If you haven’t read our previous post, I would like to inform you that we are in Kerala at the moment. We are going to be here for 2 weeks, visiting family and wandering in this beautiful state. To be honest, my only goal is to be at home here and indulge in the sound of rain. And for the first time, it goes according to plan because it’s been raining every day and night since we arrived.
We don’t plan to do a lot this time because we want to just relax at home. What I love about Kerala is it makes you feel absolutely lazy. Although I plan to work on my novels while I’m here, I decide to skip the stressful part and just enjoy every minute of living here.
In the morning, the drops of rain from last night grab on the edge of the leaves. When sunlight shines through them, it looks as if every tree is wearing the glittering ornament. The call to pray reminds people to begin the day with grace as the smell of freshly brewed tea swirls from the kitchen. While warm sweet tea is passing your lips, on the side, rice flour batter sizzles on an old cast iron pan. Soft white appams have grated coconut laced in them, stacking into a big tower. Coconut oil that is used on iron surface gives the hint of nutty sweetness in the delicate pancakes. On the other stove, fish curry is bubbling in a mud pot. The scent of Kodumpoli (dried sour fruit) in the curry makes you salivate. I love when life starts with a bang like that. Fresh, spicy and tangy flavors muddled in the thick curry with slices of fish swim in it. Breakfast is only a teaser of what wonderful to come throughout the day.
After breakfast, it starts to rain again. All we can do is sit and watch it come down. It’s funny how I can sit here and admires the cloudy sky pour down all day. It’s the most alluring thing for me. I have severe short pan of attention, yet the scene of rain will capture my mind all day long. It makes me feel absolutely peaceful.
There are friends and relatives coming to the house all day long. We served them tea with some local bake goods, banana chips and the Middle Eastern assorted chocolates which are very popular in Kerala. Another batch of tea and snack are served after the other. It’s like this all day long, and I cautiously look at the amount of sugar receding in the jar until it’s empty at the end of the day.
As frequent as we have guests coming over, we are invited to other houses. We have been drinking tea, eating comfort food, and sleeping all day. I told Sadik there’s no way this is healthy, and he laughed and said it’s just how things are here. There is a saying that in Kerala people eat 5 meals a day, I think it’s an understatement. God’s Own Country has food and lifestyle conscious culture. Kerala always evolves with the influences of new trends that blend so well with the local heritage. To me it seems like people always have parties here. As the days go by, I wonder do people even work here. To me, it looks like everyone is just enjoying life. But whatever they are doing, they are doing it right, because I can see pure joy and happiness on every face I have seen every day.
Lunch and dinner are a glorious affair. A typical Kerala meal in Malabar region consists of rice, curry, fried fish, vegetable, and there are always some deep fried pappadom and pickle on the side. Now and then, other meat dish is served instead of fish. On special occasions, Biryani is made, and it’s one of the best foods ever. If you are lucky to attend a wedding when you visit Kerala, you will taste the most flavor-synchronized biryani.
At night, when the mountains disappear into darkness, you can see the dots of light spreading in the silhouette below the eye level while the sky is black and rains. It looks almost like the world has turned upside down with the stars on the ground and the ocean purling on top, as above so below. The melody of raindrops and water gushing on the street cradles our dreams through the night. People often say don’t visit Kerala in monsoon because you can’t do anything much, but to me, it’s my favorite season. Well, yes, you can’t do and see a lot in rainy season, but it’s the coziest and prettiest season.
Well, that’s how the usual day in Kerala is like. It’s relaxing and pampering, and we are so grateful to have a home here.