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Published: February 2nd 2020
I have been without wifi for 3 days so it will take some time for me to get caught up.
I wanted to talk about colours in India. Colours are an integral part of India and very evident in any special event or holiday. Everyone dresses in their most outstanding colours, mostly the warm hues of red, orange, yellow, blue, green and gold. It has both a political and religious significance. Saffron which signifies sanctity is the most significant colour. Red represents sensuality and purity, blue is identified with Lord Krishna; immortality and bravery. Black is a very unpopular colour for undesirability, evil while white is for peace and purity. White is the only colour a widow is allowed to wear. Brides wear red. There is so much more significance to all these colours than what I have briefly mentioned But it gives you an idea of why India is so colourful. Marigolds are very important in Indian culture and are used in all ceremonies including welcome leis for tourists, weddings, funerals, etc. Marigold is the flower of Lord Krishna.
Looking out the patio early this morning it looks foggy but upon opening the door I changed my mind
- it’s steamy! No idea of the temperature but it’s in the 30’s.
Leaving the Brunton Boatyard Hotel at a leisurely pace. Board the bus at 9:30 for a 1 1/2 hour drive to the canal docks. The whole area of Kerala is below sea level with roads and canals built up with dykes. So it is a natural area to grow rice and there are thousands of acres of rice paddies. Leaving the city we are on a winding road through the jungle interspersed with homes, small villages and Catholic churches strategically placed to ensure worship services for everyone. Then more rice paddies, banana trees, palms of all kinds and vines. Soon we arrive at the house boats. These are converted rice barges, over 100 feet long, built of jackfruit lumber, bamboo poles and coconut fibre and have been beautifully constructed inside with teak floors, furniture and luxury accessories. The boats have two bedrooms so we have two boats for our party of 8. By the way, the luxury accessories are the boat captain Jobi, chef Suwiji and attendant Bibin. We are waited on hand and foot. Besides the bedrooms, the front of the boat is covered but
open air with dining table, two lounge chairs, benches along the side adorned with pillows and padded lounge area behind the captain. I can lay back on these and pretend to be Cleopatra floating down the Nile.
As soon as we depart from the dock, lunch is served: rice, cooked cabbage and coconut, yogurt with shaved beets, mixed curry vegetables, fried fish that looks like a small bass and is called Pearl Spot. Dessert is vermicelli cooked in sugar, cardamom and milk. Already I can see that food is going to be a problem & by that I mean the quantities.
Later that afternoon, we all get into a large canoe for an excursion deeper in the the side canals lined with homes. We see small children swimming, women slapping laundry on the stones, people fishing off the edge. Construction materials are brought in by small boats, some of which are so heavy one person bails out the water.
At 5:30 the houseboat glides over to the edge of the canal and stops for the night. It gets dark quickly here. Lights are turned on and I expect mosquitoes but surprising there are very few. It’s Idyllic
- palms and heavy vegetation along the edge, gently rocking - quiet and a gorgeous sunset. Hope I sleep well tonight.
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