Densely populated, culturally diverse, and breathtakingly beautiful, Kerala has over the centuries mesmerized an assortment of sea-faring adventurers and backpacking tourists. This book is not so much an account of Kerala’s obvious charms and festivities, but an uncomplicated narrative that winds through its verdant landscape. This book is about Mr. Matthew sitting next to me in a public ferry and animated discussions on ‘class struggle’ in local trains. This book is about the common citizen, whose contribution to the experience of Kerala is fairly uncommon. I’m not asking you to buy this book. I’m asking you to take the next train of Kerala.
Born in Kolkata and bred in Delhi, Anshuman Sen is ‘inarticulate and inartistic’ by his own admission. He describes his own admission. He describes his degrees in History and Philosophy from Delhi University as ‘fruitful yet weak adventures in academia’. Literary inconsistencies notwithstanding, Sen is blessed with a great extended family of cheerful denominations, and his favorite place in the world is ‘home’. His dream is to live with his family in the Kumaon Hills and write lots of books.
Journeys are like abstruse algorithms. They begin with a set; of assumptions and the traveler is forever left groping in; It trying to calculate an end that will justify the beginning. I will remember Kerala for the friends l made in bus stands and ferries, and the consistency with which they came and went. Like beacons of inertia in my otherwise sloppy itineraries. They now tread on the weak channels that feed memory. And I live in constant fear of losing those moments of euphoria to the experiences that followed. Traveling in Kerala was infectious and intoxicating, lust as the people l met were friendly and hospitable. A hundred rolls of film, three busted umbrellas and many bus rides later, the grass is greener still on the other side. When the other side is Kerala.
Knowing where to begin a narrative, though, is as easy as finding the longest side of a circle. Which is usually the side closest. So l begin with L5, the legendary garden—facing room in college. A significant part of that legend being a reflection of its inhabitant, the enigmatic Nair from Thiruvananthapuram. A self-proclaimed eccentric, my classmate, and doyen of the Malayali clan in college, Nair was my lopsided introduction to all things Kerala. By the end of first term l could pronounce Thiruvananthapuram with desultory arrogance and switched over from bacon and eggs to banana chips for breakfast triggering a minor crisis in my anglicised Bengali household. So when the West Coast express grumbled into Palakkad Junction one April evening, l leapt out of the train with the athleticism of a well—fed temple elephant. Kerala was familiar country after all.
|Lazy Jaunts in Palakkad||With its incredible blend of stunning landscapes and diverse cultural influences, Palakkad’s first impressions were as good as its last.||11|
|Culture Capital Thrissur||Centuries of royal patronage in the arts and an impressive hierarchy of temples have ensured that Thrissur’s importance in the cultural realm is unrivalled.||19|
|The Bharani||Undoubtedly, Kerala’s most underrated mystical extravaganza, the Bharani will remain one of the most powerful experiences in my life.||27|
|Travels in Malabar||Northern Kerala, still out of bounds to even the most inquisitive tourist, has retained its unique flavour. And Malabari food merits a three-volume eulogy.||35|
|Pooram the Mother of all Festivals||The best place in the world to witness more than a hundred caparisoned elephants at once, Pooram is also southern India’s biggest processional festival.||51|
|Exploring Kochi||Adopted by the Portuguess, the Dutch and the British for varying lengths of time, Kochi is Kerala’s most architecturally diverse and cosmopolitan city.||55|
|High Tea in Munnar||A tribute to the British obsession with mono-cultivation, Munnar’s verdant tea plantations have generously contributed to its ‘Honeymoon Destination’ status.||63|
|Monsoon Spotting in Kovalam||The enigmatic southwest monsoons normally reach this rather picturesque corner of Kerala’s coast by early June. Umbrellas and raincoats and mandatory accessories in Kovalam.||69|
|Boating it is the Backwaters||Equally enchanting are Kerala’s intricate network of waterways, that have become synonymous with its tourism industry. A ketuvellam ride is yet another of those unforgettable Kerala experiences.||79|
|Onam and the Great Boat Races||Celebrated by people of all faiths, Onam is Kerala’s most euspicious festival, and the best time of the year to grab some snake-boating action.||89|
Publisher: Prakash Books
Pages: 96 (Illustrated Throughout In Color)
Weight: 390 gms
by Anshuman SenPaperback (Edition: 2009)
ISBN 817234290 - X
Size: 9.5 inch X 7.0 inch
Pages: 96 (Illustrated Throughout In Color)
Weight of the Book: 390 gms
Item Code: IHL700