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A Village in God's Own Country

By Karan Philip, 10B

All villages have an old-world charm about them. This is particularly true for villages in Kerala, widely heralded as 'God's Own Country.' Two weeks ago, I visited my grandparents' house in a village in South Kerala, which overlooks the Pamba river.

The village scene early in the morning is mesmerising. The monsoons had arrived a month ago, and the magnificent Pamba river was in full flow. The snaky green water of the river made prodigious turns, meandering on the soft black-brown alluvial soil and finally disappearing into the lush green forest at the outskirts of the village. The temperature in Kerala is cold enough to allow dew to form on the grass, and it is a treat to wake up and step out barefoot on the cool grass. The scent of wild marigold flowers turns the air heavy with wonderful aromas and scents. Mynah birds can be heard twittering, creating harmonious melodies like one of Beethoven's sonatas. All houses in Kerala have a porch and a garden, and residents compete for their aesthetically pleasing flowers. This results in there being plants of all colours – orange, purple, yellow, and red, blooming everywhere.

One or two middle-aged men in spotless white 'mundus' (lower garments) can be seen walking on the patched-up village road, some hurrying away to buy milk from the grocery stall at the end of the road, and some reading newspapers and strolling leisurely. Sometimes coconuts can be heard making muffled noises as they fall on the grass, and I look up to see lithe men with sickles in their hands, hacking away at coconuts atop a tree. Some of them work as toddy tappers. Morning is the best time to tap and drink toddy as it has a slightly sour, sweet, and refreshing taste – the alcohol forms as it ferments later in the day. Some toddy tappers throw coconuts at me, and I catch them, take them home, and drink their water. The postman arrives at the same time each day and makes his characteristic call. My grandparents by this time are sitting in cane chairs, reading the day's news. The early morning becomes late morning and finally afternoon.

Early mornings in Kerala are truly unique, and one can understand why it is a popular tourist destination. The sloping roofs of houses give it a timeless elegance and endear Kerala to the hearts of all visitors.

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