He marvelled at the sunlight, filtering through the dense foliage. He had seen such sights before, yet the glee in his soul was as true as anything can be. He would never bask in the glorious golden shimmer. He would never feel the warmth touch down upon his spine and make the chill shiver away. He was tied, bonded to his anchor and his cocoon, also his crucifix.

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lazing around

Lazing around : The act of conserving energy by reducing movement and effort. :D

The idea, originally, was that we would be in Kerala to welcome the monsoon. Due inspiration was provided by the amazing book, "Chasing the Monsoon", which I have not read yet. We didn't plan to chase the monsoon but to merely be present in Kerala during the monsoon. We weren't even too hung up on the welcoming bit.

The ideal place for us, as most of you would tend to agree, would have been Kovalam. But given the choice of a lake resort, that was surprisingly truly on the banks of a lake, we were hooked to the idea. We decided to head for the KTDC Thanneer Mukkom resort. Thanneer Mukkom is close to Azhapuzha and Kumarakom, part of the backwaters belt. It's a very small village, the resort being the only marker.

We took off in a bus from Neyveli to Ernakulam and reached Ernakulam around 9am. From Ernakulam, after sifting through many conflicting routes from well-meaning people, we took a "transport" bus to Vaikkom. Some appams later, the heat became unbearable and irritating. An auto-wallah took us to the resort, which was about 15kms from Vaikkom and left us 150 bucks poorer.

The resort's location is breath-taking. Like I said before, it's on the banks of a huge lake and it adds to the charm. Actually, the location is the best thing about the resort. The rooms themselves were not too great. For 1250 bucks I guess you can't ask for anything more, given that it is a touristy spot. By afternoon, we were settled into the room and looking forward to the rains and an ayurvedic massage. The massage at 750 bucks did not do wonders. What it did do was give me a good appetite. :)

Did I tell you about the hammock by the lakeside? Well, I grabbed it as soon as I could and went into energy-conservation mode with a book in hand and a gentle breeze flowing in from over the water. Bliss!! Only a low wall stood between me and the water. I peeped out every few minutes to watch the fishermen steering their boats through the hyacinths. The resort also had a jetty and I loitered around close to the water for a long time.

The first half of day two was spent running through Azhapuzha for the return tickets to Bangalore. The situation looked bleak. So we satisfied ourselves with waitlisted train tickets from Ernakulam and went back to laze-around mode. Didn't someone say, "Cross the river when you come upon it." By afternoon we reached Kumarakom using a ferry from a place called Muhamma less than 10kms from ThanneerMukkom. After a lunch that consisted of lobster, we rented a motor boat with strict instructions to stick to the interior canal(s) and leave out the lake, that we already ferried across. Sadly, there are only motorised boats. Even the house boats are motorised. The canal cruise was extremely good.

In case you didn't notice, the rains were nowhere to be seen. Except for a very brief drizzle on day two, there was no hint of the monsoon. We prayed and hoped that the rains would come. But as luck would have it never did come. Either we missed it or we overshot it by a day or two.

On Sunday evening, as the train left Ernakulam, our disappointment was quadrapuled when the sky suddenly grew overcast with huge dark clouds and it rained. I don't know if it was a monsoon shower, but it rained very well and left us feeling more dejected. The rain-gods had mocked us and there was nothing we could do but go back empty-handed. In hindsight, it was a well spent two days, a good break from the monotony.

And there's always another chance.


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