Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Angel in the Train

Dedicated to MRK, my friend for reminding me what compassion is!

We were a team of twenty, awaiting our return train to Bangalore that evening from Dandeli. The past couple of days were amidst the lush green habitat Mother Nature offered us at one of the blessed terrains in North Karnataka. It was drizzling by the time we reached the station and soon it gave way to the typical downpour that blanket the tropical rain forest region of that part of the world. A few guys among the group had made arrangements for the dinner. The stray dogs on the platform looked at us yearningly for the remains of the hot biriyani we devoured.

The wait didn't seem to be endless with my fiancée on the phone who was patiently listening to all the experiences and adventures in the jungle. Soon, the rails at the far end of the station twinkled with the powerful light from the locomotive. The train stopped at the station with a shrilling cry, probably annoyed with the cold weather it had to endure. Though the station was not crowded, the compartments painted a different picture altogether. The linoleum covered floor reminded me of the jungle trail we covered a few hours before, of course the only saving grace was lack of leaches!

There were a few berths allotted to us as per the ticket. The berth in my name had a middle-aged man sleeping peacefully along with a boy who seemed to be his son. I'd half a heart to let them continue there, though my tired body wanted to do otherwise. It was one of those moments when fatigue won over empathy! I'd to ask both of them to wake up and leave the space for me. I watched part in shame and part with indifference, while they moved across to the next cubicle and sat there.

The rest of the team also parked themselves at the seats they could find awaiting the Ticket Examiner to allot berths for all. The verdict soon came and berths were made available for all in the next compartment. I got up and passed right in front of the father-son duo with a deeper shade of apology written all over my face. In fact I did say a sorry to them, which I'm not sure they heard.

We reached the berths allotted to us and started settling down. Ironical enough, one of the berths again had a father and son, but this time with a difference, the kid was much smaller. He was wrapped in a characteristic red and pink sweater which we find on kids from average middle class families. His father had wrapped a muffler also around his head. The face of the kid radiated so much of tranquility that none of us really wanted to disrupt. Nevertheless the need to have the berth made us to ask them to vacate. It was obvious that the father was helpless and he asked us for some time. He wanted the kid not to be disturbed till the time he found an alternative. We told him to take his time and off he went in search of a place where the two can spent the night together.

The face of the child was so angelic that it put us all in deep pain as we tried to comprehend the fact that we asked the father to vacate the place along with the kid. Lo and behold! MRK, the man with an interesting package of emotions, among the group, realized that we indeed have a free berth with one person less travelling, than originally planned! The father came back with an option of moving to a non-confirmed seat. He seemed to be really at a loss. To much of his relief we broke the news to him that he need not worry about the berth as they can use the current one.

We settled down pretty soon and were all happy that we didn't frighten the sleeping angel. Chit chat sessions followed which revealed that the man is a small time government employee at one of the village offices near Tumkur. They both were on the way to Bangalore. Further probing made us all felt aghast, with him revealing the actual purpose of their visit. The hardly 3 year old kid needed a heart surgery and was scheduled at one of the hospitals in the city the very next day!

We were completely dumbstruck and searched for words that could be some sort of solace to the father. But the gravity of the situation was so deep that words made a dubious escape from our lexis. We learned more about the situation and got to know that it was a case of a hole in the heart that could be cured with the surgery.

Needless to say we were relieved to hear, it was a curable case though the sheer thought that the tiny little heart beating inside that small body will have a rendezvous with the surgical knife was more than what we wanted to envisage. The thought became even more painful with the reminder that we asked the kid to be disturbed from his peace for the sake of able-bodied men wanting to take rest!

Before we all hit the bed for the later part of the night, pray we did for the success of the surgery and the speedy recovery of the kid. That was the least we could to make the family feel a little at ease. As the reality sunk in, multiple pairs of eyes were on the kid. A sea of emotions went through each one of our minds.

As though from a deeper instinct of the little self, the petite angel was smiling in his sleep…

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

After all it is their life

Getting married is one experience in your life during which you feel all possible emotions overflowing unlike anything before. You prepare yourself for the mental, emotional and physical presence of a new person in your life. The games played by your mind during this period is nothing but diabolic! At times you feel elated, at times totally question your decision and yet other times you are driven nuts by a variety of thoughts and concerns that run through your mind like in a sprint.

Invariably you turn to your friends and relatives for solace and many will offer a lot. Some will have the traditional wisdom and some the craziest and most bizarre of all ideas you would ever get in this world! This is a boon and a curse at the same time. You'll get so much of information about almost every other aspect of life, some you may not even utilize ever! Yet, you look forward to listen to them and see if it helps in any possible way.

