One of my teammates was tying the knot and we were cordially invited to grace the occasion. Since the venue happened to be in Kerela, plans were drawn, redrawn and then dropped. But Kerela did not give up on us; it beckoned us with renewed vigor and finally we had to give in. A few hasty notes scribbled on a hasty trip
I realize what’s keeping me air-borne is one man’s intelligence and his insistence on defying gravity. I trust this force as I board a plane or enjoy the backwaters on a motor boat. Men who made planes and boats and roads make being human something of a target for me. And it’s not because of what they did with their minds, but what they sought to do.
On the way from Kochi to Kottayam
Our driver is very chatty and instantly puts me at ease. Even though he’s speaking Malyalam and I obviously can’t follow a word, the sound of his incessant chatter is reassuring-it makes me feel welcomed. It’s past midnight but he’s not bothered about the lateness of the hour. We stop midway to drink black coffee from a roadside stall. Another day he brings us local liquor and serves us two courses in a glass kept in his car, I’m afraid for this very purpose. What a wonder words are, what powerful bridges! We ought to use them more lavishly. He poses for us as we click snaps and I’m wondering if all the people from this beautiful place are like him-simple, friendly, spontaneous. I know this is generalizing my limited experience. It is wrong, I realize, but it is human. I’m no patriot but I’ll remember this when I go to foreign land-not to bring bad name to the place I call home.
On the way to Munnar
I don’t want my snaps to be taken. This landscape minus me looks better. It looks better if I don’t look at the people.(Why is that, I am wondering)
There’s a waterfall on the way and we decide to play around a bit. Lot of people have stopped here. No matter how deep or shallow a person may be, how dumb or intelligent, this beauty spell bounds everyone. That, I think, is the mark of perfection.
For the past two days, we have done nothing but gaped in amazement over the hundreds of thousands of trees. What a place this is! The only embellishment it has to its merit is the green of the woods and the blue of the rivers and the shade of the azure skies. Yet, this alone is sufficient to qualify it as God’s own country for where else can you imagine God living? I wonder if it would be any less wonderful, any less magnificent if I saw more of it. I guess not. If it were not such a rare sight, I’d probably look at it less often but every time I did, I’m sure I’d be awestruck.
There’s a flower here which blooms once in twelve years and when it does, the entire valley is painted with its vibrant violet hue. I want to lay supine on these mountains and feel the roughness of their surface against my skin, like the coarse hands of a lover. What a combination of chance factors this is-that this beauty exists and that I can enjoy it-see the colors, feel the winds, smell the fragrance; that I have someone to miss I look at this; that I’ve loved and have been loved back. People who do not have one or all of these far outnumber people like me and I’m eternally grateful for every bit of it. I’m imbued with a desire to live, to see more of this and show it to the people I love, to write and sing and be happy. May all of this and more come true, for me and for everyone else. Amen!
For a while I am bothered by the fact that everything that I am thinking of and want to say has already been said by someone, somewhere. But I shrug off this feeling. What does it matter? How can it be helped if this sight takes everyone to the same heights or depths? What matters is that I’m here today and what it makes me feel must be said. Originality be damned-I must write this at the cost of sounding clichéd.
I blow kisses to this lovely place and promise I’ll come back; next time around, not in such a haste. I will come here and let the fragrances of this place fill my senses, the quietness of this ring through me. Some other time, surely, when I have more time to stand and stare.