Tuesday, August 11, 2015


As most of you know by now, the parents live in Kerala, Which means an annual trip of some sort is always on the cards for the Southern parts of India. This year, unlike the previous years where everything, including temple visits, far-flung relatives and long-lost friends were crammed it, I refused to budge from the city and the only travelling we did was go as far as the waterpark in the outskirts of Kochi. All very restful and peaceful. For me. Can't say it was the same for the parents who shed a couple of kilos, added a few grey hairs and bit nails down to the cuticles thanks to the shenanigans of the Arunkumar clan (sans the mister who was busy slaving away at his desk while we made merry).
So, like I said, I finally had time to stop and smell the roses. Amongst other flowers. Kochi is so green and vibrant at this time of the year, it brought back memories of childhood where I used to accompany my grandmother on her morning walks during the holidays. She used to stop intermittently during our walks to pluck a few flowers for her Pujai.
Bougainvillea dotting the fences
The Hibiscus- we used to call it the Shoe Flower as kids
I'm sure it has a proper name, but Honeymoon Flower (as its called locally) sounds so much more fun, no?
Bird of Paradise flowers in the back yard
The Arali or the Oleander
The Tetti Poovu  (Jungle Geranium) synonymous with Kerala

The golden trumpet - we used to love planting them behind our ears as kids

Naturally, with an abundance of flowers comes an abundance of insect life. I tried to capture a few that were gracious enough to pose for pictures. But insects in general, much like children don't like to be papped. so I'm afraid I have a very measly collection to show for it. 
A wood white sitting on a Globe Amaranth
I shamelessly chased the wood whites

If there's one thing you need to know about Kerala in the monsoons, it is that if you leave something alone long enough (say 48 hours), nature WILL take over...

This is also apparently where cars, auto, scooters and even helmets come to die. Yes, I kid you not. Helmets. At random places. Unless its some weird Kochi code for two wheelers that I'm completely missing.

So while I was busy absorbing this fascinating side of Kochi, I was paid a visit by a couple of friends and, I hit the tourist spots at Fort Kochi with them.
What was different form the last time I visited were the quirky murals dotting the walls all over the place, thanks to the Kochi Biennial. Definitely gave the place character. I asked around if there was a 'Graffiti Walk' being organised, it isn't but it's a great idea. But, basically if you walk to all the spots on the Fort Kochi Tourist Map, you'll encounter these enroute.

 Most of the graffiti I encountered seemed to be very people centric. There were little impish boys grinning at you, A Mona Lisa or a Policeman or a Ronald McDonald doling out irony, even Burqua clad ladies and Kathakali faces were spotted...

...but my personal favourite was an artist who chose to work with cats...

I found this spray painting kitten is irresistible
This is the part of Kochi you don't find in tourist book and guides. But it's equally lovely, quirky and noteworthy. I promise to do another part with all the touristy bits, but for now, let look at the spray painting cat again, eh?

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