Invitations will duly be sent to all these relatives and friends who had always told you that they are dying to attend your wedding. You prepare yourself to tie the knot in the presence of all these people who will be dressed up for the occasion and you happily await their wishes. These will be the same people to whom you would've cribbed over the last few years of not able to find the right girl. These will be the same people who would've advised you that everything has its own time and when that comes we'll be right beside you to see you tie the knot. These will be the same people who had promised to be part of the biggest day of your life!

As the countdown progresses, you start to see a strange phenomenon. You call up people to remind them about the date and confirm their presence. All advises and promises suddenly seem to take a back seat. All the intense emotions of dying-to-attend-your-wedding seem to be passé. Life seems to take its own course of action and priorities get redefined for many. Reasons that were insignificant till the day before suddenly take the front row of life and the rest all gets pushed to the oblivion.

The most important thought that runs in the mind will be, after all he is sensible and he will understand!

Understand I will, about the changing preferences, but not before inflicting a pain deeper in the heart that has been seasoned enough to have been conditioned to expect. What these very same people who mean the world to you don't realize is a simple fact. The presence and presence alone of these dearest ones, is what makes the biggest ever day in my life complete!

I believe I've the right to feel the pain, else my heart which is the store house of all the emotions will feel dejected with the feeling of injustice. The only saving grace perhaps is the thought that my mind keeps telling me, ' After all it is their life'…

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Love as much as you can cos…

She is one of the most loved among the cousins in my family and I distinctly remember mom being greatly affectionate about her and almost gave her the title of daughter of the family. An elder sister she was, in all respects. The one who had no qualms about giving you a whack when you were wrong and then hold you close to her and wipe off your tears that roll down your cheeks all the while telling you how much she loves you!



There was an instance when I literally walked out of her home for being scolded for some silly matter. To my surprise she didn't call me back though I was expecting her to do so. Nevertheless I did walk back and all she had to do was look at me and I broke down. I cried till my tear glands seem to have dried up, but she was the one who made me realize that day, the value of togetherness.


All this and more were destined to be part of someone else's life when she married a man whom I thought was the simplest of the guys I've ever met. My brother-in-law [BIL] was truly an uncomplicated person and I even wondered how he will ever survive with my sister! I was really young; perhaps around 12 or so when she got married. A few days after the wedding she came visiting us and I was surprised to see her almost ordering my BIL to give some money to us, cousins! Of course, I didn't even have a clue of what love means between a woman and her man.


I loved visiting our relatives and till date I'm pretty regular with that whenever I'm at my hometown. During the earlier times when I was put up there, one house which I loved to go was her 'new home'. I always felt wanted there and that made me feel even closer to them. I shared birthday with my BIL and that made it even more special. Time flew by and they were blessed with two little angels! My adorable nieces loved me just the way their mom and dad did. It was so obvious to know and to feel how to love and being loved when you are in a family that knows nothing but to love each other!


My sister, with her characteristic personality was the dominating self between them. Many a times I'd felt that he was practically insignificant; little did I know the depth of their relationship and the love for each other. She was dominant yet so practical. She was chirpy, bubbly and filled with life yet the one who completed him. He just loved her! I realize it today that the love they shared was a good lesson in its true spirit for young brats like me who needed to know what the chemistry of love is between a couple.


People say, a marriage without trials is not worth it and God made no exception in their lives too. They did come, big time! My simple & loveable BIL fell sick one day and had to be hospitalized immediately. He was diagnosed with a rare form of meningitis and the doctors broke the news without much delay. They said the case was almost closed and my sister with her two little girls, the younger one being just 6 years old, was destined to be a widow at an age of 35! We were taken by surprise seeing the courage with which she accepted the fact. But what even more astounding were, the faith which she had and the belief with which she said, "I'm not going to let him leave me, at least not so soon"!


And the least we could say was God didn't have a choice. The trial period did extend for a few more days, my BIL started showing signs of recovery and eventually he did make the medical practitioners believe in the power of Super Natural. He came back home, much to the respite and happiness of an entire family that was praying for him. He folded his hands in front of his better half who dared God himself with a steely determination of not letting her sweet heart go all the while reminding herself of the words, "To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part".


