It was a much needed weekend after more than two months of highly inactive existance. Toms got married on saturday in Kottayam in Kerala. Toms was my colleague in TCS and Ive been out of touch with most of my TCS colleagues for the last 8 months almost. It was an interesting reunion.
Sarfraz, Manoj and I met in the Bangalore railway station on friday evening. Tom's roomies Adarsh and Smitesh also joined us. We met them for the first time. The train left Bangalore station at 5 15 PM and it was a pretty interesting journey. Manoj and I dint get a reservation initially but managed to get our waiting list reservation converted to a sleeper berth. The journey was pretty good. We all had a lot to catch up about. Especially with Manoj. Both of us left TCS and we realised that its the same story anywhere in the IT industry.
We reached Ernaukulam in the morning around 6 and took a bus and walked till we reached Ettumanoor. Got ready and went to Tom's place. We had a traditional mallu breakfast of Appams with curries. Tom's home and surrounding areas were really spacious. I really long to live in such open spaces at some stage in my life. The speed(lack of it) with which the life moves out there is really good. I might plan another holiday there.
The wedding began at 10 30 AM in the church. It was the first christian wedding I attended and it was very different from what I expected. I had imagined the kind of weddings shown on TV. The wedding was very simple but the hospitality was unmatched. The wedding ceremony lasted for almost two hours. After which we had a very good luncha nd headed back to our room. Smitesh and Adarsh left us there. They had some other work to catch up with. Sarfraz, Manoj and I slept till late in the evening. In the night we went out and had our dinner in a restaurant called Shalimar. The food looked good but the coconut oil smell made it taste pretty ordinary. It was a good experience walking through a mallu village without knowing their language.
Toms arranged for a vehicle for us the next morning to check out Kumarakom. We were accompanied by our driver Kochi and a guide Shiju. We were very lucky to have Shiju with us as he could speak Hindi.We left at around 9 in the morning and had our breakfast on the way. It was a simple south Indian breakfast with a unique Kerala flavour. I stuck to my favourite appam's. We reached Kumarakom around 11 and had a 2 hour long boat ride. The weather and the backwater sight was really breathtaking. We dint have much time but the ride was amazing. I could see many house boats and other cruise options. I long to come and see them again whenever I get another chance. We stopped in the middle where we tried some local fried fish. It tasted very fresh and thats another reason I have to go back to Kerala again. However, one thing caught my eye is the weed growth in the back waters. It has the potential to destroy the natural beauty we have but we see absolutely no action by the local government to address the issue.
After the boat ride we left back towards Kottayam. We had a traditional fish and rice lunch Kerala style. Manoj and I took the 4 PM bus back to Bangalore and Sarfraz left towards Chennai that night for his US visa interview. The return journey was a very painful one. It lasted about 14 hours and even the AC bus drive was very bumpy. Overall it was an interesting journey and hope more of them with my friends in the near future.