It was a pristine morning, white clouds looming high, clear blue skies, chirping birds perched on trees..I woke up with a sense of delight, a feeling that I get like dejavu when I kinda know that a day was going to turn out great! I woke my sleepy eyed daughter who flopped on me with her sloppy kisses. It was almost a blissful morning.
We started from home around 10 a.m and reached Alleppey around 11 a.m. It took us sometime to find the owner of the house boat we had rented for the day.Finally we reached a boat – jetty kind of landing where a long line of house boats were docked. A guy named Rahul ran to our aide and he took the bag the husband was carrying, he turned out to be the commis, the cook and caretaker all in one of the boat. It was getting really hot and I was already regretting having pulled on a black top.
We had booked a one bedroom houseboat and it looked good enough, with a deck on the top floor if we wanted to enjoy the ride from the top. I felt like one of the character’s in Enid Blyton’s famous five series when they explore the new caravans that had just arrived. There was a small sitting area in the front of the boat, there were 2 chairs facing to the front , there were sofas on either side and a round dining table with 4 chairs at the back of the sofa. The bedroom was small and cosy and tastefully done with tiny windows and a small bath. There was a kitchen behind it where Rahul was busy cooking our lunch.
Soon the cruise started and we floated through a large stretch of still water, passing many other house boats on the go. There were houses on either sides and people were going on with their daily lives. Some were washing clothes, some were idling about, some even washing their hair in the lake. All the activities going on about didn’t seem to bother them at all.
The sky was clear and as we reached the Vembanad Kayal, there was a fine breeze and it felt really great. The backwaters and the sky seemed to have no meeting point in the far distance. It just stretched on for miles ahead. There were many other houseboats about and we sat in solace with the view and passed though a duck farm where around 4000 ducks quacked away in glory.
Now cherry has never been in a houseboat, or even in a boat for the matter and she was super excited and I was even more excited to be holding onto her so that she didn’t try any of her usual stunts and fall right into the water!
We stopped on the way at a floating shop(really, they even have floating supermarkets in Alleppey, so cool!) and bought ice creams and from another boat shop the husband bought some tiger prawns or shrimp ( I an not sure which it really was, I shrieked when the guy showed me the tray from a distance) which he said were fresh. Rahul turned out to be a super cook and he dished it out within minutes and even the lunch he provided was really yummy.
We had docked near the chavara centre for lunch and me an cherry took turns trying the drivers seat. 😀
Post lunch and a short siesta we started again on our cruise and the driver who spoke very less decided to brighten things up with playing some Malayalam movie songs. We passed many important places like the church in the movie Vinnai thandi Varuvaya, the island house which belonged to actress Trisha, The adjacent houses which was filmed for a Dileep’s movie recently and so on according to the driver!!
The brightness of the day had gone away as thick clouds descended all above and there was thunder in a distance. One thing I noticed being on a house boat was that though you don’t actually see the rain coming, you can actually feel it coming. The colors change everywhere, the plantations become greener, the sky is a lewd grey, the water turns a sharper grey and the wind that touches you has a different smell, of wet mud and dampness and it makes the hair at the nape of your neck to rise!
Canopies were seen going in a faster trance to the shore and it started drizzling all of a sudden, a roll of thunder there and rain pelted down more drastically. And then it was like a dance, fat drops falling all around, spraying onto us, and it never felt so good.
We had piping hot cinnamon tea and banana fritters watching the rain make its mark and as the boat made its way to the shore to dock and call it a day, it felt good. Though there was no picturesque sunsets or colorful rainbows, there wouldn’t have been a better last image of the day in my mind.
Happy 7th wedding Anniversary to us! 🙂