10 Things I Miss About Kochi

In my previous post, I was streamlining my messed up thoughts and it was also the beginning of my resolution to blog every week. This post was due yesterday, but I persevered and got it done today. So yay me! If you already read my previous post, I’d like to warn you that this one is a repetition of sorts but better articulated than that one.

Kochi is my home. When I think of Kochi, I remember the buzzing Kaloor area, then the backwaters with the water weeds afloat, the sunset and the silhouette of the Chinese fishing nets, and the road to my home.

I am in this big city now and we are opening up to each other. But for a long time, the longing for Kochi wouldn’t leave right? I like the feeling. It is always good to know that there is home and homeland waiting for you. And this is the best time I could write about the city I grew up in, I grew up with and that has been growing up with me. 🙂

1. The Balance – The best thing about Kochi is that, you just have to step off the main road into an alley or a sub road and you’d find silent, residential areas with lots of greens, clean air and no hint of the disturbances from the busy main road. I have often loved this aspect of the city. Even my apartment is on the side of a very busy road. But once you take a few steps into it, you’d see the canal behind and the woods beyond that. I miss that. And the balance between the city and the nature.

Image credits – @rittujacob (Instagram)

2. Shades of Green – That brings me to the various shades of greens we get to see there. The woods from across my window, turn an emerald shade during the peak of monsoon while not so dark and lush at other times. In certain parts of the city, there are old buildings with overgrowth of creepers and weeds. The shade of green changes from plant to plant, tree to tree and if you love these greens, you can’t keep your eyes off them. Well, I can’t.  

Image courtesy – @the_liberated_spirit (Instagram)

3. The Excitement of Development – The city I am in now, has reached the peak of its development. While in Kochi, during the last few years, we had been basking in the happiness of new infrastructural additions. The Palarivattom and Lulu flyover left me all starry eyed and I rode across them a couple of times just for the heck of it. 

Image courtesy – @amal.the.bear (Instagram)

Then came the metro. I haven’t taken the Kochi metro yet, but every time I passed by each station, I used to look at it in awe. I used to look at the trains pass by as though I were a 4 year old, seeing a mysterious animal at the zoo. I miss this excitement a lot. I cannot begin to explain the intensity of it.

4. The Control – You are in control of the place when you know it in and out. You know what lies where, you know the heart beat of each area, the right time to visit a place, the time taken to reach a place and so on. I miss that control.
I know that this is something every person moving to a new place will face. Yet, as long as I am writing about Kochi, I must add this. The city isn’t as vast as Bangalore and that in itself gives me a better control.

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A view from the Queens Walkway

5. Ease of Getting to Places – A distance of 8 Kms could be covered in 15 minutes in Kochi. It took me about 1.5 hours to cover a distance of 10 Kms in Bangalore. During an earlier visit, it took this time for the bust to move from one to stop to another.

I loathe to see my time being flushed down the toilet due to this traffic. I miss the days when it was simpler. I just had to hop onto my bike, ride through the interior alleyways and reach the destination as calculated. The time taken for travel is almost always predictable in Kochi if you have a bike.

6. The Rain – Having born and brought up in a place with abundance of rainfall throughout the year, in two weeks of moving into Bangalore, I already feel the dearth of it. If you want to know what I mean you must have watched the sun slide behind the clouds turning the sky grey, you must have listened to the approaching rains, heard them from so far off that you wait another couple of minutes before the raindrops hit you and all of this must have brought that whirlwind of joy inside of you.

When I hear the approaching rains, I imagine a battle with a thousand horses galloping towards the battlefield. I also try to discern the direction from which the rain is approaching. If I get it right, my happiness has no bounds. The little joys in life. ❤

7. Reasonable Movie tickets – Watching movies for Rs. 80 and Rs. 100. Need I elaborate? 😛 I already think a hundred times before watching any movie. Here, I think twice as much.

8. Better Road Sense – I used to complain about the bus drivers and some senseless people in Kochi specially after I was almost killed by two buses and spat on by a lorry driver and a bike rider. Issues in Kochi end with that and some major indicator issues.

Come Bangalore and you should beware of vehicles in the air above you. There are separate lanes but nobody gives a damn about them. If you are a pedestrian, you need to have eyes on both sides of your head, exactly where your ears are. Because, people aren’t careful all. If they see a road, they take it even if it’s between two vehicles coming from the opposite direction.

9. Christmas – November is ending? Are the streets gradually lining with shops selling stars? Do they light up these stars of myriad colors, hues and shapes at nights? Has the weather begun to turn cold in the evenings? Have the christmas trees begin to pop up at houses or is it a little too early for that? In a week’s time, you’d see pictures of Santa Claus here and there, sometimes real ones in front of shops and malls.

Christmas is my favorite festival and Kochi begins to dress up for the occasion by November end. I’ll miss those lit up streets, bathing in the cool breeze of the winters in Kochi. A lot.

