the characters in God of Small Things.
On a cruise along the waters of Periyar Lake, we spotted a variety of wild animals and bird species on the edges of a lush forest, such as Sambar deers, Kingfisher birds and black monkeys.
We watched the students at Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University for Arts & Culture perform cultural dances and theater acts for us. They study various courses in classical dance and theatrical forms in order to guarantee the continuation of Kerala’s culture and traditions.
The Food. Even a simple looking plate such as this one packs a wallop of rich and sumptuous tastes brought upon by an assortment of spices and meticulous cooking and preparation. I think I gained 10 lbs in my two-weeks stay at Kerala.
The People. Everywhere we went we were always greeted by locals with a ready smile and eagerness to engage in a short conversations. Much like the rest of India, the people of Kerala takes hospitality to another level.
I can definitely add more to this photo narrative but will leave it for you to discover and experience when you finally visit the state of Kerala in India. Until then, I hope this piece further enrich your appetite to explore more of the world around us. And don’t forget to document it with your camera!