“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Good Morning, Alleppey!

Like a  Hermit Crab unwilling to get out of its shell, I had so far not moved out of my premises much in Alleppey, though I have been here for a month ( discounting 10 days leave due to Bronchitis and Onam holidays and hartals – which leaves about couple of weeks). The routine is – I catch the 0600 train from Trivandrum to Calicut,  get down at Alleppy at 0830, go to my room at YMCA, breakfast and get into the office at 0900 – 0915, work till 1900-1930, walk around for an hour in the dark and slushy roads of the town and back in the room listen to music and yearn for the day when I can go back home.  From next week, it is going to be full working weeks; no mid-week holidays. I have to settle down. 

Yesterday morning the Hermit Crab crawled out  and went for a walk at 0600 hrs.  After weeks of incessant downpour, the skies have cleared finally. 

The road in front of the YMCA. Alleppey/Alappuzha is coastal, flat country. It is a small town.  In the west you have the Arabian Sea ( Beautiful beach), in the east you have the Punnamada Kayal (Backwaters) , the two connected by several canals. Alleppey is the narrow strip/s of segmented earth in between the sea and the backwaters. 

How is this for a morning view? Of course, you will learn to ignore the stinking garbage on the other side of the road! :-P

Bicycles in front of a Tuition Centre

Flat, straight roads are ideal for cycling.  Alleppey  could be the town in Kerala with highest number of bicycles ! I am planning take mine to Alleppey. It is the best way to explore small towns. 

At early mornings, a thin veil of mist rises from the water. In the open backwaters, in the vast wetlands and hills of Central Kerala, no sight is more beautiful than the winter mornings with mist. Wetlands are fast disappearing, lakes polluted, the morning mists thin out like ghosts...

I don't know for how long I am going to be in Alleppey. It could be a minimum of 1  year to maximum of 3 years. In my vague plans for future, I do not foresee service in the bank for  more than another 2 years. I might take VRS. I am getting old. There are many things to do and places to go before I get weak in my knees. 

In spite of my future plans which are as hazy as a back-lit photograph, I will come to terms with my present; the weekly visits home, the frantic, warm welcome from Sancho and Sally, the hectic work - and this little town. I might come to like this place with its  decadence, its crumbling old godowns,  shops whose interior hasn't changed since the 50s, where bicycles still outnumber motor vehicles, where you find men more in Mundu than trousers - where I will find many new strange things. I will come to terms with my life.  I shall, like I said in an earlier post, glean happiness out of solitude. 

******** Balachandran V, Trivandrum, 24.09.2011


  1. One month in Alleppy and I began to wonder why a similar post was not forthcoming.
    Ample opportunities in that town for an avid observer and photographer.
    What I cannot understand is the Keralites hubris in calling Alleppy the Venice of the East. Ignorance and blasphemous , how else can it be termed?

    As you rightly mentioned nothing has changed for the better there since the days of the formation of the State.

  2. nice to see you out and about!

    Warm Aloha from Waikiki;

    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >


  3. Honestly, when I saw the pictures first, I was already the sensing the smell of the place. Its a shame that such beautiful places go unmaintained. In a way , its nice to know that there are a few places still where development hasn't spread its evil wings.

  4. Finally we see a post on Alleppy from you.I feel that this small place is beautiful and so much like one of our Assam towns ,only better maintained.Nice to see your shadow in last picture.

  5. This post has come later than I thought it would :)

    Alappuzha - its on my for sometime now. Been in all other places in Kerala except for this one and Kochi.

    Its geographically unique - sea on one side and backwaters on the other. But looking at your pictures; it seems its not well maintained. Sad for it.

  6. Mr B - Alleppey YMCA !! you will soon have a visitor in one of those, moonless starry nights..when the chrsitmas season gets near..take you to the paddy fields, fire flies all around and the milky way defined on the canvas, up :)

  7. My desire to visit Kerala has been renewed reading your beautiful post on Alleppey, thank you so much. Although I have never visited, have heard so much about beautiful Kerala as my sis-in-law is from Kerala.

  8. Aha Allepuzha .... my home town...... the good and bad of the place.
    I remember the times when there used to be the weekly market at the steps of the kallu palam and the price used to be fixed with a hand shake (covered with a towel)

  9. Each place you show is familiar to me...
    I felt a rush of nostalgia...


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