And Finally,

10. My Grazing Areas – The Kailash chat center at Convent junction and near Durbar Hall Ground, Gokul Oottupura(s), Brindavan, Real Arabia (Shawarma from there), Burger Junction, Chaicofi, Coffee Cube, Bread World, and the huge list of must visit eateries in Kochi that I have tucked away in a corner of my brains.



I am warming up to Bangalore faster than I thought I would and I am sure, I’ll fall in love with this place soon. In fact I already love the weather here and that is just one among the many good things here. This is in fond memory of Kochi. To look back and embrace it. A reminder of how much it means to me and to let people know of this tiny land in the tiny corner of the world where the life is green and merry.

PS – The amazing pictures  in this blogpost was clicked by @rittujacob (The Queen’s Walkway), @the_liberated_spirit (The building covered in greenery) and @amal.the.bear (The Kochi Metro). Thank you so much for readily giving them. 🙂 Do follow them on Instagram for some amazing clicks. 🙂 



Narikulam Tharavadu and Nedungad Boat Jetty (Part II)

Narikulam Tharavadu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Read Part I of our trip here: Trip to Kuzhippilly Beach & Narikulam Tharavadu

When the previous post ended, we were seated at the Narikulam Tharavadu dining table, with widened eyes, grumbling tummies and ready to pounce on a sumptuous feast. Before I continue, I’d like to rewind a bit here.

We are a part of this amazing community on Facebook called Eat Kochi Eat. Facebook really came in handy with this group, where Cochin Foodies post their reviews about the new eateries, their discoveries and all sorts of dishes from all sorts of food joints. Within the last four months, I realized that I haven’t visited most of the must visit food joints here. And so, I already covered 4 the week after exams! 😛 This is where we got to know about this Homestay. We had added it in a ‘to-attack’ list and suggested this place to the group for our trip. Before going to Narikulam tharavadu, you are supposed to inform them about the visit, give them a list of food you’ll want and the headcount. We had ordered Chicken fry, chicken curry, beef, Fish fry, chappati & Appam. The quantity of each depended upon who likes what.


Yummilicious appam, chappati, fish fry, chicken fry, beef
Yummilicious appam, chappati, fish fry, chicken fry, beef

The food was amazing and very much filling. In fact, almost a quarter of it was left after we were done. So, I am talking about high quantity Naadan (Authentic country-side) food, comprising entirely of non-veg at affordable prices! You read that right. The food along with Payasam (Dessert) cost us just Rs. 200 per head. I’d like to add that prices differ with the type of fish you opt for. Even so, the experience was worth much more than this.

We thanked Paul chettan for the food, clicked some more pictures and as per his suggestion, made our way to the Nedungad Boat Jetty nearby. How do I even begin to describe it? As the land tapered to end in the Kollam Kottapuram Waterway, we found ourselves surrounded by water and myriad species of birds. It cannot be compared to a normal beach or a lake view since the landscape was such that, at one point, all we could see was water. I am in loss for words and so, I’ll let my friend’s pictures speak from now on.

The path towards the Boat Jetty area is lined with coconut trees which finally tapers into the water
The path towards the Boat Jetty area is lined with coconut trees which finally tapers into the water
There was a tiny hut and some lambs playing around. :)
There was a tiny hut and some lambs playing around. 🙂
Coconut trees and backwaters - True essence of Kerala
Coconut trees and backwaters – True essence of Kerala

The Boat Jetty was unplanned and the uniqueness of it made the trip all the more memorable. If you plan a visit to Kochi anytime, and if you are looking for a Homestay and authentic Malayali Non-Veg food, Narikulam Tharavadu Homestay is the best choice. I cannot comment on the Vegetarian food since we didn’t have any. Besides, I always have a soft corner for the Tamil Vegetarian dishes. So, I strongly recommend this place for the Non-vegetarians. Also, they have homestay package at Rs. 2000 per night with food for a couple. As promised in the previous post, here are the details:

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Here are the details of the Homestay. Enjoy!

I sign off with a picture of us – The kachara team! The Minions! The Chipmunks! Five extreme people with entirely different characteristics that gel so well with each others’, and ofcourse the Homestay! 😛

Looks too beautiful right?

