Kumarakom. In Kerala, God’s Own Country. I first heard about Kumarakom when I was still a student, the then Prime Minister (Atal Behari Vaypayee) had gone there to spend his year-end vacation and had written a series of articles called “Musings from Kumarakom”. Those were the days of limited media, when the ‘Breaking News’ culture had still not come. Digital media was, of course, not there at all. People normally devoured every news/article that came in the handful of news channels, newspapers and magazines. Ah, those were the days — simple and quite, no ‘breaking news’ cacophony!!!
Circa 2007. I was married. In Mumbai now. Jayant planned a trip to Kerala. It was our 3rd marriage anniversary. And booked a 2 day-2 night stay in Kumarakom in a resort, called Coco Bay. A 2-hour drive from Cochin airport got us to the resort’s ‘car park’ – there were only cars and no resort in sight. Our driver took us to a narrow canal. Ah, the famous Kerala backwaters. A boat is coming, he said. It did, with bouquets of gladioli. Bags loaded, we made our way through the canal. No resort in sight. Jayant and I looked at each other, both of us were wondering, Where have we landed ourselves?
Our doubts were ill-founded. For where the canal met the bigger canal, we saw spotted hotel staff waiting for us, garlands in hand. They sure can make you feel that you are on an exotic holiday. The resort had separate bungalow-like rooms done up in typical Kerala-style architecture rich with ornate wood-work on the ceilings, verandas. Copies of Raja Ravi Verma adorned the walls. The rooms, reception, spa and dining room were spread in three sides of the premises, while the fourth side opened into the sea. The pool had been laid out right in the centre, the grounds dotted with coconut trees and flower shrubs.
It was June end. It was almost a month since monsoons had arrived here. During our 2-day stay at the resort, it rained off and on. The staff handed us fishing rods and we spent a couple of hours every day to catch fishes. Jayant, of course was thrilled. The Bong in him jumped at the prospect of ‘catching a fish and eating it too’ …haha…
An idyllic place, Kumarakom is for the stressed soul. Perfect for those from cities, bogged by everyday schedules. Here in Kumarakom, there is no schedule. Read a book underneath a tree or in the hammock. Or pamper yourself at their ayurvedic spa. Or immerse yourself in the pool. Or while way your time trying to catch a fish. Options are many. Each one of them, therapeutic.