An exotic flower that bloomed every 12 years didn't surprise me... Read the full story
Mundakkayam is the doorway to the south rises of Kerala and this border town in Kottayam is where I come across the famed rubber plantations. Row upon row of rubber trees, seemingly placed in the most naturally symmetrical formation, peek out at us with glee. The road is narrower, the people scarce, but the very air is slowly beginning to clean up. Hues of hibiscuses, in purple and red, pave our way. There are so many more garden-variety flowers and medicinal herbs here, with my inability to identify becoming more and more evident with each passing second. I look at the others for help but their eyes are transfixed on the plants as well. Is this the closest we get to the Garden of Eden in our times? We haven’t even reached the summit yet. This shouldn’t be happening this easily; my skepticism can’t possibly be this fickle.
M loses his way, which leads me to have a proper mental breakdown. Things seemed to have been going positively and the inevitable downer had finally appeared. But mysteriously, M finds locals who gladly come to our rescue, telling us of certain shortcuts with better vantage points of waterfalls that haven’t dried up yet. The rains are coming, they promise, and those are the best ways to experience the place. Tiny rivulets can still be spotted, with faded signs of bygone eras still visible.
People offer us homemade snacks at the local tea shops that are strategically splattered across the area, with special emphasis on the fact that no artificial ingredients were added to the mix. This is the food we feed our children, the food we offer to the Gods, you can be absolutely sure of its quality. All of this information is offered unasked, but we’re grateful. There is something beautiful in the concern bestowed by a complete stranger, with no requirement except our happiness. It feels weird to be welcomed on a journey in an unknown land, among faces we will probably never see again.
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