Pic Courtesy – All the images here were clicked by these guys ^ 😀

The December Feeling

December 1, 2016 – Amma & I had gone to broadway for some shopping. Since the weather was chilly and it was drizzling, I didn’t take my two-wheeler. We booked an Uber, got down in front of Hotel Sealord and began to walk. It must have been around 7 pm. Marine Drive area was buzzing with life, twinkling with lights and every light was reflected a million times in the raindrops falling silently.
We saw the Mings Dumpling House and decided to go see what Dumplings were since I had no idea until then. Turns out, Dumplings are English for Momos (If there are people who don’t know). So, we had some steamy Momos at quite reasonable rates and then continued our walk.
As we cut across the alley towards Broadway, the black & bronze colored street lamps and the drenched, shiny roads, the streets lined with shops displaying stars, baubles and shimmering what-nots kept reminding me that December had indeed begun!
Ah speaking of Decembers in Kochi! It is one month that announces its arrival in advance. December means winter which is a heavenly time here. December means Christmas. December means streets lined with colorful lights, umpteen varieties of stars, Santa Clauses of different shapes and sizes all around, Christmas trees, twinkling, bejeweled city full of life! The signs of  these are seen from mid-November.
Rest of the city is halfway through the preparations. But broadway! Oh my! Every shop we passed was screaming ‘Christmas’. Stars, streamers, baubles, trees, Santa, and so on. And it was cold after a long time; the nice sort of cold where you just want to close your eyes, breathe in the air and the world comes to a standstill. The one that holds you back from going home.
We hopped from shop to shop, took our time as there was nobody to stop us. I remember how when I was a child, Amma used to take me with her whenever she went shopping. The two of us have been constant companions. She had her Scooty and I’d tag along, hugging her to make sure that I don’t fall off. I was quite tiny, you see! I was supposed to keep talking to her so that I didn’t doze off. Now, I take her around in my Powerpuff (Lavender Pleasure). We enjoy it as much. December is her favorite time of the year too. We love shopping, exploring places, food and looking at all the new arrivals in the market.
We enjoyed a lot yesterday. December started off well – The beginning of another end. After our shopping, we got back home and she kept telling me how wonderful it was and how we missed the brat, my sister. I kept thinking about Christmas and opened my blog for another surprise – The Snow! You can see it right? Every December, it begins to snow in my blog. Being a fan of all sorts of Snows – Jon Snow, white colored Snow & the Snow flake pattern – this adds to my December love!
100 Happy Days – Day 91
As I sign off, linking my first Christmas post in this blog, I wrote 6 years back: Smile – The Joy of Christmas. It has been six years, this blog. Can you believe it?
Christmas posts from 2015:
You see? December isn’t just a month. It is a feeling <3.

Trip to Kuzhippilly Beach & Narikulam Tharavadu

100 Happy Days – Day 90

I had made a bucketlist 2016 when this year began and one of the elements in it was to make at least 5 trips this year. I don’t think the number went very well. But as unexpected as life could be, I found myself in a few immensely beautiful places a couple of days back – Kuzhippilly Beach, Narikulam Tharavadu and Nedungad Boat Jetty.

Writing professional exams could just wear you off big time. So, the five of us and a qualified CA decided to meet up, spend a night together and go on a trip the next day. Nothing fancy, somewhere in or around Kochi. After a night full of clicking pictures, non-stop chattering and barely few hours of sleep, we drowsily picked ourselves up and went for breakfast. Nothing else could shun your drowsiness better than food. So after the breakfast, we were on fire! We made our way to our first destination. The Kuzhippilly beach.

Lined with pine trees and rusted benches, this beach is more beautiful than the famous Cherai beach. Situated in the outskirts of Kochi, Kuzhippilly beach is around 4 kms (Source: Google Map) away from Cherai. For those who prefer less crowd and more shade, this place is the best option. With lots of tiny brown crabs (I think they are called Sand Crabs) running around and emerging from the sand, and the thatched roof Umbrellas, this is one of the most picturesque beaches near Kochi.

Pine trees at the Beach

We spent about 2 hours in the waters, clicking pictures & walking amidst the shady pine trees. We found a beautiful shell and, after ensuring that the owner had deserted his home, my friend pocketed it.

When the thought of food started creeping into our heads, we made our way to destination number two, the highlight of the trip (Food always comes first) – Narikulam Tharavadu.

A View enroute to Narikulam Tharavadu
Kerala - God's own country
Those white cranes were everywhere!

Tharavadu is generally an ancestral home in Kerala where people lived as a joint family. Nowadays, most of these families have split and live separately, but many of the ancestral homes remain. Situated near St. Augustine Church, Nedungad, Nayarambalam, is the Narikulam Tharavadu. Set amidst the lap of nature, with greenery all around and a canal behind it; they have preserved the house so well that, if you are a Keralite, a wave of nostalgia hits you the moment you enter the premises. Such houses are the true essence of Kerala.

Paul chettan gave us a very warm welcome and patiently explained everything about the place. He answered all our queries, showed us around and made us feel at home. As they went about preparing our food, we were left to explore the place.

One of the things that fascinated me was, the way they had managed waste and artifacts that were no longer in use. They had used dried seeds and parts of the palm tree to decorate the house. We even found two shoes outside with plants in them. They also had grown plants in an old, rusted Kindi (pitcher) and an Aattukallu (Wet Grinder). The base stone, Arakkallu from the grinding Apparatus was used as the base for the pitcher. They gave an aesthetic look, placed around the Nadumuttam (The central area with a meshed ceiling) and never for a second did they seem out of place.