Life did change for them after that incident. Their love knew no limits. They were so much more a complete couple and knew that they were given a second life. They thanked Him, appreciated and respected His will. Years passed by and the happy family they were, continued to live their life in all its glory. Just before one of the Onam [State festival of Kerala] holidays, the family of four had an awesome vacation trip to Goa. The sun and the sand was just perfect and they evidently had one of the best times of their life till date! Little did they know that life was going to change again, but this time for ever…


They returned from Goa to a grand Onam celebration with the extended family and that was one of the all time best family reunions ever. My otherwise calm and composed BIL was unbelievably cheerful that day and the pictures turned out to be the most jovial of all what were taken till date. They returned home that evening and the very next day proved to be the one that can be termed life-changing for my sister & the two girls.


He was home and felt a pain close to his left shoulder and asked my sister to get some hot water. She stepped away to get it from kitchen and returned to see him lying on his chest. The hand that held hers when they exchanged the wedding vows were almost frozen and all what she could do was let go an almost inaudible cry that would've been carried along with his soul to the Heavenly Father who decided it is time that the term for second life reached its end. A life filled with love and respect to each other did end there. The physical presence gave way to an eternal bonding with a spiritual existence.


I truly believe it is better to have some questions left unanswered. The one who created us with all His love and tender care is the same person who tells us, it is enough and get back to me. Parents who kill their own child! This could be one of the biggest ironies of life. Something perhaps we'll never comprehend.


All what I could think is, love as much as you can cos you'll never know when you'll be called…

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Garden of Gods

Ever wondered what the connection is between leadership and a mythological, wish-fulfilling divine tree which finds a mentioning in the Rig Veda? Along with the Kamadhenu, or 'wish-giving cow', the Kalpavriksha originated during the Samudra manthan or "churning of the milk ocean", and the King of the gods, Indra returned with it to his paradise. While there is no attested Sanskrit source conclusively identifying this mythological tree with any real, known tree, Kalpavriksha can figuratively refer to a source of bounty because of its ability to amply provide for human needs. [Source: Wikipedia]

Let me take you to a beautiful garden in the Himalayas where the Gods have made a comfortable abode among the snow-clad peaks. Though there are no organized tours, people from across the world do flock-in and appreciate the lush green garden which by itself is a contrast among the white snow seen all around. The tourists tread across the vast expanse of the garden amidst the mighty Himalayas, taking in to their hearts everything that sustains there as a true epitome of eternal beauty! They come across a wide variety of flora which even their dreams were not capable of churning out.

All the winding paths that adorn the garden lead the visitors to one specifically marked out area. The place radiates with a magnificently divine energy which has got no parallels to any experience the universe could ever offer! There amidst all the attention from the heavenly folks, stand the tree that is known over generations as the one which fulfills all possible wishes, The Kalpavriksha. People could literally feel the existence of life around the tree and it seems to enjoy an eternal bliss laced with a surrounding halo.

One question seems to be common in the minds of all the visitors which they promptly ask the Kalpavriksha. What makes you so special among the rest of the trees around you? The reply takes the shape of an elegant discourse and is always prompt. The leaves flutter, the branches straighten themselves, the trunk holds itself high, the ground reverberates with the roots reaching deeper into the earth & the bark of the tree fills itself with the much needed purest form of air for the treat that awaits the crowd!

The stage is set and the tree speaks. "The Kalpavriksha you are awed at is a created entity. I'm a product of a lovely combination of all of these who just greeted you in their own way. And here is how they perform and make me the special one as you call it…
§ There is this perennial romance between the Sun God and the leaves which provide me with the much needed nourishment. The leaves in turn form a shade for anyone who needs it.
§ The branches are designed to reach out and they do it ever so beautifully. They stretch themselves and help me grow in the directions I would love to.
§ The trunk offers me the mightiest of the support and does a wonderful job of balancing me from top to bottom.
§ The roots, I just love them for their unique combination of care and strength with which it endows me with the much needed support systems of water and other vital elements of life.
§ The bark offers me protection from the external world and forms a layer all around me and forms my Knight in the Armor forever.
…That my dear friends, makes me special. I'm nothing without each one them! I trust them for what they are and what they do. They perform with passion and that makes the whole difference."

The crowd remains stunned with the real life drama that got unfolded right in front of their eyes. They were dumb-struck with the intricate nuances of life and the nuggets of wisdom shared by the one tree that is revered even by the Gods! They looked around and watched this positive thought of shared leadership engulfing the Garden of Gods which every other living being around, accepting and acknowledging it graciously.

Let us bid adieu to the garden with the insight received from Kalpavriksha. Leadership is about Sharing & the result is Tranquility!

