Kathakali in Munnar

Munnar, a beautiful hill station in Kerela was the second destination of our South India Trip. This place is mostly visited for its lush green Tea Estates, Dams, rivers and of course the most famous Ayurvedic massages (by now if you are thinking that this is going to be a 500 words’ essay on Munnar….. then no it’s not)

After visiting all the tourist spots, clicking photographs, spending (read wasting) some time and money in the Tata tea museum, our (my husband and me) quest to find something that’s hidden and not so famous took us to MUDRA, a small platform for the local Kathakali artists (for those who don’t know, Kathakali is one of the most famous and ancient dance forms of Southern India). So, we reached this small (actually very small) theatre. It was a small room with a very small stage and plastic chairs to accomodate hardly 50 people. Tickets for the show were priced around Rs. 200 per head. So, after a short discussion over, whether the small place and plastic chairs were worth the money and BLAH… BLAH…. BLAH…. (won’t go into details) Vishesh (my husband) and I decided to go for it while the rest of the group left.

After half an hour of makeup session (which we could actually see), the performance started and a story unfolded. The hand and body movements were so in sync. The experience was worth every penny and even more than that. I was amazed to see how such a small stage and merely 25-30 people in the audience could fill an artist with so much enthusiasm.

No place or stage is bigger than the artist himself. All he/she needs is a few claps and smiling faces.

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In God’s Own Country – Kerala

 

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Came back from a vacation in Kerela a couple of days back. It felt like I was floating in a dream and was shaken back to the harsh reality…. Mumbai. The mere feeling of being away from the chaos of the city as soon as you step in the God’s own land rejuvenates you. So much green, so much peace and so much nature filled me with a new life. The beauty of kerela reflects in people as well. It seems as if they inherit their calmness, sweetness and honesty from their land.

I remember one incident when we booked a houseboat on the day we reached Alleppey. We were offered a price of 12,000 Rs. The next morning when we were loading our luggage and ourselves on the boat, the manager of the Houseboat company asked us for 13,000 Rs. After a brief and a little hot discussion the manager realised that he mistook us with some other client. I guess for him it was the most embarassing moment. He had apology written all over his face and tears in his eyes. He said sorry to almost everyone in the group and send Nariyal pani (coconut water) for each of us. It might not have cost him much but the sheer gesture left a mark on us. By that simple act of his he gave us a piece of his land.

Small incidents make your travel experience worth remembering…. and this is one of them.

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