As a resident of Kerala’s neighbouring state, I’ve often felt unacceptable about the place being called God’s own country. Aren’t there equally scenic places around the world, why, in India as well?! Perhaps, it was jealously 👿
I had been to Kerala a couple of times during childhood but I am not sure if I was old enough to admire and appreciate the beauty of nature then. However, beyond nonacceptance, intolerance, jealousy or whatever attitudinal problem of mine that had assailed me, here I am compelled to write about my rendezvous with indeed, God’s own country, after my recent visit.
It was a short holiday, of those kinds that one just decides on in an instance without much planning. Don’t many of our perfect vacations happen this way?! And we chose Kumarakom! Airlines were truly generous this summer with their offers. So, as luck would have it, we had our flight tickets booked without second thoughts. With our toddler around, we didn’t plan much of travel, instead spent quiet times indoors, relaxing and just r-e-l-a-x-i-n-g.
Chennai to Ernakulam was around an hour of flight journey. From Ernakulam, we hired a taxi straight to the resort we had booked in Kumarakom. It took us a little less than two hours. There was light drizzling with intermittent heavy downpours and that marked our welcoming to Kerala. Of course, the lush green fields and lines of coconut trees!
It was around midday when we checked-in at the resort. A traditional interior set up with an ayurveda spa and a huge pool were the highlights at this luxury resort facing lake Vembanad. The mystery of this place was that one can exist at a calm pace without realizing it. After a leisure look-around the place, the boys plunged into the pool while my photography skills were set to action.
We let the meal be simple for lunch, followed by a stroll to the lake view area. I haven’t had heard so many of birds chirping at the same time before. It was rhythmic and can make one get lost in the vast stretches of back waters with the chirping in the background. The occasional sailing of house boats and fishermen boats were delightful sights.
Soon the delight knocked us and it was our turn for a boat ride across the Vembanad. It was the dusk hour; the array of colourful Sunset and its reflections on the waters, the long stretches of green fields, the ever-saturated clouds, the light breezy drizzling of rain water and the dense mangroves along the shores of the lake were all enough to transport us to a life away from our usual busy schedules.
A classical sankirtan awaited us as we stepped out from the boat, at the resort along with evening tea and snacks. What a perfect combination of food and music it was! An hour of soulful music wasn’t something we were habituated to. It made us realize how beautiful an hour can be spent at home sometimes, if we can only leave our run-arounds away for a while. It was dinner time soon. What other than an exotic dinner can end a beautiful day?!
We woke up to the sounds of the birds. For the woman of the family, being served with morning coffee is bliss. Yay! It wasn’t my job that day 😎 Next was the spa time. The last time I visited a spa, I had to hurry because it was the last day before my paid package would end. And I had to attend to my wailing son every now and then. Phew! Was it how a spa treatment supposed to be? Nah!
I left the little one under the dad’s custody and cherished the ‘me’ time at the spa. When I stepped out to head for the breakfast buffet, I could feel the presence of muscles, bones and a little of the blood flow through my veins. Perhaps, this is what rejuvenation means! We decided to check -out after the elaborate breakfast to do some traveling.
We boarded a private boat for a five-hour sail around the lake Vembanad again. More waters and waters everywhere! We halted at the Pathirmanal Island for a while to have a glimpse of how dense forests would feel like. Traditional Kerala lunch was arranged at one of the guest spots, close to Allepey. We dropped off at our second resort of our holiday. Followed by fishing and dinner, the day ended quickly in contrast to the previous day.
We woke up with the sounds of more birds. Why? Because we were staying close to the Kumarakom bird sanctuary. Yes! We took a long walk to the bird sanctuary in the early hours. We spotted a couple of Kingfishers. Rest of the birds decided to play hide-and-seek with us and we could only hear different sounds of birds which was nevertheless a mystical experience.
Followed by enough of waters and birds, we headed back to Ernakulam to board our return flight to Chennai. It can never be a good feeling to be back from a holiday but that’s what holidays are about.
Sometimes, perfect vacations are not about extensive traveling and visiting countless places.
It can just be all about taking a little time off the routine to explore what nature at distant places holds in store for us.
This was one such perfect vacation.
And no more ill-feelings towards God’s own country 🙂