Henceforth referred to as the TGITT, or The Tour That Shall Not Be Named, which is probably too much of a mouthful.
I swear on my newly-wed wife Evangeline and her 13-inch screen, that I had no idea this 12-day trip was going to turn into one long temple visit. More precisely, 13 long temple visits, though I wasn’t spared the kindness of pacing it one temple per day at least. I was annoyed when on the very first day, they visited a city temple, and our family temple near our old home, but thought that was the extent of the devotion.
How wrong I was.
The next day, we visited Sri Padmanabaswamy Temple, known for its reclining statue of Lord Krishna, visible through intermittent doors. On our way to Alapuzha, we also made a stop at Attukal temple.
It wasn’t my choice to come back to India at this time, but now that I’m here, I’m glad I did. Travelling in the car, it feels like the start of an emotional pilgrimage for me, a chance to wash away the recent events of my life in the fast-flowing river that is India. Travelling on the roads here is rarely, if ever, comfortable The SUV rocks on the newly-paved roads of Trivandrum, making me hold on to the hand-grips for dear life.
It is India I see out of the window, men in lungis, women in churidars, dusty roads and bad traffic, horns honking away, roads coming out of nowhere, circle junctions which are more like mis-shapen asteroids, signs hanging precariously onto the street, advertisements plastered on gigantic billboards every 10 feet, and on every wall available. Continue reading
24 hours of cruising around in a very slow-moving houseboat on the wide lagoons of Alapuzha, with nothing to do except eat, talk and watch the scenery.
The food wasn’t quite up to my standard, or what I was told it would be. I was told that they would be catching fresh fish and cooking them for us, but the only time we had fish was for lunch on the first day, and that they bought from the market. But it was still fresh and tasty. The service was fairly good,
For those interested, a two-bedroom boat costs about 10, 000 Rps [I think]. The view is great, and it is a really serene getaway. For those paranoid about privacy, I wouldn’t quite recommend it as a honeymoon spot, unless you don’t mind two or three guys on the same boat as you, cooking and sailing for you.
Night take-offs are something else altogether. I think it is the lights that dot the landscape like so many Christmas lights.
It always amazes me how fast the ground leaves you the second you take off. One second you were looking at the runway lights, the ground solid beneath you, and the next the engines roar, making the ground tremble with their sheer power, and I am up above it all, pressed against the seat of the inclining plane. I can see the PIE, the palm trees forming a neat line along the bright highway. It is all so orderly, so obedient, so Singaporean. Continue reading