Category Archives: Kerala

Welcoming Monsoons

Piping hot fritters with ginger tea.... Pic: http://madhuja.com/2012/10/10/onion-pakorapeyanjionion-fritters/

Piping hot fritters with ginger tea….
Pic: http://madhuja.com/2012/10/10/onion-pakorapeyanjionion-fritters/

…...with some hot ginger tea and piping hot pakoras.

Many people complain that the monsoons give them blues; however it has a complete opposite effect on me.  I feel happy and ready to hum a little song here and tap few steps there. There is an unbelievable spring in my walk.

Icing on the cake is – when I sit opposite my window overlooking the greens that Kerala is so popular for and watch the droplets make ripples in the backwaters; with of course a cup of hot ginger infused tea in my hand. A calorie conscious and weight watching mind stops me from indulging in fired crispy pakoras (fritters) too often. But hey, monsoons aren’t enjoyed with full vigour without those fritters.

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Varkala

View from the cliff #Varkala Pic: Priya Q
View from the cliff #Varkala Pic: Priya Q

This was my second visit to Varkala,a coastal town located north-west to Thiruvanathapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala . First time around, I was backpacking around Kerala with friends from Slovenia and Canada; and landed up in Varkala towards the end of our vacation. It was love at first sight.

For me, the charm of this little town lies on its 2-3 km stretch on the cliff. The cliff overlooks the ocean and has a lovely walkway, albeit not fully paved, at various stretches,but that really shouldn’t bother one much.

Cafes & shops that dot the cliff Pic: Priya Q

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Onam…..food, flowers and festivities

 

Onam Asamsakal

 

Fun Facts about Onam

# According to legends, the Asura King Mahabali visits his land and people once every year. That’s the day malayalees across the globe celebrate Onam.

# The Temple at Thrikkakara, near the city of Kochi is considered to be the abode of King Mahabali.

# Onam festival is based on the legend of King Mahabali’s pride and ultimate salvation. Read more about the legend - http://www.composedvolcano.com/wp/onam-festival/

# Onam is a secular festival where people from all communities and caste, irrespective of their religion, whether they are Hindus, Muslims or Christians, the wealthy or the poor, celebrate the festival with the same zest and eagerness.

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I so love rains…

…and here I would try and list a few points in support of my love…:)

Monsoons in Kerala… Pic: Priya

Enjoying rains in green Kerala makes it an even more beautiful experience. Kochi as compared to rest of Kerala has a better climate, or atleast that is what I would like to believe! Well, we do have our days when one can feel beads of sweat trickling down our back; but thankfully those days are limited. The southwest monsoon generally hits our coast on first week of June, and this time too its on the dot and hopefully we will have a good monsoon if it stays on for a couple of months (June till September). …my most favorite moment of monsoon is when rain water first touches the earth. The fragrance of earth is simply delicious, so divine.  The feel of the water drops on your face as you look up is just out of the world. The rains in Kerala are never a non-stop affair; it always stops after a spell. My friends in the north of India though ask- how do guys function when it’s pouring incessantly the whole day? I say, life just goes on… …there are far too many memories attached to monsoons. I remember how as a kid mom used to let me and my siblings enjoy the rains, how we used to giggle and laugh looking mortally insane and how mom used to prepare hot pakoras (battered and fried vegetables) with hot ginger-tea; while we were busy making a fool of ourselves out in the rain. Wow, just thinking of them as I write makes my mouth water…:) …for all my love for rains, am not a great fan of winter +monsoon combination. And especially when you are out on street without any protection at all. I remember taking the literary walking tour in Edinburgh, Scotland where the guide took us to homes and places of work of literary giants like Walter Scott, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, J K Rowling, Ian Rankin, Alexander McColl Smith,… etc. holding an umbrella, with clattering teeth and a frozen mind as the rains kept pounding away at us. The temperature was low and if that wasn’t dramatic enough, it was windy. And same was my experience in Colmar, France where I made futile attempts to stop my hands from shaking as I tried to get few nice shots of Lance Armstrong, making his comeback to professional cycling after a three year break, at the Tour de France with the rains drizzling none stop for over 3 hours! (For the records, I just didn’t get any decent pictures that day..:( …well, these experiences have their own charm, but on any rainy day, I would like to be indoors sipping hot ginger-tea or cappuccino, listening to some light music or reading a book. Any day! That said, wherever I am; rains successfully bring a smile to my face, magically uplifting my mood for the day.
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