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In Search Of A Village

(Photographs By Minu Ittyipe)

For quite a while, an unknown malady has raged through my bones and clogged my throat. Any doctor worth his stet would have dismissed it as the evils of excessive work, but that was not the case with me coz for a long time now I have not wholly committed myself to the masochistic pleasures of wearing myself thin. And yet the fever raged on. After much medication I arrived at a diagnosis: it was the habitat, the caged atmosphere that drove me to the stage of rancid comatose. I had to get out of the urban confines and find a bit of breath air. Fresh air. Fast.

So I set out in search of a village, where I can spot a cow instead of the snorting vehicles or I could get to hear a hen announcing that she has laid a nice warm egg. When was the last time you heard a delighted clucking of the hen? Perhaps, you’ve never heard that one before. It’s the kind of music you will not hear in the city. And that is an urban fact. In the urbanscape, I find that I forget to listen to the whisper of the wind or call of the bird. And now I must go in search, like a sleuth, hunt down, track down, those earthy pleasures and my very own nature that I have lost.

Ponds and streams in the Kallanchery Retreat

But I am most often a sloppy sleuth, so I decided on the closest village, the Kumblangi Village that was hardly 20 minutes from Cochin. And I arrived at the village, where the green spell was still in place and the housing sector had not yet gone high rise. Where the fantasies of the village life was not a dream but a living reality.

Lucky Ducky and Gang, Kumbalangi Village

The ducks in the ponds, the hens worrying the worms, the cows mooing to glory and not a sound of the vehicular traffic to sully the air. The Kallanchery Retreat at Kumblangi village was just the place I needed to slip into a hammock and get my breath back.

Everything on the menu

We ordered lunch, everything seafood on the menu (how I love anything from the sea). Eat your vegetables is a nagging reminder, okay so a few plates of that too. The fare is simple and home cooked.

A Fishing I must go.....

Siddharth, a guest caught a fish and shows off. “Last time I caught three.” He said. He is one small veteran in this area.

Then I lay in a hammock in the retreat’s coconut grove and surveyed the stillness of the backwaters that seemed to extend in silvery tones to the right and to the left of the grove. What else was there to do in such a dreamy state except to enjoy the rice, curry and seafood and read awhile.

With no interest in conversation, I just lay back and took it all in: a slice of paradise.

Contact: P. R. Lawrence

Kalancherry Retreat, Kumblangi village

Phone: 0484- 2240564



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