April 13, 2007

Kerala Day 1 – Cheap Nirvana

The trip just after our final placements. Amit backed out but luckily Hemant could make it. This post is mainly for him as he was more enthued than me for a written account of our travels. As I said I'm bad at travelogues, but this at least tries to chronicle some of our brilliant times spent together in God's Own Country.
There are many interesting aspects to this trip. During the last few weeks of stay at IIMB I realized that I was getting too attached to this place and it’s always difficult for me to let go of things. This trip was a sort of a string severing exercise. And I realized even before the flight took off that it’s sort of impossible. I’m too attached to my marketing studies and the work we do at school, too attached to Media Cell and of course to Acad. Anyway, the trip soon became keeping touch with the base while exploring one’s inner self. It’s not gonna be like this very often from now. Four guys, without a care in the world, travelling without a mental baggage, ready to face what lies at the southernmost parts of the country; that’s something movies are often made of.

We flew to Cochin, took a train to Kottayam, another train to Trivandrum and finally a car to Kovalam. At Kottayam, the great TKGR calls me for some Acad work. At that point of time, Hemant has taken out his camera already and has been recording whatever was transpiring between us. Luckily, I could catch hold of Uma. Things get done whether we are there or not. Anyway, at Kovalam the place we wanted to stay was awesome but beyond our budget. It is however highly recommended if any of you visit Kovalam in the future. There is a balcony that just drops down into the sea. Some day I shall be back there. We finally got a decent but shady looking place near the Lighthouse beach. The evening we went all around Kovalam. It’s highly overrated according to me. But if you are the types who like to see places beyond tourist maps, Kovalam will not disappoint. All places were full of foreign tourists coming to India for a cheap dose of Indian spiritualism and probably even the commoner’s Nirvana. Every second house in Kovalam seemed to cater to their needs. There was an Ayurvedic massage parlour everywhere you cared to look. Thank God for Punjabi Dhabas. In a place where everyone offers you beer and tiger prawn at least a Maharashtrian was sent by providence to provide for us Aloo Parathas and amazing Malai Kofta.

Thanks to Ray, we all have seen what the by-lanes of Kashi look like. Our travels took us deep inside the heart of Kovalam. We based out of the Lighthouse beach and the Hawah Beach. It’s an amazing feeling to sit on an empty dark beach and watch the Lighthouse send its signal into the vast ocean. One thing became clear as we sat hearing the rumblings of the sea. The magic of travel has just begun.

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