Oh dear! This is a post with yet another list. A pretty straightforward one at that. What I love about Kerala, or why I believe Kerala will be where I retire to my own organic garden (microbrewery attached), a gigantic flat screen and a little place called the Last Homely House which shall be open to all friends who want to share laughter and break bread together, or anybody who needs a quiet place to listen to the stream and watch the monsoons drench the hibiscus flowers.
- The green, oh the green. Any season, any time of the year, the green drapes itself over every surface and sends little tendrils of peace into the heart
- The green is because the water is – the heavenly sheets of rain which turns mud roads into flowing rivers of silt, the backwaters where time flows to a different music, the sudden waterfalls, the vast lakes and of course, the Arabian Sea being the perfect backdrop for all those palm trees. Kerala is where I first saw the ocean as a ten year old (who had just learnt to swim). I still have the tan from that day!
- Perfect for reading. Those who like reading, know how the right ambience, the quiet surroundings, though not critical to the pleasure of reading, just completely dial it up. Here’s something from the Lake of Dreams, which was my company by the river which flowed behind our cottage in Vythri “Rows and rows of books lined the shelves and I let my eyes linger on the sturdy spines, thinking how human books were, so full of ideas and images, worlds imagined, worlds perceived; full of fingerprints and sudden laughter and the sighs of readers, too.”
- Where else can you go from a long lazy swim into a world class spa and pamper yourself silly with a sensual Ayurvedic treatment. Ten minutes into the shirodhara or better still, snehadhara – I promise – you will discover the peace attained after hours of meditation
- The food, my god, the food! Iddiyapam, appams, kerala parathas, the kadala (chickpeas) curry, fried plantains, the avial, the thorans, the… some of my best food memories are from the numerous Kerala vacations – the parathas made by the lone caretaker of the lopsided guesthouse perched atop the most gorgeous valley, the freshly cooked lunch on the houseboat in the Vembanad lake while the monsoons provided background music, or the kadala curry which the hotel-owner-main-chef insisted on personally dishing up for us for breakfast. Am telling you, if you could choose one state to eat food from for the rest of your life – Kerala won’t be a bad choice
So yes, it was a perfect weekend at Bekal a couple of weeks back, where the back waters meet the ocean, the hibiscus reach out to the palm trees and where god chooses to bestow his touch on earth.