The plant in the pitcher placed atop the base of the grinder. What you see behind is the Nadumuttam.
The plant in the pitcher placed atop the base of the grinder. What you see behind is the Nadumuttam.

My favorite part about these houses is the Nadumuttam. During the day, it is the source of natural light that gives a mellow glow to the surroundings and during the night, you can watch the stars. Don’t get me started on how it looks when it begins to rain. I can’t believe that these houses are dwindling with time!

A peek at the interiors of a typical tharavadu
A peek at the interiors of a typical tharavadu

We spent a lot of time outside, near the canal awed at the abundance of nature, clicking pictures and wondering why we never got to know about this place earlier. A photographer’s paradise, my friends simply couldn’t stop clicking pictures. Our grumbling tummies showed us the way to the dining table and now I’d call it a Foodie’s paradise too!

So we saw this irresistible spread on the table… Er… Isn’t the post getting a bit too lengthy? Besides, I am reminded of all the food we ate that day and I so need a break. I’ll be back with part 2 of this post; all the yummy food and a surprise thereafter. Heads up: The Food part is focused on the Non-vegetarians & it is going to be a bit heavy. So, ensure that you are filled up. If you wish to visit this Homestay, the details will be given in the next post – Narikulam Tharavadu and Nedungad Boat Jetty (Part II)🙂

Image courtesy for the first 3 pics – My dear friend Hrusheekesh Anilkumar

The Emerald Tears


The skies cried.
The emerald tears
Froze on Earth.


Note – This is a view from my window this monsoon. The water weeds & the weeds from the woods have merged to give this wondrous spectacle.

Stars on Earth

The bright twinkling silver drops

Like diamonds studded in pitch black canvas

Fell for her every night.


Stars on Earth

Following my biggest ever writer’s block, Parul at Happiness and Food, Somali at Prepforum & Jan at Jan’s Doodles suggested I do photo prompts. With a bit of push from Jithin’s side, here is my entry for Mundane Monday Challenge. Thank you guys. 🙂

I have been thinking of giving Haiku a try and here is my first ever attempt at it. Haiku is a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five.

This was taken at Vallikkavu, Kollam (Kerala) last month. I am sure, you know what beautifully mundane things they are. I didn’t know that this picture would one day initiate my first ever Haiku and help me get back to blogging. The world’s weird ways.

Signing off for now in the hopes of getting back tomorrow. 🙂


Conversing With the Waves

100 Happy Days – Day 86

Happiness is a chair, a book and the threshold of an Ocean and not knowing which one makes you happier.

Every Bibliophile’s dream – A serene spot with a view, some peace and a book. Behold! An evening at the beach, watching the waves breaking against the rocks, holding a book and finding a nice spot to read.

The Book facing the Sea

I flipped a few pages as the Ocean’s music filled my ears. There was a feeble breeze and the rocks were drenched with water from both the Sea and from the drizzle that had just stopped. The tides were high, way before twilight and it looked as though the Sea would rise any time and gobble me up. I thought it was the rains, but it was something else.

I had come to this very same beach yesterday. I sat atop a bench, cross-legged, closed my eyes and tried to meditate. It took me barely few minutes to abandon my efforts. Not because I couldn’t sit still, but because of what was before me. I looked around at all the people meditating. How could one close his eyes while facing these magnificent waters, I wondered.

Now, I was mocking myself. I walked to this very same beach with a book in hand. How could I delve in one’s ecstasy and ignore the other? I couldn’t read. Not as long as I wanted to watch the Ocean. And I couldn’t watch the waves if I read. I wanted them both – my spouse and my love.


But Alas! I couldn’t handle them both

The Sea threatened, in her deep throaty voice, to swallow me up. Oh! Well, that explains the angry high tides. I must have hurt her pride by bringing along my Love. Sure enough, the book remained untouched while I conversed with the waves.


The Butterflies and Mighty Waterfalls

Thumbormozhi and Athirappilly Episode

Our trip began with Ezhattumugham about which you can read here. This is the continuation of the trip.

3. Thumbormozhi

This is a butterfly garden situated next to Ezhattumugham. There is a separate entrance for the same. But if you are crossing the suspension bridge, it will take you to the backside of the park. When I heard about the place, I expected to see multicolored butterflies fluttering all around the garden. But, I was wrong. There were many brown butterflies and a few blue ones. The blues where enigmatic I must say.


You can see a lovely blue butterfly below. She was very hesitant to open her wings. I stood there for a long while expecting her to spread the wings with no luck.



