I always love water bodies. You cannot image how long can I stay calm and just look at the water, doing nothing. The perseverance of the waving ripples never fails to spellbind me. On weekends, along with my close friend I used to sit on the banks of the temple tank in our village after the temple darshan and talk for hours is a childhood memory that I cherish.
If ever been to God’s Own Country – Kerala, one must visit the Venice of the East– Alleppey, and the backwaters there. I was lucky enough to spend time in a houseboat twice in my life. The first time was when our management decided to conduct our Onam celebration in a houseboat three years ago. We started from Alleppey, cruised through the Pamba and Vembanad lake. It was a double decker boat to accommodate all of us. The houseboat had all the amenities including kitchen and air conditioned rooms. The journey commenced with the introduction and the explanation about the houseboats, the history, and specialty of the place by the crew.
We cruised through Kuttanad which is known as the ‘Rice Bowl of Kerala’, the region which has the lowest altitude in India. The paddy fields on the banks of the river held a breathtaking beauty. When the gentle wind touched them, they swung their heads colored with different shades of green synchronously according to the music of the breeze! The another interesting fact about Kuttanad is that it’s the place where farming is being done below the sea level and Kuttanad shares this specialty with only a few other places in the whole world.
The lunch which was included in the package was cooked in the houseboat itself. It was delicious, which comprised of special Kerala dishes like tapioca, fish curry, rice and some other curries. The mouth watery Karimeen fry is a must try if you are non-vegetarian. But I was under a diet plan of veg only due to some reasons and hence I missed it at the time.
We went to some inner residential regions where people were staying on the banks of the water body. The crew explained the relevance of each of the places on our way. He showed us the location of some of the Malayalam movies. The people living there have water just beyond their courtyard similar to roads beyond ours. Some families own small boats as the people stay near the road own a car and other vehicles. I was startled to see little children running gallantly through the narrow levee here and there. They no more fear the water! The afternoon sun poured its golden rays on the water which in turn made the water golden as well the atmosphere warm. We wrapped up the program by the evening.
Recently I got an opportunity to spend some quality time in the middle of the water with the love of my life 😀 We got to spend a day and night in a houseboat cruising through the Vembanad lake, which is the largest lake in the state of Kerala. We started from Kumarakom this time close to noon. There were two staffs in a houseboat- the captain and the cook.
For lunch, I had the yummy Karimeen fry this time which I missed last time- Bliss!. Even though my husband is not a big fan of seafood unlike me, he enjoyed the Karimeen. They informed us that if we crave to have anything in addition to their menu, they were ready to cook it for us if we could buy it. In no time, we anchored the boat near a fish shop on the banks and purchased some tiger prawns for dinner.. 😀
The coconut trees stood tall to touch the clouds and some even the sky. The shadows of them drew beautiful patterns on the water when combined with the ripples. Several other boats were also advancing through the vast lake including some speed boats. There were some alluring mural paintings of lord Krishna’s story inside the living and dining rooms of the boat. On looking through the glass windows from the room inside the boat, we could see water too close to us.
It was really a wonderful trip. We thoroughly loved it, especially my husband since it was his first houseboat experience and we nailed it.