I don't think I'll ever forget my trip to Kerala. Not because of the reason every other traveller has because let's be honest, Kerala is beautiful beyond all descriptions, but because of how hard it was to reach there.
A traveller from Jammu and Kashmir, the true North travelling to South for the first time (all because of ghoomophiro.com). It wasn't just going to be the weather that would be a shock (though it got pretty bad), but the culture and most importantly, the journey through Mangla express.
'Jo b ho jaaye, Mangla mei ni aane ka'.
That was the phrase we all were repeating by the time we got off the train. It was half because of the three-day journey (that was supposed to be just two days but the train was late by 8 HOURS) and we all were so disappointed to have lost a WHOLE DAY that we were supposed to spend in Cochin, sightseeing, stuck in a train cabin.
But at least it was all of us girls together, and with some music and dance, and fun moments, even the weight of that lost day didn't pile up.
The other half of the reason for the phrase though reminded me of why I love travelling in trains. You get to see so many things, have new experiences with people that leave an impression on your mind, without even directly indulging in the situation.
So while I was trying to wear off my exhaustion of the day from dancing too hard and laughing like crazy, I got disturbed by a noise of fighting.
A South Indian vendor fighting with another vendor who dared to sell stuff on her turf.
And the way she kept yelling 'Mangla mei ni aane ka' got stuck with us for the rest of the journey.
So yes, me and 20 other girls, all travelling to a new city, thinking how wonderful it would be to see Kerala at its finest were left with nothing but a wasted day and a fun memory just as we had begun that trip.
But that didn't faze us because my first impression of Kerala was seen through that train only.
I was in awe from the moment I saw that scene and just Had to capture it. Not afraid to say that the shot turned out to be amazing and is till date stuck on the lock screen of my mobile. The waters that looked so serene and the tree bending on it, making its shadow spread out. The boats and the people rowing in it. For a person (well persons, because it was all of us) surrounded by mountains all her life, just the view of spread out backwaters was incredible and unforgettable. I just wanted to sit on the shore and dip my feet in or maybe dive right into the water even though I didn't know how to swim.