The one at the rightmost corner is bold enough. The blue is still all tightened up. 😀


4. Athirappilly Waterfalls

Known as the Niagara falls of India, Athirappilly waterfalls is the biggest one in Kerala. To see it close up you have quite a bit of walking to do. But in the end, it is totally worth it. Here are some glimpses of the path. There is a steep side through which we could reach the bottom really fast, but it is dangerous. For those who do not prefer that, there is a path laid from rocks. You will spot many monkeys on the way.



Bamboo fences.



After walking down for some time, we reached the waterfalls. The closer I got to the falls, the faster I walked. You cannot stop yourself when you see it so close! I sat there watching the water lash the rocks. I felt like I had reached the end of this world and the swirling white milky mist was a pathway to another more beautiful and enchanting world. If I could, I would have stayed there, watching the waters and feeling the cool sprays. It was sheer bliss.

The mighty misty waterfalls
The mighty misty waterfalls
The water turns into clouds they say 🙂
Rocks basking in the love of water


A rather unclear picture of me on the rocks 😛


This is how close you can go to the waterfalls. They don’t let us go beyond that rope. It is a very dangerous area and they might open the dam at any moment. They have written the warning in many places. There is another place where you are allowed to enter the waters. It is more shallow and safe.

A Proof that I was here and I took the pictures 😛

At the end of the day, the image of the waterfalls is what lingered. It is definitely a heavenly place. If you are planning to go, ensure that you have enough time to sit on the rocks and enjoy the falls. 🙂




The Seven Faces

100 Happy Days – Day 77

A Trip to Ezhattumugham and Athirappilly waterfalls – Ezhattumugham Episode

I heard of the place Ezhattumugham from my good friend Teny for the first time. I had made a mental note to go to this place when my aunt arrived from US, my cousin suggested this place and all of a sudden I was thrown into a cab and taken here. 🙂

You might have wondered about the title of this post. Ezhattumugham means Seven faces of the river.

The river at one point of time, divides itself into seven parts due to the islets and boulders. Hence the name Ezhattumugham. 🙂

I have divided this post into four parts, half of which I am updating in the next post. I know that long posts could be such a pain. I assure you that there are more of pictures in here and less words.

  1. En route to Ezhattumugham

We took these pictures on our way. To simply put it, this is how most of Kerala looks like. Most of the houses here, have a window that faces trees, shrubs and lots of greenery. I am not referring to the cities, though.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Reading between the lines
A capture by my sister

2. Ezhattumugham

Ezhattumugham is famous for its suspension bridge and the fact that it gives an opportunity to the visitors to actually enjoy in the water. I say this because, generally when we visit water bodies, many women do not enter the water due to many reasons. Fear of slippery rocks, water current etc being few of the reasons. Here, the water is shallow, not so slippery and there are many boulders to hop over or sit down. It is a different place as you will see.

What intrigued me was the fact that the suspension bridge here, connects two districts of Kerala – Ernakulam and Trissur. 🙂

The water seems more like a sheet of glass
Nature manages to astound me every single time
The Suspension Bridge with the Trissur side visible

In the images below, you can see the rocks amidst the water. The water here is very shallow. We walked across this place for a while.

Hop atop the boulders and splash through the waters


This is a tree house we found there. Normally, these houses have a rope ladder attached to them. We did not find it here.

The places I went to that day, are beautiful in their own way. No camera can capture the beauty. There is nothing like viewing them in reality. Even though images speak louder than words, I don’t want to cram too many images in one post. Hence, I have compiled rest of them in the next post. To see the mighty waterfalls & the butterfly garden, Read Part II of the post Here


Kochi Diaries 1 – Fort Kochi, Mattanchery Trip

100 Happy Days – Day 32

Happiness is going on trips

Part 1 – Fort Kochi, Mattanchery

Being a Kochiite, I have never gone to Fort Kochi or Mattanchery as a visitor. I never had the opportunity. But for some time now I have been wanting to go there. Specially after I went to Fort Kochi for a photo-shoot and realized how different that place was from the rest of Kochi.

That day, by 2.30 pm, we – My Sister, my best friend and I – started towards our planned Fort Kochi & Mattanchery trip. I had my Lavy and he had his bike and so it was a pleasant ride from here. With around 3 bridges to pass through (Frankly, I lost count :P), I was mesmerized as always seeing the water body. I was torn between the need to ride and the urge to keep looking at the waters. Man! That is risky!

These were the places we went to during the trip;

  1. The Pardesi/Jewish Synagogue
  2. The Clock Tower
  3. The Streets of Mattanchery
  4. The Police Museum
  5. The World’s biggest Uruli
  6. The Dutch Palace
  7. Fort Kochi

The Pardesi/Jewish Synagogue

In about half an hour, we reached Mattanchery and began with the Jewish synagogue. Once we took the tickets, we were led to a room that had illustrations and description about the history of the synagogue. I tried reading some, skipped some and remembered a very few interesting facts. I never knew Kodungallur was known as Cranganore. Sounds really cranky!