When I told the Indian High Commissioner to go away!

A not so small question-mark with a bright halo formed right above my head when I got a call from Dats, my boss, one fine morning. He wanted me to come down to Phase 1 to Faculty room immediately! Though it had been two years after I passed out of college, this suddenly reminded me of the many occasions such calls came from professors in my department. Imagine my plight when Dats added the statement that Subroto wanted to meet me! My first ever personal encounter with the man who made MindTree!


It turned out to be a very interesting request from Subroto which I grabbed even before giving him an option to think again. The Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia was visiting West Campus along with his family and Subroto wanted me to give them a Campus-tour. He also told me about a leadership session he'll be involved in, till 5 PM and wanted me to bring the High Commissioner and family to him sharp at 5. I was all thrilled and made the necessary arrangements to welcome the high profile delegate and his family.


The hot afternoon sun gave way to a much pleasant weather. The High Commissioner arrived with his wife and two children. They were given a good reception and the Campus-walk plan was put into action. As it was usually done, we started at the Living Logo, proceeded to the History Wall and gave them a glimpse of what made MindTree as it stands today. They were further escorted to one of the most happening locations in the campus, The Orchard! I took them around to various other attractions in the campus all the while being conscious of the time limit which was soon approaching.
Quarter to 5 we were at the fag end of our campus-walk. With the successful completion of the visit I took them back to Kalpavriksha and reached there exactly at 5. Subroto seemed to be in his charismatic best having a bunch of top leaders as his audience. Since it didn't look like he was going to wind up the session any time soon, I decided to show up myself and informed that the High Commissioner and family was outside, waiting for him! He said something which I could not comprehend even with the remotest possible logical sense, at least at that moment! He just told me to ask them to go away! I stood there for a couple of seconds genuinely hoping that he would have an after thought. Neither did he have nor did he seem to be concerned about repeating the same words to me!


I got out and tried to mask all the embarrassment on my face and told the Indian High Commissioner to go away! I don't recollect even a single other instance in my life when I felt so weird. The feeling became all the more intense with the delegate and family taking it very lightly and thanked me for giving them a tour. We exchanged our cards and then they were gone.


While Subroto continued with his leadership-team session, I walked back with a bunch of much larger sized question-marks, minus the halo, all over my head. I met Sachin Joshi who earlier gave me some ideas on the campus-walk and told him about how it went and especially the dramatic ending. I still remember the smile he had in his face when he made a statement that made my initial embarrassment practically insignificant.


He said, "The High Commissioner is Subroto's brother-in-law"!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

When I first realized…





I was watching some TV show on a lazy Saturday morning, sitting on my couch at the hotel where I've been staying for a month now. Being abroad has its own good and bad sides as you could possibly think about anything else in life too. WalMart showed up in between with a very emotional ad featuring a mom helping her son set up his hostel room and letting him be his own soon after. It was pretty obvious that it was his first time away from home!

Isn't it kind of interesting the way your mind switches between the present and past? I must say, it didn't even take a fraction of a second for my mind to do that! It took me back to that courtyard right in front of my hostel room in Coimbatore. That was the very first time for me too. Needless to say my dad and mom were with me. I was concerned, so were they. Its not that I can't be away, but just that the first times are always difficult. The very thought that your kid is gonna be away from home must've been painful for them. For me, it was a new world, a new life and a new beginning. For them, they go back to their old world with one good thing lesser to be around.

I'm not sure if they realized then, but I guess they did eventually, that their son has grown up and the most natural thing for a parent to do is to let him go. They didn't fret, at least not in front of me. Might have cried to each other and I could visualize dad & mom telling each other, it is for his good!

I remember that day when they helped me buy some stuff needed for the hostel room. Carried them along with me to the place and helped set it up. I also recollect that mom didn't say much, though I could figure out how heavy her heart must've felt. I don't remember if she cried, but I'm sure she did once she started back. Dad never expressed much but I knew that, deep inside he loved me so much! They both just asked me to take care and left me to start my new life. They pretty much were aware of how important it is for me to get away from being taken care of. I need to learn. I need to live. It is gonna be my life!
Dad, mom, I don't know what made me so lucky to have you as my parents! Thank you for being there and thank God for joining us. I love you both so much!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Journey of Thousand Clicks!


