After a short hiatus, i am BACK! I love reading travelogues. Now the time is ripe to write one, i hope. Back from a short vacation with my friends in God's Own Country, i am indeed blissfully happy. We were a five families, two spinsters( temporary) with an army of little children and two bachelors, all alumni from a Chennai school. The journey started with a bang for me. Two little children and a BIG BAG on tow, i embarked on my adventure. Though i wrote, rewrote and checked about a hundred times my checklist for the journey, i promptly forgot water bottles for the journey. The train started moving and my daughter cried- " Amma! I want water right away!" Then started a frantic search which turned futile. No sign on water anywhere in the train either. Tactically i lulled her to sleep with a story and slept peacefully my little angel, till the next station- Karur. Thankfully, my coach halted near a stall and i could sneak out of the coach for a bottle of water. I had to shake the sleeping angels to give a few gulps. Landed at Thrisur Railway station at 4 am, where my dear friend Prasoon was awaiting us. My daughter would have traded places with anyone on the train to travel straight to Ernakulam!
Prasoon's chaai...was so soothing in the gloomy rainy morning that i sipped two chaais straight away. After fresh up and head count, we proceeded to Allepey by train, where few more of our friends joined us. It was all fun till we entered the house boat. Trust me, travel by a house boat is by itself pure ecstasy- peace, tranquility and fun, as usual! Our houseboat was bigger- five bedrooms in all, a kitchen with staff, foyer, deck with large dining area. The kids running about, the waters lapping at your foot, the translucent blue waters beyond...and a few friends playing cards on the deck, reminiscing good old school days...what more could one ask?
|A neighboring house boat on sail|
As the boat sailed by, we stopped at boat stops, akin to our bus stops, small shops selling trivias and docked for the evening. Still feeling gluttonous from the lunch of "karimeen" fry and rice, we had fun playing dumb charades, the little ones playing twister. As we retired for sleep in the air-conditioned bedrooms after dinner, we never felt we were in the waters...As the early morning rays filtered through the curtains and touched me, i lay in a lazy haze, glancing at the pinkish blue waters and the water birds smooth flight. Never in my life i had such a beautiful morning!
|Early morning capture of Vembanad Lake|
With almost heavy hearts we had to disembark...sigh* We landed at a resort in Allepey. A game of water polo ( was it the name? No idea!) and a hearty meal, we headed out to the beach. Little ones building sand castles, bigger ones playing football and frisbee- the fun was just unlimited! A surprise Birthday Party for our friend Triju's daughter Tanisha was thrown...The bash became HUGE success, due to the high kids turnout who had a field day blowing and breaking balloons. We enjoyed a superb dinner of Malabar Parottas, Kappa, Chicken pollichathu, pathiri and pots of hot kattan chaai- Heavenly!
|Birthday Bash of Tanisha|
My dearest friend Bhuvana who shared rooms with me was in for a rude shock as my alarm blared and woke her up at 6 am the next day. " We are on a holiday girl" she had said the day earlier. We lay awake talking of sweet old schooldays till 2.30 am and when my alarm woke her up at 6, she was sure looking for a cudgel to thrash me!!! Another motor boat ride in the waters of Vembanad and a look at the Nehru Pavilion from which thousands would watch the Annual Nehru Cup race on 13 August, we wound up the tour.
|The Nehru Pavilion, Vembanad|
My hunger for little fun with long lost friends, craving for good Kerala food and eons of peace- all satiated, i am raring to go for the next trip! And hereby extending my special thanks to all those beautiful souls who made this all happen- meticulous planning, thoughtful execution and above all, the SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP all through. Lucky to be together with friends on Friendship Day!!!