The synagogue was built in the 1568 by the Jews. The flooring was laid using 18th-century, hand-painted, porcelain tiles. One of the most fascinating things I found in the description was that, no two tiles are similar. Sure enough, when we scrutinized, though they all looked similar at first, there were minor differences between each tile. Photography was prohibited and so, I couldn’t get a close up image of the tiles. However, Wikipedia did give me an image of the interiors which you can see below. At the center of the synagogue is a brass railed pulpit. But, what caught my eyes were the Belgian glass chandeliers. You can see them all hanging majestically. I wonder how the place looks at night, with all the lights.

You can see the tiles on the floor. They are all unique.

Image courtesy: wikipedia.org

The Clock Tower

While entering the Synagogue, you could see an 18th century clock tower which is also an attraction there. In the image below is the clock tower. The entrance to the synagogue is towards the left, next to the lamp shade.


The Streets of Mattanchery

The streets of Mattanchery is filled with antique shops, art galleries, display of black metal jewelry, pashmina & cashmere shawls, a combination of ethnic designs, North Indian and western outfits etc. I was pointing at everything in the vicinity saying variants of ‘wow’s and ‘so beautiful’s.

Some buildings had beautiful structures. I don’t know what they call them, but a lot of intricate handiwork had gone into making them. This is one such thing I found before a shop.


I don’t think it looks as beautiful in the picture as in reality. Those water plants are in itself a beauty. And when they are laid out like this in a miniature well, it enhances the beauty further. I would definitely have one like this built in my mansion some day. 😉 Oh! And look at the artefacts inside the shop. We do have a hanging lamp at home. So, that’s one down. 😛


As I walked down the street, I decided to take some pictures of the shops. Again, this isn’t how it looks. The streets are beautiful and I need a real camera. 😦 You can see all the clothes, scarves, the jewelry, the ethnic bags etc. All the colors were driving me crazy. 😀



The Police Museum

The Police Museum is a display of history of the State’s police from the era of Kings of Travancore to now. Also, some random things from those times.

Entrance to the Police Museum

We entered through the left side where they had displayed mannequins with various police uniforms starting from the Travancore Kings’ era until now. I was surprised to see the drastic change. Women police, at one point of time had skirts. Also, they had displayed the different types of caps used.

The central portion of the museum had a multitude of artifacts, some of which were very beautiful and intriguing. Towards the left side of the premises, there were various kinds of swords displayed. They are all reserved for another post.



The World’s biggest Uruli

Uruli is a traditional cookware in Kerala. They are often used mostly for religious ceremonies; in Temples or for Poojas at home. Nowadays, you can see them in various sizes adorning the drawing room of many Malayalis. And why not!? It looks majestic as you can see below.



The picture given above was taken at an antique store in Mattanchery. They claim this to be the world’s largest Uruli that got into the Limca book of records. It looked so aesthetic, filling the entire hall of the shop. I also silently wished that there were turtles in the water. It would be fun watching them. 😛 I love the intricate work on its body. Isn’t she a beauty?

The Dutch Palace 

Our last stop in Mattanchery was the Dutch palace. Though it is named so, it was built by the Portuguese in 1555. It was gifted to the then king of Cochin. Later on, the Dutch carried out some extensions and renovations and hence the name Dutch palace. It is built atop a Devi temple.

The palace is built in the traditional Kerala style (naalukettu) and has a courtyard in the middle. They don’t let us see all the parts of the temple which is sad because, there was a particular corridor which looked irresistible. If we stand there, we could see the entire interior portion of the palace which is the specialty of a naalukettu.

  • In one room, they have placed mural paintings depicting scenes from Ramayana.
  • In another, they have displayed the different types of swords used by the king and the royal soldiers.
  • They have also displayed palanquins in various sizes and shapes. They looked irresistible.
  • The next room showcased the various stamps and coins over the years, map of the palace, map of Kochi, details of many Kings, their pictures and so on.
  • Another section had the exhibits of huge locks used in those days, shampoo and oil containers, combs, hair pins etc used by the royal women.

I am sure that I have missed out many things, but this is what happens when they don’t let you take pictures.

Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi is where the God’s own country takes a tangy twist. The buildings there have a western finish to them with their posh looking windows, bright and chic paints in different colors, streets named after Westerners whom I really don’t know. My favorite of all is the princess street. I felt that was the most colorful and unique area there. We walked through the street for a while, and then went to the beach.

