Someone told me go to Kumarakom, Kerala while I was travelling on train. When I was on board another asked, “Is there something special?”
I quipped. Oh yes.. My fellow passengers then asked a series of questions, “So, where will you stay? Do you have friends there? Why alone? Are you married? Do you have a girlfriend?”
But I said I don’t know – most probably I will stay in a hotel.
I got down from the train and began to look here and there. Very soon I found myself surrounded by a few touts and I decided to walk from there.
Kumarakom has all sorts of resorts, expensive, as well as, budget hotels. But I failed to find a single budget hotel for me.
While I was drinking coconut water (my favourite natural drink), a gentleman asked me: Hello Sir, looking for something special?
Umm, I am looking for a cheap hotel, I answered.
Come here, he said, and I followed him.
It is hard to find a cheap hotel here, he told me. I nodded.
After a brief discussion, he proposed if you don’t have any problem you can stay at my home for one day – and I thought to myself – what a fantastic offer!
Too soon, I was in a room at his place.
The room was neat and clean, though not great, but what could I have done in a great room anyway? I had come there to travel, not to sleep.
We chatted for sometime, after which he served me some food. I can’t exactly describe the food, but I remember it was delicious. Purrosatam’s English was not good, so he asked his son to help me during our conversation.
His son was cute and dynamic. He was reading in a local school. He became my friend very quickly and his father told him: show him our town.
The town was very picturesque, perfect for a traveller like me. That little boy told me a number of family stories. Our conversation ended in the evening and then we headed home, where his father was waiting for us.
How is the town? his father asked. “Very beautiful” was my instant reply. After some minutes, his father asked, “Do you drink?”
“Sometimes,” I told him with a great smile.
He left and came back with two bottles of ‘Kallu’ (traditional palm toddy). And we began to savour Kallu with smoking fried fish. We talked a lot, which I do not remember, but it was interesting as I came to know many things about him and his family and above all Kerala.
Evening passed and night came.
His wife had prepared some authentic Kerala dishes (Puttu with kadala curry, Kappa with fish curry, ilayada) for us. It was too much for me but I enjoyed a lot. After that, I went to my room and had a sound sleep.
Night passed, morning came.
It was time to say good bye to them but before I prepared to leave they prepared breakfast for me. What a sweet family!
We exchanged our numbers and are still in contact!
But the real question is this place worth a visit?
My answer is yes. And do not forget to visit its beautiful bird sanctuary.