Kerala: Transported To A Different India
Friday, July 23, 2010
Vehicles — whether plane, train or bus — move your body to a new place. You hop on board, you take your seat, you watch the world move from your window. You arrive, either excited or exhausted (or both), and you sense a change. You have been transported.
That was the sensation Helen Anderson experienced when visiting Kerala, as she recently recounted in The Sydney Morning Herald. As she describes her new-found familiarity within a country she has extensively traveled through, “From the moment I arrive one steamy midnight, Kerala feels like India — but not as I know it.”
To her, Kerala is different from the cities she has frequently visited, such as Mumbai or Delhi. Kerala is antiqued with cultural details, part of the city’s charm being its “vintage” idiosyncrasies. Inside the immaculately modern Kochi airport, a sign wears hints of old-fashioned statements, ensuring that complaints will be addressed to “the highest levels.” There is a Kerala-based theater dating back to the 17th century that, to this day, is still in style. The fishermen in Kochi harbor still clutch on the pulleys of nets that date back to the Mongol invasion. It is a different world from many other cities found in the country, but still with the essence of India.
As for transportation within the city? Classically India. “It’s a perfect size for walking, or cycling, although almost any foot traffic will be shadowed by the cheerful drivers of tuk-tuks, the ubiquitous three-wheeled auto rickshaws.”
I think the point is, however you get to India — and around it — the country will manage to move you.
By Brit Weaver
About the Author
Toronto born and based, Brit is an avid leisure cyclist, coffee drinker and under-a-tree park-ist. She often finds herself meandering foreign cities looking for street eats to nibble, trees to climb, a patch of grass to sit on, or a small bookstore to sift through. You can find her musing life on her personal blog, TheBubblesAreDead.wordpress.com.