I need to mention a bit about the late 80’s before I jump into what this ‘journey’ is all about. The time when I grew up as a kid. A couple of uncles and aunts of mine who are settled in the US, visited our home once a year, especially since we live in the ancestral home with our grandpa.
Their visits were always special since there was an aura to it. Other than being able to meet them, there was this thought that, they came from a place on the globe known as the ‘Land of Dreams’! It was even more interesting for me since these visits gave me an opportunity to go to the airport to pick up and later drop them back on their return. I guess my fascination towards anything to do with aircrafts started with these trips. Then of course, there always was those eager moments of opening of the huge travel bags which contained variety of unique things we get to see only once in a year!

All these experiences, I must say, created an out-of-the-world image about this place called The United States of America along with the fantasy of traveling on an aircraft. As a child I do remember running out of my house each time when I hear that distinct buzz of a plane and look up at the skies, spot the aircraft and watch it till it goes out of my sight… Those were wonderful moments of joy and I think even now, involuntarily, my head turns towards the sky when I hear that sound!
All these and more came to reality with my project team expected to visit Atlanta in the State of Georgia in the US! I was consciously trying hard, not to think much about it knowing how unpredictable travel plans in IT industry are. As the days neared, shopping done and bags ready, I must admit I was looking forward for experiencing my childhood dream coming true! In fact, I was more excited in the prospect of flying than visiting the US :)
It must be sheer irony that the first ever flight in my life, I was expected to take was Air France which just lost a flight after a lightning strike, with a couple of hundreds of passengers in the middle of Atlantic Ocean about a week before my designated date of travel! I didn’t feel nervous though, since I guess the excitement did override the concern.
The wait at the Bangalore Int’l airport exposed me to almost real time connectivity with the Wi-Fi available there. I promptly updated my status in Orkut and I loved the thought of my near and dear ones getting to know where I am almost at any given point of time :)
The class I flew was Economy and the itinerary was Bangalore-Paris-Atlanta with 2 hours of transit time at Paris. The experience of being seated in a flight was something which I felt was similar or even a bit less interesting than the local long distance buses which I take from Bangalore to Kerala! The only difference could be the presence of a small TV to your front and the regular supply of refreshments served by pretty flight attendants.
I loved the take off! The sudden increase in speed of the aircraft, once cleared to take off, pumps in so much of adrenalin that you seem to anticipate a mega event about to unveil right in front of yours eyes! The lift off and the climb added to the good feeling. I must say, compared to this experience, landing wasn’t that exciting.
The interim 2 hours of transit time at Paris exposed me to the ‘dry’ life of the Western World. In India we don’t get the feeling of being clean unless you use water. The rest room taught me one of the first lessons I need to learn for this short duration at least.
The flight above The Atlantic was magnificent! Cruise ships appeared as tiny spots in the ocean and the trail they left, reminded me of the jet trails we see while we look at the skies! At one point we were cruising at a height of above 40000 ft. The water drops that were on the window crystallized itself to ice and formed really interesting patterns. My camera, Canon A 590 IS, if she could speak, would’ve smothered me with her love for letting her capture every possible moment! :)


Finally after a combined flight of almost 22 hours we started our descent to the city of Atlanta in the state of Georgia, the World Head Quarters of Coca-Cola. As though the pilot wanted us to have a better view of the city, he went around in circles for a while before touching down. And there we were… In the Land of Dreams!!!


My Pictures
http://picasaweb.google.com/jerrymukkadan/AJourneyOfThousandClicks?authkey=Gv1sRgCICYuar72aq4xAE#

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Coorg Reloaded!





Genre: Multi-day trip
Bangalore to Coorg: Drive down – One of our friends’ Scorpio
Route: Bangalore – Srirangapatnam [via Mysore Road] - Hunsur [SH88] - Madikeri
Duration: 6 hours by Scropio

Accommodation

We stayed at WindCrest, a cottage on top of a beautiful hill which gets blanketed by the mist especially in the evenings, the kind you’ll see only in your dreams! The owner stays in a lovely cottage on the hill itself. There are two other cottages, one half-way down the valley and one almost in the valley. First one can accommodate 8 people and the second one probably 5. It is a standard 24 hours check out. Check the link for details.

We were 7 and took the first one. Rate was Rs 8000/- including two complimentary breakfasts. They’ll arrange for a camp fire on request with no extra amount. You can probably tip the guy who arranges it if you wish [I’m sure you will!].

A walk around the hill is one of the best recipes perhaps for almost every sort of people. Whether you badly need a break/vacation or you are with your guy/girl or you are recently married, the hill has something for all! As the evening sets in, the place indeed lives up to its name. The Gazebo on top of the hill provides you a view of the entire valley from where you can appreciate the hands of God that created this picturesque piece of land! You’ll be forced to relax, is the least I could say. All you need to do is yield to that heavenly bliss and let the cold misty breeze pamper you! I loved every moment of it!!!

