Have you been on the edge of your window seat in the flight or the cab from the airport, with your head popping out of the window and mouth wide open. Excited, enthusiastic and wondering at the sights of a completely new city you are visiting.
That's how I was as I watched Kochi. The clouds and rains is one reason but even small small things fascinated me as I started making my first impressions of this potpourri of a town. The bustling energy of the new commercial and the quiet aura of the old cultural. How many cities can we claim to be so!!
I remember ten years back I had visited Kerala for the first time at Kozhikode. I can't tell you how green it was and don't even get me started on the huge gold jewelery hoardings. Other than this there was nothing much. But Kochi, it turned out to be quiet something.
If you know geography you would know Monsoons are welcomed in Kerala before they go about quenching the thirst of rest of India. Green grass and the Palms, look where ever you want the greenery is bursting out of every nook and corner ready to disintegrate any thing left untouched. From moss on walls to creepers around electric wires to fungus on junked machinery to vines and shrubs and ferns, simply a green carpet of nature.
Next thing I noticed were the cute Yellow petite Trucks. They were actually a nice mustard shade that stood out from the green background. It definitely makes good traffic sense amidst the green camouflouge.
Not to miss the Mangalorean tiles or bricks lining the roofs of traditional homes keeping it warm in winters and cool in summers. The magic of terracotta.
Next, the big hoardings of jewelery continue to be the trademark of Kerala roads and Kochi sticks to the vision. Although the theme is still wedding but styling and designing has evolved over 10 years from heavy bulky gold to exotic temple style and stones too. Definitely a thumbs up! A Mallu friend told me once that in Kerala gold jewelery is the sign of the economic standing of the bride's family and of course the pricing of the groom. The other advertisement which caught my nose, yes nose, was that of spices. Kerala spices are world famous indeed! Pepper anyone! And not to forget the Malyali cinema Mollywood with the good looking Prithvi. This place looks nicer to me. The rain drops blur the picture but you get the idea.
Kathakali is the state dance form. It has to be there and the face of Kathakalu artist is so enigmatic that you can't help but not look away with difficulty. Look close and long enough and you will realise their are layers and layers of it. Not the make up but the character!
Next were the ever popular Toddy shops, the evening sojourn of the tired and the unhappy.
And where there is Toddy there are the Men in folded Lungis. The rains and heat are a good enough reason to wrap this horizontal wrap vertical too. A perfect attire for Lungi Dance!!! You guys have no clue how much I go through to get these pictures. I could have been accused of Adam teasing for taking such exposing photos of male legs. How could they understand the healthy observation urges of a blogger!!
So here is dear Kochi the land of spices and tea, of grass and moss, of rains and backwaters, of posters and hoardings, of Yellow trucks and brick tiles, of Toddy and Lungis!! Kochi the evergreen gateway to Malabar!!