My five day sojourn in Kerela! Day One
While it seemed polite and casual at that time, it was, minutes later, followed up with a concrete plan.
Here’s where context-setting is important.
SV is a dear friend’s dear sister. And I’ve known her for the last 3 decades or more. We’ve met off and on but (sadly) not frequently enough. Yet the wonderful part is that when we meet we just pick up the threads from where we left off. Of late, we’ve reconnected on Facebook, and I’ve discovered that she’s an avid traveller and I follow her trips with vicarious pleasure!
When we met in December, it was at the reception of my friend’s dear daughter.
Coming back to the point at which I got my invite to TVM, it was a social occasion so I did not actually whoop with joy, what with decorum and all. But to say the least, my inner travel spirit was doing the samba (or probably Kathakali)!
That was in December and while this was almost three months away, I really wasn’t sure it would happen.
I got more words of wisdom from SV, “Why don’t you book your tickets, you can always cancel if you can’t make it.”
Sounded like a plan and between travel for work, an offsite, and some time off the tickets were booked and I was ready for my first-ever visit to Kerela!
This year, 2015 from February 21st to 25th, I spent some wonderful times with SG, my childhood friend, SV and AK her sister and husband – my hosts, in the heart of Kerela, better known as God’s own country.
There are many ways of seeing a new place but experiencing it with the people who know it from their childhood is quite something else.
What follows is an day by day, outing by outing, travelogue of my brief (5-day) sojourn in Kerela – my first time but definitely not my last.
Day One – 21st February 2015
I was told jokingly, as I waited in anticipation for my flight, by my dear friend that I will have to speak in Malayalam when I get off at the Thiruvananthapuram (say this with the speed of lightning and you’ve got it right) and ask for a prepaid taxi! As a rejoinder I asked, “what’s Malayalam for Hurry up and get me there already!”
But to my relief English was pretty much understood so before I knew it I was in a cab and off to my destination. We turned away from the airport and I caught my first glimpse of a beach, the sea gently lapping at the brown sands, boats beached on the shore, nets cast and a midday sun making the sea sparkle. The southern coast of India, my first view! Five days from now, I’d be sadly bidding farewell to this very same sight.
In about 30 minutes I was there! Put up at a guest house which was an erstwhile palace, I was greeted with great glee by my friend and taken to our room!
A flight of stairs opened out to a verandah and a hallway and then led to a passage with rooms. Room No 4 was large and spacious with an ante room and a rather large bathroom. While exuding old-world charm it was equipped with every modern amenity – from an air conditioner to a coffee maker.
Our evening that day took us to another ‘royal place’. A bit in the shadows but royal nevertheless.