There is so much of beauty all around us. We just have to open our minds and hearts, to see it.
My parents belong to a beautiful place called Kerala. (To check out the official web site click go to http://keralatourism.org ) I am fortunate to have such wonderful memories of my childhood associated with this place. As kids, every summer, when we had our school vacation we would spend 2 months in this beautiful place with my grandparents (on my mom’s side) and Uncle (on my dad’s side). Both Dad and Mom come from two small villages in interior Kerala and both places are really beautiful. They are so pristine, so scenic, so green, so tranquil, but above all, untouched by time. When I go back to these places as an adult, it is almost as if time has stood still.
My dad’s place has this lovely river which is actually a congruence of three rivers. I learnt to swim in this river along with my cousins. The tide is very strong and one has to really know how to swim with the tide and against it. It is a lot of fun and swimming in a pool doesn’t even match up to one tenth of the joy that swimming in a river or the sea gives you. In this place, most kids learn to swim before they learn to walk! And for them, it’s a way of life. Last summer I went back to this river with my kids and my dad taught them how to swim too. It was so satisfying, because my kids got to experience the simple joys of life, which kids of the present generation seem to have lost touch with. One of the saddest moments of my life was when my brother and I had to immerse my dad’s ashes in this very river. We decided to choose this river because it is a place he loved and somehow, it seemed befitting to say the final good bye here. I was too distraught and too shattered to take any pictures at that time, else I would have loved to show you how beautiful the place is. There are tears in my eyes as I type this, but I know with time, the pain will lessen.
Almost the whole of Kerala is so beautiful. And I do not mean the usual tourist destinations. What I am talking about are the unheard of villages, in the deeper parts of the state. My parents settled down in a place called Eruveli, which is surrounded by rubber plantations and paddy fields.(the accompanying snap was clicked there when I last visited them. That is my mom and my daughter in the picture) They had moved there four years ago. I love that place and I must have visited them at least 8 times up to now. There are coconut trees, mango trees & jack fruit trees in every house. Most of the houses are small with exposed red stones & red tiles. But they all have large compounds. Nobody here speaks English. Life is very laid back--no traffic, no pollution, just bliss!! My parents’ place has the most delightful garden. Lots of different varieties of birds come to the garden—it is lovely to watch them. Early in the morning a flock of pigeons come & ask to be fed! There is a small bird bath in the garden, and humming-birds, robins, parrots, mynahs-they all come. The Garden itself is really beautiful--lots of pretty flowers, all lovingly tended by my mom. She is an avid gardener and is really blessed with a green thumb.
Like I said, there is beauty all around. I feel lucky that I am able to see it and appreciate it.