Why Travel?

Standard

Journey to a new place, for me, is like the best kind of love affair; where you learn a new language to express your love, where you seize who you are, who you’re in love with, where sometimes lose track of where you’re going but still carry on for the thrill and adventure, and where with every journey begins a love story, some classic, some great and some which last forever. For all you know, it doesn’t even matter if the story has been written before, because no two love stories can ever be the same.

Journey to a foreign land, for me, is like a quest for the unknown, where we travel in search of both self and anonymity. We battle between who we are and who we should be, where we are and where we should be. We travel to lose ourselves, and sometimes to find ourselves. As Pico Iyer sagely puts it, ” What we find outside ourselves has to be inside ourselves for us to find it.”

So, when I ask myself, why do I want to see the world? Why is it essential to go to a place, and then why write about it later? My head says, “Because I want to examine different cultures, experience different lifestyles, explore different opportunities, embrace different moments.” While my heart says, “Because I just want to try and find a piece of myself everywhere I go to put together one day.” I would say, a tourist is merely a person who complains, “It’s not the same as in my country.” Whereas a traveler claims, “It’s not the same anywhere I go.” Traveling is not a just a hobby or holiday, it’s a way of life. For this life I would travel everywhere, anywhere, sometimes again, and sometimes even if it means falling in love over a 100 times.

Advertisements

A Sweet Start!

Standard

Stunning sun warming us as we sail through the backwaters of Kumarakom, sweet clouds involving us in their trip with the doors lighting the fire, there could be no better therapy to relax the soul. It was the day I tried toddy, a sweet and sour drink tapped from the coconut palms, fermented to give a sweet kick. It was like taking a sip of heaven from God’s own country, Kerala.

As we got baked under the sun, spending a lazy day on the houseboat, gorging on freshly caught and cooked prawns and fish, we wondered how it would be to live like this far away from civilization. How it would be to live away from technology, the commotion of the city, the spite of the people, the rules of the society, and the greed of humanity? Then it strikes that there are people who actually live their life like this, but in no time they would also be plagued by ubiquity of the urban lifestyle. Maybe, it feels all nice and pleasant to be here, spend the whole day in the lap of nature’s goodness; but the truth remains that we can’t survive this lifestyle for too long. Some day we all would want to go back to our respective lifestyles, back amidst the man-made comfort and luxury. Looking at the brighter side, at least we have a place to hide when we need a break from the world; a break we all long for once in a while.

With thoughts racing through the calm waters; time standing still as the sun goes down; the rain slowly starting to pour feeling each cell, I can imagine boats in heaven might be like this. Clicking away the splendour that surrounded us, it made me wonder how each time I spend the day on the houseboat there is a different picture of beauty, a different taste of nature, a different sensation of calmness. Although one feeling remained the same; to come back on the houseboat again and again for a different experience every time.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

Standard

We may walk the path of life alone.

We may watch the sunset alone.

We may eat all alone.

We may travel the seas alone.

We may feel safe alone.

We may be at the top alone.

We may watch the crowd standing alone.

We may fly all alone.

Although the truth is… it takes nothing to join the crowd but it takes everything to stand alone.

The Untouched Secret

Standard

The Dutch Cemetery road paints images of both mystery and romance. It has the magic of Enid Blyton brought to life.


A walk on a lazy Sunday morning offers a great deal of introspection and peace of mind.

It was a pleasant Saturday afternoon. My boyfriend and I were walking on a pavement by the beach. The tides were so high that the cold water touched our feet as we walked. It was going to rain. But it did not matter, the hush of the wind blowing and the smile on my face throughout the stroll is probably the reason why even today The Dutch Cemetery Road weighs above all the hundreds of streets in Fort Kochi. Hidden in a corner of the city, wandering on this road is like a fancy. It is a quaint narrow street tucked away with the heavy walls of the Dutch Cemetery and the Thakur House (which was once a Dutch Fort).

Walking down the street I am astounded by the Dutch architecture, including high ceilings, thick walls and small courtyards, the road showcases. The beautiful Dutch bungalows add to the charm of the street transporting me back to the colonial era. The Dutch are known to be the blunders rather than the builders. After walking down the street, it is hard to believe it could be true. However I cannot overlook the eerie feeling the street has to offer everytime I pass by it. There are certain myths among the locals, of restless spirits lingering at night and snakes creeping out of the cemetery. In addition the three hundred year old history of the cemetery magnifies the spooky feeling of the meanderer. In fact, the entry gate to the cemetery still bears the original calligraphic inscription of the year “1724” still preserved to date. The mysterious history has always intrigued me to enter the cemetery each time I would pass it. But since the cemetery is being preserved by the Dutch Government, it has been locked for the general public. The Dutch Government’s endeavour to clear up the jungle that had grown and plant flowers now makes the cemetery atleast a little appealing. The rich history and strong relevance is how the Dutch Cemetery Road hails its name from this oldest European Cemetery that exists in the country today.

The original calligraphic inscription.

In the face of all the myths and stories that prevail, there are always people here, grabbing a cup of coffee or just enjoying a quiet stroll by the beach; with one eye on the kids who scramble up and down the road, weaving between each other playing a game of football and then jumping into the water for a refreshing dip. Even though the Dutch cemetery road covers a large area, it is astonishingly simple to get distracted by the beautiful and magnificent Thakur House just down the way. “I love to sit in the garden, sip tea and enjoy the beautiful seaside view.” says Mrs Nisha Sharma, a homemaker and a inhabitant of the Thakur House for 20 years. The Thakur House reflects the leisurely lifestyle of the colonial era, exuding grandeur and charm it remains historic and multilayered.

Thakur House

The street is an eclectic blend of significant history, colonial homestays, antique shops and theme-cafes. The striking red and green Bob Marley Cafe with loud retro music at the beginning of the street is hard to go unnoticed. The smell of fresh seafood being prepared is tantalizing to every passerby. The ‘you buy I fry’ is a very common concept found in these outdoor cafes where you buy the seafood you desire from the market nearby and then give it to them to prepare in the style you want. And even if there is a language barrier (which even I face sometimes) you could just point out at what looks nice and hope for the best, but chances are you’ll get something good.

Freshly caught, bought and cooked!

Well, now I get to walk on a cleaner and well preserved street. The late hour police patrolling and tight security makes the road safer for everyone to use. But since the beach has been opened for the public to use at large it has become the foremost attraction. The history of the road has been lost somewhere down the time line. However it still holds the vital links that connects the city to the Dutch Legacy of the yore!