Kerala's Enchaning BackwatersSunday, January 29, 2017
The travel stars have been shining bright for a while. This time I was headed to Kerala, my home state. While travel to anywhere else felt like travel, travel to Kerala always felt like "going home" - literally, as against everything the word 'travel' generally entails. So after a lifetime of hearing how gorgeous Kerala is, how languid its backwaters are, and after a lifetime of not knowing what Kerala has to offer, here comes a trip that changed my lens, from the coastal art hub which is the very happening Kochi Biennale, which could be anyplace in the world really, to the backwaters close to Trivandrum, to the hill station Ponmudi to the treasures Kannur has to offer, this had been a trip that has redefined Kerala for me. I finally understand why 'Gods own Country' makes sense.
When you belong to a state, you are naturally exposed to the chinks, the eccentricities and in my case, Kerala was always a loaded word, it brought with it many subtextual inhibitions, restrictions, unspoken rules and always a consciousness of being a woman, and therefore a need to not attract undue attention, and when you add to this mix a family that has no love lost for travel and exploration, well, you get the drift.
But this time, keeping to my personal mantra for 2017, which is to be authentic - however one chooses to interpret it, for me it means listening to myself a lot more, speaking with honesty and openness, in all my interactions, or here on the blog, to err on the side of truth more than diplomacy, for me authenticity is also so much about just acceptance. Of who I am, where I come from, the people who are mine. These are givens. And I realised on this trip, that when you go in with your walls down, and with gentleness, one step at a time, and as a true traveller would, with openness, a whole different experience awaits you. For the 1st time, I travelled Kerala and she showed me one beauteous aspect of herself after another to me. Every conceivable shade of green told me in its own way, its ok, its time to forgive, time to go easy, it is time for beauty.
Ponmudi - is a hill station one goes to for a walk in the clouds and it is famed for the blue flower Neelakurinji that blooms across the hills once in 12 years and the hills turn into a carpet of blue till where your eyes can see.
Poovar Backwaters near Trivandrum
There are still more Kerala stories, the Kochi Biennale chapter and more. A lot more to look forward to here.
And for those interested in regular updates on my travels, I tend to upload on my instagram way more regularly than I do here on the blog.