I listen to podcasts quite a bit. Here’s the link to Monocle’s. And if you’re wondering, you can also listen to a podcast without an Apple device.
Calm in the air | Calm in the air, Kochi and Silent Valley | Calm in the air, Silent Valley and Alapuzzha | Calm in the air, Lake Vembanad
Bengalis, as everyone knows, are notoriously bad at other Indian languages, specially if they’ve grown up in Bengal, and my uncle is no different. And faced with Malayalam, he devised his own version:
Anyway, from Kottyam we went on to Periyar Forest Reserve. The road was beautiful – bordered with tea gardens and rubber plantations – and the aroma of spices greeted us the closer we got to the forest
I was drawing more nature on this trip than humans and the brown boy objected. “What’s the point of drawing nature? You can’t even do justice to it! I hereby direct you to draw only people.” So I tried, somewhat, on the last day.
And of course, the best part of every holiday is when you’re recounting the stories to your friends – just like I’m telling you now.
We took a local ferry from Aleppy to Kottayam, on Lake Vembanad. It was absolutely breathtaking.
The ferry would stop at these villages, every few minutes or so – just like bus stops – and people would get on and off. To tourists like me who’d never been to Kerala it was really new.
We passed hundreds of houseboats, and here is Anirudh telling us to read an article about Kerala later on -
And there were tons of birds – and I kept drawing and drawing trying to capture their motion
And amid all this beauty, someone was snoozing away
So, on to part 3 of the now-long forgotten Kerala holiday.
We didn’t do much more in Silent valley, except go on a safari. Here’s a place which reminded me of Spirited Away.
We also saw a couple of animals (I drew these from memory, so they may not be true to life).
Then we went on to Alaphuzzha, or Aleppy as it was called in English, a few hours away by car. It was all about the backwaters, tapioca chips and coconuts.
In Kochi we stayed in a lovely homestay run by Basil and Annie Mylanthra. They were so hospitable it was like staying with family!
After a day or so in Kochi, gatecrashing funerals and school band practices, we went on to Silent Valley.
Despite my grumbles, it was rather exciting. Here’s the stream at the foot of the forest inspection bungalow.