Kerala, the God’s Own country has always embraced me. This is the place that always kept me nested. It is like a womb that has incubated me from all emotional turmoils. So when the flood hit this state recently, a part of me felt restless and homeless. Like many of us, I did whatever little I could for a couple of days and then I just got consumed in my daily works of life. Days passed, the water level reduced, people returned to their homes. Things slowly and steadily started getting back in shape. I know a few months down the line, the scars will be healed and this disaster will slowly turn into memories and then fade away in time. But I wonder what is the emotional state of Kerala now.
Whenever I get directionless in life, I travel. It helps me escape and create a reality of my own. Where simplicity, positive vibes, and happiness in little things is the other name of life. The vibe of some places takes you to a reality you never want to escape from. The only name synonymous to all this is Kerala.
But where do you go with your distressed self, when the dreamland of yours is itself in distress. Do you both help each other get out of the pain or you go into a deeper melancholy?
This time I choose to spend some time in Fort Kochi just after the floods to seek an answer to this. Fort Kochi was not that severely affected compared to other parts of Kerala but the moment I entered the place, I could sense the vibe was missing somewhere. The roads were a lot empty, the makeshift shops were mostly closed and a number of tourists were close to none. The lanes looked dull and the charm was somewhere dried up. The city looked exhausted. Regular visitors of Fort Kochi could hardly even recognize the city. It felt like the city is so stressed that it doesn’t even care anymore. I felt unwelcome but deep down I knew somewhere my inner hollowness was resonating with the city making me even sadder.
I was so done with the city that I decided to leave the next day itself. The following morning, I thought of taking a stroll along the beach early in the morning before leaving. I sat at the beach for a long time looking at the fishermen, the football players, the joggers, and the cyclists. Then I met the violinist with whom I jammed with, on my previous visit. I was happy that he remembered me. That’s the beauty of traveling. The trails you leave in some peoples lives are forever. Irrespective of whether you revisit those trails or not.
I slowly walked down the Jew town, had a cup of tea at a shop that is over 100 years old. Struck a conversation with the owner lady who was so excited to share with me the story of her life. She told me how her ancestors came away from Goa years back and started a tea shop here in Kochi. I could see the happiness and content in her eyes. She is so proud that she could continue her ancestral legacy to date.
Pic courtesy: Vishnu Prasad
My next stop was a roadside breakfast joint where a middle-aged man in white shirt and “mundu” was preparing some fresh and delicious looking local breakfast dishes. The fried snacking items attracted my eye. I asked him for “Pazham Pori” and a cup of tea. I was taken aback when he refused to take money from me. When I asked the reason and refused to take the favor, he told me he had a daughter of my age whom he lost recently. He told me how my face reminded me of her. He went on telling me stories of his daughter. Helplessness in his eyes and voice was breaking my heart. I sat with him for some more time before leaving. While parting, he said “I felt my daughter came back, we used to sit for hours and talk like this you know. Please come back again!”
I didn’t say a word. Just touched his feet and left. I was sad, but a part of me was content that at least I could make him feel a bit light. The emptiness that I felt the previous night was filled with overwhelming emotions. And now when I sit at a roadside tea stall trying to listen to the voice of the city, it smiles back at me.
That day I learned a lesson in life. Our state of mind is a big part of the vibe that is created around us. We are the vibe that we create. I decided to stay back for a couple of days more, with a hope to meet some more interesting people and get to know their inspiring stories. Spend some time with my Pazham pori uncle and enjoy my exclusive time with this city for few more days!
The sad vibes are gone. It feels like the city is giving me a tight hug and whispering to me,
“Whatever problems you have in life, I am always there to bring you back on track. I will never give up on you. I will make sure you always find the inspiration to keep going. Yes, I am exhausted, and a bit broke but I can never give up on people who need me.”
Let nothing stop you from coming back to Kerala, The God’s own country is ready to embrace you with open arms.
To know what to do when you are in Kerala please read backpacking trip to Kerala-Gods own country.
This was quite a personal experience, let me know if you have gone through any such experiences while traveling. I will be waiting for your comments and you can also suggest me some places where you want to travel and share my experiences.
Be in touch my lovely readers. Keep travelling and keep smiling. Until next time, this is your traveller Sreya signing off. Keep me in your prayers and thanks a lot for being a part of my family!
Lots of love!