Once we were done with that, we went back to Mattanchery, munched into some cold Pepsi and hot vada pav from Goli and started back home. I really can’t wait to go there again. We couldn’t cover many places and one day, I will. This is just the beginning. 🙂


Chapter 1

Team: Alphabet Soup

Chapter 1

||Kāṁ sosmitāṁ hiraṇyaprākārāmārdrāṁ jvalantīṁ tṛaptāṁ tarpayantīm,
padme sthitāṁ padmavarṇāṁ tāmihopahvaye śriyam||

(Śrī Sūktam)

The air was thick with the heat of the crowd, their chants and the chendas  that played those feet tapping rhythms. The spectators’ hair stood on end as the priests chanted the Vedas.  The procession was led by little girls holding plates, containing oil lamps & flowers. They were followed by the Chenda melam – men playing the drums. The three elephants, beautifully decorated with Gold plated Caparisons, bells and necklaces, followed the procession. Atop the first elephant, sat the 7 year old Anamika wearing her silk skirt & blouse and holding the auspicious deity. Her joy knew no bounds as she held her Goddess in her tiny palms. 

The deity was a feast to the eyes. Made of pure Gold, the Goddess shimmered in the sun, blinding everyone’s eyes. The devotees squinted as the sun rays blinded them. They stood on their toes, trying to catch a glimpse of the deity’s diamond eyes & her diamond studded nose-ring. It was believed that the Goddess installed herself in the temple & her eyes turned into diamonds. Since then, the nose-ring has never been removed from the idol . The Royal family to whom the temple belonged, never questioned the belief & followed the rituals throughout the generations. Not many knew the story behind those diamonds. The Natives believed that questioning would upset the Goddess and the inquisitive young ones didn’t have anyone to turn to, for answers.

They considered the Goddess as their mother & they waited for every 7th year when they could catch a glimpse of their mother in all her gaiety.

Shekhar looked up from his half written story. His spectacles perched upon his nose, had slid down due to sweat. He adjusted them.
He smiled, ‘Yes beta.’
‘What beta? Oh-ho! You are too immersed in your novel that you forget your surroundings. I’m Tara.’
It was Roohi Dutta – his 9 year old daughter. A shawl was hastily draped around her frill frock like a saree. The supposed- to-be-pallu barely reached her shoulders. He noticed her unfruitful efforts to tie her hair up into a bun. But half of it fell back onto her shoulders & forehead.

She held a tray with a glass of milk & some biscuits. In a tone that was similar to her mother’s she rebuked, ‘How long will you work like this? Here, have some biscuits & milk. Your mother has spoilt you by bringing food to you all the time.’ She began tidying the table, arranging the books & pens. At that moment Roohi looked like a mirror image of her mother Tara.

Shekhar burst out laughing. Roohi was very naughty. He liked how she responded to situations and the way she came up with new ideas. The best part was, even Tara – his wife –  was spell bound sometimes, when Roohi spoke. He never believed that anyone could render Tara speechless. But this little imp managed that too.

He had to admit the fact that Roohi was her mother’s replica. She was always focused, always knew what she wanted & work towards it day & night. Even now, as Roohi mimicked her mother, she was a little Tara except for the childish voice. He was sure his daughter would grow up to be an impressive woman like her mother. He was proud of their little family. They were his most priced possessions.

‘My Tara baby, Shekhar doesn’t like people touching his desk.’ he said mockingly.
He pulled Roohi and made her sit on his lap, ‘This Saree suits you Tara, why don’t you make this your permanent attire?’
‘I’ll consider that Shekhar. But when I go to office, I wouldn’t be able to manage, you know!? And tell me, should I cover the news or manage my pallu?’
Again, she was trying to feign her mother’s voice.

Tara Dutta was head of the news department in N9 media, Mumbai. The media always focused on making a difference & so they  picked up particularly dangerous and difficult tasks to work with. The media had unveiled many a bitter truth during their past years & had made their fair share of enemies over time. Tara planned all the projects for the media. She had to be on the spot of coverage and formulate a plausible plot without getting caught.

Some days she never came home. On other days, even after she was home, she got continuous calls and couldn’t spend much time with her family. But during the weekends, it was her rule to stay home. Being one of the head of the news department, and being the best in the field, the company let her have her way. And invariably, every weekend Tara, Shekhar & Roohi spent their time together.

Shekhar Dutta once an IT professional, got fed up of the rat race and resigned his job. He followed his heart and now works as a freelance writer. A liberal minded man, who believed a parent had to give his/her 100% on kid’s  upbringing, he decided to stay at home and  take care of Roohi. He empathized with Tara’s workload & was fully satisfied being a stay home dad. Recently, while he was doing some research, he had come across an old bit of news that was interesting. It triggered an idea for a novel & he began working on it.

Shekhar was eating his biscuits while Roohi was meddling with her Saree.
‘Papa? I thought I was Shekhar & you were Tara!?’ he said playfully.
‘Game over Papa.’ Roohi said a bit exasperatedly.
‘Ok beta tell me’
She hesitated, ‘Nothing.’
She got down from his lap & tottered away with the half fallen saree around her legs.

Smiling and shaking his head, Shekhar went back to writing his novel.


