Thursday, September 1, 2011

As green as it gets

Kerala was long awaited, one because I was exhausted to the core and second because I always wanted to see what Kerala is all about. So, it started with the usual, me pestering my parents, they conceeding and then the planning. We didn't do any elaborate planning except for zeroing on the tours and travels. Once booked and paid, we only had to pack and the rest would be taken care of. The route we took was the Cochin - Munnar - Thekaddy - Allepey - Cochin. I can only say that it was so green and serene that I almost lost myself there. The tea plantations, spice gardens, backwaters, Periyar lake, hills all are exquisitely beautiful and have to be seen to be felt. It is one of those places which I can imagine to ward off a bad dream and sleep in peace.

Anyway, so I will only highly recommend Kerala to you and let this be. Now, what I am going to write about are the people whom I met and remember in great detail. The first was the cab driver who drove us all around the State. He met us on the very first day, my first impression of him was that he was a maniac and will get us killed in the hills. Thankfully my perception of him changed quickly and we were glad to have him around. All the the things about him were likeable - he dressed smartly, smiled shyly when his eyes met mine, was super concerned when mommy felt puckish and last but not the least played the most awesome music ever. Such fabulous surrounding and great music, what more can one ask for. Nadeem mostly played my favourite Hindi music and once in a while Malyalam songs which also I liked, considering our tastes in music is quite similar. One day, while I was absorbing the breathtaking environs, daddy cool asked him casually about his background. He said that he has completed his masters in Marketing from Cochin and currently looking for a job. His being the driver part was because he loves to drive and has nothing better to do at this point in time. I pondered for a moment and then felt sad about the lack of employability of the young and educated in India.

I asked Nadeem one day to take me to a good massage place (it is a must when you visit Kerala). He took us to a Ayurvedic center in Munnar and said this is the best in town, I said thank you and took the flight of stairs to meet the manager of the place and subsequently the masseuse. She was a dark complexioned girl with child like features. Her name was Tinu and she was my age. I was fairly apprehensive in the beginning but she did all to comfort me and made me feel at ease. Once, when I started enjoying the massage, we started talking about my trip, her family, her entering this field, our salaries and so on. She works hard to make the ends meet, even in the off season, she gives massage to at least 5 people, this leaves her tired but then who has the time to feel the tiredness. I don't know at what point we connected but we spoke as if old friends. She told me she got married against the wishes of her parents and is now the mother of a two year old baby girl. Her story goes like - girl fell in love with boy, they fought with the world, got married and now the girl regrets. The overwhelming responsibilities, the trifle little they earn as a couple, the reckless husband seem too much of a cost to have been paid for a love marriage. She advised me out of her own experience "don't get married madam, very problem madam". The words stuck and so did her lovely face. I thanked her profusely for giving me the luxurious massage and then I left.

Nadeem was standing outside when I left the Ayurvedic Center, he took me where my parents were shopping and was pleased to know that I liked the place he recommended. On the sixth day of our trip, he bid us adieu and dropped us at the Cochin airport, he waved and so did I.

2 comments:

Me Simplified said...

Was waiting for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!nice one:)

Neha Dua said...

Thank you dear!