‘Pazham pori, choodu Pazham pori (hot banana fritters)’ called out the hawker in the distance. When those exciting words reached my ears, all my attention was focused on that voice,lest I miss the vendor when he passes by. If I were a dog, you could have seen, my ears go up.
No, if you stand in my backyard you cannot see any hills, but I like to believe that they are in my backyard because these gentle rolling hills and meadows are just about an hour’s drive from my home.
As the priest begins to read the concluding prayers during the Good Friday service, most Malayali Christians would experience the following : hunger and excitement. Hunger because Good Friday services are much longer than the regular service and most people fast in the morning on this day, thereby making lunch, the first meal of the day and excitement because most of them are already aware of what awaits them at home.
“The cure for anything is salt water:sweat, tears or the sea.”- Isak Dinesen
” My neighbour bought a big bangle weighing three sovereigns (24 grams) and a chain weighing two sovereigns (16 grams). Some women are just lucky.”, said our maid one day. This line is a reflection of the average Malayali’s obsession with gold.
” Aayiye, boating chahiye (Do you want to go boating?)”, asked the friendly man at the makeshift counter of one of the many boat operators in Poovar. He mistook us for travelers from the North of India, only to be surprised when we replied in Malayalam. The backwaters and mangroves were already calling out to us and we managed to get a boat to drop us off at one of the resorts. They usually do round trips – a ride through the mangroves with a stop near the estuary – and back to the pick up point.
There are those days when you wish you could just stay in bed and never have to put your feet down on the ground, those days when life seem to bog you down and every minute feels like an effort, when even though sleeping might seem like the solution, insomnia beckons, when no daily distraction seem to cheer that weary heart, I would say, go look at the sea.
Be it your birthday, a regional festival or an important occasion, or just a craving for something sweet, that familiar aroma will pervade through your house and bring back memories of every other instance that this sweet dish brought joy, happiness and the spirit of sharing. It will remind you about how you fought with your brother for the last spoon of that scrumptious sweet, or how impatiently you waited for your mother to take it off the stove and how you burnt your tongue because you couldn’t wait for it to cool down or the times somebody messed it up so bad that you just died a little after all that waiting or that one wedding where it tasted so good that you wished you could ask for a second helping and wondered if you would look too greedy. Continue reading “That familiar aroma”
The backwaters of Kerala attract a ton of travelers from around the globe. The calm waters, the coconut tree lined banks, the ducks enjoying their swim, the lone bird on a log of wood floating on the water, the blue skies and the refreshing breeze from the lake will calm your mind and soothe your senses and if you are a romantic will make you reach out for your partner’s hand. Continue reading “The boat less taken”