‘Shekhar, dinner is ready.’

Tara was home early today. And so, she decided to cook something special for them. She loved cooking varieties. But her job hardly gave her any time to practice her culinary skills.Most of the days she was dependent on meals cooked by maid or by Shekar if he decided to venture out in kitchen.
‘Hmm… I was waiting for you to call. The smell was clogging my brains.’ Saying so, Shekhar kissed her.
‘How are things at work?’
‘Don’t even ask. We are working on a new project. Very interesting. It is about what happens behind the temple doors.’
‘Interesting sure it is. I just hope this doesn’t trigger any inter-communal wars. Roohi slept?’
‘She had dinner early. I’m not sure if she is asleep.’
‘I don’t feel your absence when she is around. The way she talks, it is like your small version. Tara V.02!’
Tara smiled, ‘Shekhar, I know I’m too bu-‘
He cut her off midway.
‘Don’t worry Tara, I am absolutely fine with your job. Just – ‘ he hesitated.
‘Just what?’
‘Just promise that you would be safe. Ok?’ he put a hand on her cheek.
‘Ok’, She smiled and held his hand.

He looked at the woman before him. She was indeed one in a million.

He knew her passion for her job. Yet she never faltered in her duties as a wife and a mother. They have had their differences. But they could never stay away from each other for long. They took turns to solve their differences, kill their ego & get back together. It was Tara’s idea;

2 years after they had fallen in love, the two had a huge fight. They didn’t contact each other for about two weeks. Finally, with the help of a couple of friends, they decided to talk it out. Shekhar was unsure of what he was going to say. But Tara was well prepared.
‘Can I suggest something?’
‘Tell me.’
‘Next time we fight, you have to compromise.’
He blinked, ‘What? Why me?’
‘Yes, this time, though it was your fault, I called for a compromise, right?’
‘It wasn’t my – ‘
‘So next time, you’ll call for a compromise.’
He was bewildered ‘It was your faul-‘
‘It will be my fault next time. I’ll compromise on that too.’ She said with a naughty smile & a wink.
‘From now on, when we fight, we will take turns to solve it. It doesn’t matter who makes the mistake. We compromise alternatively. Got it?’
‘Got it!’ He smiled. She had just reminded him why he loved her in the first place. She made him at ease.

Eleven years after their marriage, they still follow the pattern. Once or twice, the pattern broke, but somehow, they worked that out.

He watched the night news and went to the bedroom. Tara was on the bed, working on her laptop. He placed his spectacles on the side table, crawled under the covers & lay there, staring at the ceiling.
She looked at him, ‘What are you thinking?’
‘About the first time we met.’
She kept her laptop aside and leaned on him ‘What about it?’
‘Nothing’ He said with his famous mischievous grin.
That grin made her go crazy. Whenever he smiled that way, she knew he had something insane in mind. ‘What is it?’
‘I was wondering…’
‘What if someone else had written that article?’


Tara was pursuing her journalism course in Mumbai. She was tall, fair, well dressed & one of the most attractive girls in the college. There were many men eyeing her but she wasn’t an easy catch. She was well focused on building a good career. That was when she came across a newspaper article relating to drug trafficking. It was a very strong article & it named some of the most powerful, rich farts of those days. The author was imprisoned & was involved in a lot of controversies. Tara wanted to meet this new blood & went in search of him.

She was informed that it was written by a student from Mumbai University. She went to the university with her friends in search of Shekhar to congratulate him.

She approached a thin man of average height & average build. He looked timid & tiny. Unsure if he belonged there, she asked, ‘Excuse me! I’d like to meet Shekhar Dutta’

‘Yes, tell me.’
This guy didn’t seem that bright. She began acting out whatever she said,
‘Not you. Shekhar Dutta. The man of controversy.’
Suppressing a smile & imitating her actions, he said, ‘I am Shekhar Dutta. The man of controversy.’
She blinked, faltered for a moment and congratulated him on his article. Evidently, she was looking for a well built, strong & tough looking guy. But Shekhar was everything she didn’t think of. He was good looking, certainly. But didn’t look like a tough material.
In the following days, they got to know more of each other and slowly but surely, fell in love.

Ever since, Shekhar asked her the question, ‘What if someone else had written that article?’
And each time, her reply differed.
This time it was, ‘I would have probably ended up with your best friend Rahul’
Saying so, she hugged him & the two laughed.

Read the next part of the story by Knitha Here 🙂


Meaning of the Veda: I hereby invoke that Shri (Lakshmi) who is an embodiment of Absolute Bliss; who is of pleasant smile on her face; whose lustre is like that of burnished gold; who is wet, as it were, (just from the milky ocean), who is blazing with splendour, and is the embodiment of the fulfilment of all wishes; who satisfies the desires of her votaries; who is seated on the lotus and is beautiful like the lotus.

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