Attractions/Locations
The drive is totally awesome with Mysore Road Highway till Srirangapatnam & State Highway 88 from Hunsur till Kushalnagar. There is a stretch of around 20 kms between Srirangapatnam & Hunsur which is not that good. The stretch from Kushalnagar till Madikeri is really bad.
We were fortunate to travel in this season with either side of the roads dressed up with fully blossomed trees proudly showing off their red, orange and yellow color flowers!
You may refer to one of my initial blogs named Charming Coorg to get further details. Just mentioning an additional place which we visited this time:
Dubare Elephant Camp - You cross a very serene river by stepping on the stones carefully to reach a small sized Elephant Camp. You can see the elephants, touch them and even join the mahouts in giving a bath to them. For people who’ve not been closely associated with these largest mammal on land, it could be a very ‘touching experience’!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Aboard a Dredger!





Genre: Out-of-the-world!

Duration: 3 hours





Some Facts/Details
Name of the Dredger: Nehru-Shatabdi
Home Port: Kochi
Specifics: Grab Hopper - 1992 built with 1500 m3 hopper capacity

The Process
The 4 cranes on the ship operate simultaneously carrying out the dredging process. The clam shell grab of the onboard cranes splashes itself into the water and collects the silt and other seabed material. It then majestically rises from the water with the catch which is nothing but a bucket full of dirt! It is a sight worth seeing!!! This is deposited into the large tank, called hopper, with a heavy mesh on top to block larger objects.

The process continues for almost 2 hours and once the tank is full to the level it should, the anchors are lifted and we’re game for one of the most memorable journeys! The ship travels to the outer sea in order to deposit the collected silt there. The entire sea-line of Kochi unveils itself in front of our eyes while we’re on our way! Goshree Bridge that enhanced the connectivity of multiple islands of Kochi with the mainland & International Container Trans-shipment Terminal at Vallarpadam gives us an idea of how Kochi is going to grow! It is big!!! The fishing boats that return after the day’s catch is another fascinating view which even reminds you of a fleet of frigates!

Another spectacular picture on the trip is the natural wonder that that awaits us of a clear-cut demarcation of the shallow & deep sea! You’ll be stunned to see a line that divides these two right in the middle of the sea!!! That is the pinnacle of the voyage!!!

Once the ship reaches the outer sea, the doors on either side of the hopper is opened alternatively to empty the contents. The ship will still be in motion and the whole process of emptying gets over in a matter of minutes and then it returns to the base.

My Pictures
http://picasaweb.google.com/jerrymukkadan/TheDredger?authkey=EdIywAQhOWc#

Useful links
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dredging
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopper_barge
http://www.vallarpadamterminal.com/
http://www.cochinport.com/index.php

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Backwaters - A slice of God's own Country!




Boat Trip from Changanacherry to Alappuzha [Dec 2008]




One of the activities during my X’mas vacation 2008, was a boat trip to Alappuzha from Changanacherry [my home town]. Sharing some details herewith… If you are expecting another bunch of pictures of a ‘house boat’ you are in for a surprise!

Genre: Half-day trip

Changanacherry – A small town in Kottayam district in Kerala
Alappuzha – The district in Kerala known as Venice of the East

Boat Service from Changanacherry Boat Jetty
Departure – 7:30, 13:00, 16:30

Duration – 2 hours 30 minutes

Some Facts/Details
This is not one of the exotic ‘House Boat’ experiences you would’ve heard!
The boat is owned by Kerala Water Transport Corporation and can be equated to buses which form part of the land transport. In places where backwaters are plenty, water is a pretty common mode of transport
The boat will take you through one of the most beautiful stretches of Kerala, the backwaters. This essentially is the route which any House Boat will take you through. Of course, this will be no frills :)
Both Changanacherry and Alappuzha are well connected with land with frequent bus services. You could reach out to other parts of Kerala from any of these Bus Stands managed by KSRTC [Kerala State Road Transport Corporation]
If you are looking for a private time with your family, this is not an option. But, if you are looking at an experience of economy travel as well as to know how people live and commute at these places, this is worth a try!

My Pictures
http://picasaweb.google.com/jerrymukkadan/BackwatersASliceOfGodsOwnCountry


Useful links http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Changanassery
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alappuzha

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