am back!

I’m back!! Loaded with b’nana chips, which shall be duly delivered either this evening or tomorrow. And also, like the three kings of Orient in the Christmas Carol, laden with spices… or at least, those spice drop thingies MM asked me to bring.

Kerala was beautiful. I wasn’t fated to be alone, I s’pose, ‘coz I discovered an ex-colleague who was able to take time out to sightsee with me. We went to Fort Kochi, where we saw the Chinese fishing nets -apparently this is the only place outside China where they’re used! They’re these huge wooden constructions – a system of weights and pulleys by which huge nets are lowered into the sea and hauled up every few minutes to get a handful of fish. Each net is manned by some four or five people who haul on the ropes, and as the net comes up, one of them runs down to haul in the catch. I went up on one of the nets and they let me haul on the ropes; it was fun till I saw six little catfish wriggling in the bottom of the net!

My habit of running down the back lanes and peeping around corners led to our discovering the Kashi Art Cafe, which has to rank among my ‘best discoveries of all time’*. Beautiful place, lovely food, warm smiles and hospitable people – what a combination!

I also saw the church where Vasco Da Gama was first buried and visited a synagogue – apparently the first in India, but couldn’t go in coz it was closed on Fridays. Then we took a ferry back to the mainland, where we went to a Kathakali performance… more of a demo-lec, actually, with this guy explaining the meaning and history of the dance… I heard a ‘sonorous’ voice for the first time, I think, and such diction he had – wow!

The next day wasn’t so packed – we started off early and went to Alleppy for a boat ride through the famed backwaters of Kerala – this is a must-do on a relaxing holiday! Three hours in a boat, hardly any people to be seen, trees and cottages – beeyoootifuullll!

The Kathakali performance deserves a post of its own – coming soon! As does the Art Cafe. This one, I think, ends here.

*Along with an auto driver named Samosa, but that’s a different story…

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