Kochi, Munnar, Thekkady, Alappuzha- 2016
Back in 2016, I planned a special and an unprecedented trip when I was in my early twenties. Special, because my companions were going to be women from my proceeding generations; my mother and my maternal grandmother
With massive apprehensions and inhibitions about safety, we flew to Kochi in late October 2016.
Why Kochi? When we had all of India unexplored why not begin with God’s Own Country? A state that depicts itself as Human by Nature? Doesn’t this put some ease into one’s mind?
Well, not yet, not to my perturbed mind. Not to a bunch of ladies who are venturing out for the first time in an unknown land. Not until we met Aneesh.
“Hello madam, where are you? I am right outside the airport in a white shirt. I cannot spot 3 ladies.” Aneesh our driver-cum-guide spoke to us over a call while we lugged our suitcases at the airport exit gate and were searching for him.
A man in his early 30s with black hair and trousers held his white shirt’s pocket with one hand fearing the mobile falling off from the pocket started sprinting towards us.
After tucking the bags in the carrier and settling in the car, he revved the engine to start his car.
Having planned the trip, I knew I had to ensure my ladies feeling safe enabling them to enjoy. So I broke the silence lurking in the car by asking him “How safe is Kerala for women?”
His warm smile assured me even before he answered. I knew just then that we are in safe hands when he started telling us stories about his state with pride.
Our trip from Kochi to Alappuzha via Munnar and Thekkady was as smooth as breeze. Our perturbed minds were put to rest on the first hour of day one itself.
An unfortunate incident befell on us on day four while we were in Alappuzha. Aneesh’s father was hospitalized. He feared for our safety and worried about our comfort from Alappuzha to Kochi along with the worry about his father’s health! Such is the hospitality of Keral-ites!
He arranged for another driver at his cost for us and we rode with him from Alappuzha to Kochi. We bid Kerala goodbye with a promise to come back.
This experience not only gave me courage for my further trips but also, once again restored my faith in humanity in many ways.
Such are the Humans of Kerala! Isn’t this what makes a place Human by Nature?