The second week in India, after no less than three birthday celebrations for M. (one of which was not-so-secretly disguised as an engagement party, four-tier wedding cake and all), all 21 of us traveled south, from Bangalore to Kerala.
It’s often said that Kerala — with its intoxicating lagoons and lazy rivers, fresh, seafood-driven cuisine, Ayurverdic philosophy, and slower way of life — is the “true India.” If it’s any indication, it was here we felt most peaceful, most content.
One day we took a riverboat tour of Kumarakom, a backwaters town on the shore of Vembanad Lake. Moving at the slow and intimate pace of the boat, we saw men and boys fishing — some for fish in the narrow village river, others for valuable Vembanad sand, which is used as a building material — and women washing clothes. We saw homes, and churches, and schools. We saw lives being lived. It was exquisite.
My dad asked me what I thought of the way of life. While I hesitate to judge from the roof of a resort riverboat — not a bad place to do with less, I said. Not bad at all.
PS: As anneofgreentables pointed out — it has the highest literacy rate in India; plus it’s a matriarchal society and politically, sways socialist. So you can see why we might have been so content there.
"…it was here we felt most peaceful, most content." Well said, and so true.