SMELL OF COCONUT WATER AND HERBAL MASSAGE
When the going was busy , mind burdened with inexhaustible daily chores , ears rendered deaf by the hustle bustle of city traffic , eyes so fatigued of envisioning concrete establishment and human suffering that they refused to dream and when the senses were dulled by usual mundane munching that was the time when, as if invited by nature, when we took the flight to visit His own country–Kerala.
At 35000 ft the flight had its share of difficulties , bad weather, air turbulence, earache and mind had it own share of restlessness, tried yet dreamy and hopeful, inventing freshness with flashback memories of the previous Kerala tour, punctuated by the mundane worries of human life, of assignments that could not be completed and work that would pile up in our absence. The four-hour flight looked a long wait but ended finally. End of may is probably not the best time to visit Trivandrum and this realisation came sooner than expected, the temperature was higher than one would have liked and humidity even higher, have we made a wrong decision?
NATURE REVEALS ITS TREASURE ONLY WHEN YOU STEP OUT OF THE BOUNDARIES OF MUNDANE HUMAN DWELLING.
The travel from Trivandrum airport to club Mahindra Astamudhi lacked the greenery of that beauty called Munnar, there was no coffee plantation to soothe your eyes neither was there the smell of Thekkady’s spice garden to rejuvenate your senses. This anticipatory scenic impression of Kerala was instead replaced by the sunny, sweaty and traffic-jammed streets of the southern state. The entrance of the resort was unremarkable, the reception area lacked the expected grandeur of Kumbhalgarh or the decorum of Binsar, Nakuchiataal and many others, yet the check in was smooth and the staff hospitable. We were routed speedily to one BR-floating apartment but not before we could get a glimpse of stretching backwaters and crisscrossing coconut trees.
Relieved slightly that things aren’t that bad, carrying a confused state of mind we entered the apartment. Ahh!! .. the heart skipped a beat, worries forgotten and the posture motionless , for there in front of the eyes was the sight to behold , view of the infinite backwaters stretching from the horizon right across the wooden balcony of our floating cottage, flowing steadily and smoothly ,the sound of small waves splashing underneath and there in the middle a small row boat with two fishermen the thinner one in standing position holding the row and the other slightly obese colleague sitting near the edge of the boat wearing the umbrella cap…picture perfect and viewing this from the cool comforts of our air-conditioned apartment, decorated with wooden interiors surely an awesome feeling. I sat there unmoved, imbibing the calmness of the atmosphere complemented by the wavy feel of the slow-moving water as if gently massaging our senses.
This rhythmic journey of thoughts was broken by a call from the front office to inquire if we are settled properly in the room and to say that our lunch was ready. I appreciated and replied the gesture and decided to move towards the resort’s restaurant. Keeping in line with the overall ambience of the resort as well as the locale, as expected it was a floating restaurant with wooden interiors and large windows providing a splendid view of the waters. We were greeted by well groomed and dressed staff, men in white unformed pant shirt and females in traditional Kerala sari. The buffet was a mixture of traditional Kerala and north Indian cuisine, I am especially fond of the dessert section and was not let down here either . we now knew that our decision was not wrong and that our forthcoming stay her is going to provide a wholesome feast of relaxation and rejuvenation garnished beautifully by the flavouring southern spices
PRISTINE BEACHES AND ALLURING BACKWATERS TO BEAUTIFULLY CARVED ANCIENT TEMPLES: KERALA HAS IT ALL
It had rained in the night bringing the temperature down considerably I woke up to quite and serene view of the waters from the balcony of my cottage. Despite the calmness of the atmosphere the life in the water was active with water crows and eagle and likes hunting their prey, fishermen adjusting their Chinese nets, one could actually hear the sound of fishes as they went about playing in their water field. I sat their meditating acknowledging the beauty of nature that lies not only in its uniqueness but also in its diversity and duality.
If Munnar was blessed with the pleasant climate and ever absorbing greenery of coffee plantation Asthamudhi had quite different but surely adorable flavour Next few days found us involved in variety of activities ranging from boat cruise to backwaters to getting our body-mind serviced at” Swastha” the spa, with ayurvedic treatment not to forget the taste of coconut water to quench our thirst and applauding bamboo craft of the boatman who left children amazed with his naive art form. Completely mesmerized by this stunning Keralite beauty we left for our next destination.