I have been in Kerala for a month now. And the feeling is just amazing. After having been roasted alive in the hot sweaty weather of Bahrain, the clean rains and the 20 odd degree temperatures of Kerala were a welcome change. All I wanted to do after reaching the airport was to get into the car, roll down the windows and let the cool wind blow over my face and strands of hair flying in the wind, blowing it up into an unruly mess. I am particularly in love with the smell of the first rains after a couple of sunny days. Blissfully intoxicating.
We had a short trip to Bangalore during this period. 5 adults and 2 kids in a Toyota Innova was a daunting task at first but turned out most enjoyable later. The weather was pleasant and the rains stayed away to give us a nice trip. Getting back to Bangalore after 8 years was a shocker. The city I knew had disappeared, or rather has had a rather drastic makeover from the small but popular shops and hangouts to a concrete jungle of malls, apartments and more malls. Places I knew have gotten lost in the tall elaborate buildings. The crowd has changed, the place has changed and the people have changed. An auto ride that cost me 30 Rs at one time now costs a whooping 120 bucks inflation almost 4 times. Well, change does come with a price..!!
We came across a delightful vegetarian restaurant on the Bangalore Mysore Highway. They had an entire wall covered with earthen pots and countless lovebirds. The waiter there told us that an almost 2 Kg of grains were required for a single feed of the same birds, such was the number.
We got our two new family members. Welcome Oscar and Cutie.
The trip back from Bangalore through Mysore was delightful though. A trip through the pot hole filled winding roads of the forest and the sights that came along was refreshing and most enjoyed by the kids.
I wonder , how is it possible that the forest has areas where every tree is arranged in a line, so orderly in appearance. My sister says that trees grow at a distance from each other away from the shade of the previous one.
OMG.!! We saw a lone tusker right in the middle of the road. We had motorists blinking the headlights furiously warning us about the danger ahead. Yes, a lone tusker or Ottayan is a dangerous animal. Elephants travel in herds. A Ottayan must have strayed away from its group or rather banished from the group of elephants. This elephant would be much more ferocious than the others and would attack at the slightest provocation. We sped down the road away from the elephant and got a good pic of the magnificent creature from a distance.
After that bit of excitement, we played Peek-a-boo with beautiful deers. It was so hard to get a picture of them, this being the best I could.
And enjoyed some wonderful scenery… The perimeter of the forest was inhabited with small villages. Small houses dotted the landscape, surrounded by crops of all kinds. I was amazed by the number of tree houses in the area. There was a tall tree with a simple tree house on the top branches, right in the center of the fields. I was told by our driver that the animals especially elephants came out on a rampage in these areas. So a member of the family would spend the night on the tree house keeping vigil against any approaching dangers, thus protecting their crops.
On he way I met this nice local villager who was willing to pose for this picture with his son. What was more fascinating was he wooden plough also called kalapa in Malayalam in his hand. Coming from the city, we had only seen kalapa polished and shiny used as antique show pieces in naadan restaurants.
Soon the fog came rolling in. And it was time to go. The roads were not that great and we needed to get back to Ernakulam.
Speeding off to the concrete cities, away from nature. A memorable drive home along with nature… a road not often traveled.
This was a very unexpected yet very pleasant trip. Hope you guys are enjoying your time as well. See ya soon.! Adieu.!!