Early Morning Boat Ride

One of the must do’s while you’re relaxing in the backwaters is waking up before dawn to take a boat ride across the backwaters before the sun reaches its apex.

For someone like me, who absolutely loves sleeping in, this was quite the task. I woke up groaning and despite all my feeble attempts at backing out, muffled by the duvet I was hiding under so snugly, I found myself dragging my feet towards the dock with puffy, sleep laden eyes.

The ride begins gently but slowly floating past the infamous floating cottages. As one floats by them, one also gets to witness the idol of Mother Mary and the Cross built on a rock. It is a unique experience to see the hues on the idol come to life as the rays of the sun bask upon it, inch by inch. In much the same manner, the water too turns a different shade, seemingly dark maroon or purple, a trick of nature on the irises.

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Once past the floating cottages, the boat heads deeper into the groves where one gets to witness, thanks to the sharp eye of the guide and skipper, birds of different hues and species. Hidden behind heavy sets of leaves and often camouflaged, naive eyes would never notice the birds if it weren’t for the experienced skippers whose very livelihood depends on showing tourists around and impressing them with their keen eye for discovering, what otherwise would be very hard to detect, birds and animals.

One also gets to see houses hidden within the groves, with people waking up and doing their morning chores or getting ready to head out to earn their daily wages. Boats tied here and there indicated fishermen around as well.

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Somewhere between the purr of the motor from the boat and the echoes of birds chirping, an eerie comfort somehow settled upon us as the boat sailed around. Slipping in and out of little streams, created by cutting down hundreds of coconut tress, passing through nooks and crannies, arches made out of trees bent with age, we got to witness flora at its prime, wild in its beauty. From time to time, the skipper chipped in, informing the passengers of fruits that seemed deceivingly normal but were incredibly poisonous and flowers that seemed to be withering but were actually in full bloom and were used to medicate cuts and wounds.

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The entire boat ride was about an hour and a half long. The ride ended just as the sun was about to rise to its zenith. We stepped out and onto the dock feeling energised and awakened, the impression of such tranquil beauty leaving quite a deep impression on the mind and soul.


Experiencing the Backwaters

It has been quite some time since I have woken up, feeling refreshed and well rested, rather than cranky and groggy. The sun was beaming and there was a slight breeze, whistling as it brushed through the trees and bushes surrounding us.

As I had an appointment with the Spa in a couple of hours, my parents sun bathed beside the pool while I decided on a nice, sunny swim.

I hate gymming. Gymming and running, to be precise. It makes it difficult for me, therefore, to maintain a healthy regime. As a teenager, I was an exuberant participant in multiple sports. Basketball, badminton, swimming, horse-riding, I loved them all. Needless to say, I was toned and extremely fit. University and work ruined all of it. Swimming during this vacation, was not just an enjoyable excuse but also a welcome exercise. I did not realise just how much I had missed swimming until I dipped my toes and broke the surface of the cold water.

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Fun fact regarding my swimming costume while I am at it. Only after the vacation did I realise that I could sport the bikini top two-ways. I could either choose to don it as a halter or remove the straps and sport a cute and well fitted strapless top! Also, the neon print isn’t just for show. It glows in the dark, as I had noticed, the day before, when I had my evening swim.

Soon after, I headed for my spa appointment.(There will be a blog post about it in the coming week, so stay tuned!)

Post my spa treatment, my muscles so relaxed, I could barely move, I somehow dragged myself out of Jiva (the spa centre). Smelling heavily of scented oils, I decided on wearing something light and loose since I wasn’t allowed to bathe for the next hour or so.

Quick tip: Take a shower or bath after the hour is up. The scent becomes quite strong, the more it stays on and makes you feel quite queasy by the end, if you have it on longer than 60 minutes.

I suffered and learnt this bitter truth since we we had a 40 minute journey ahead of us, followed by checking into our resort at Poovar and then being reallocated. All in all, I ended up washing up about two hours later than instructed!

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Having arrived, we hopped onto a little boat, ferrying us across the backwaters to the resort. For all those who are unaware, the backwaters are a part of the river, untouched by the current. Hence, the waters are extremely still.

On our way to ‘Poovar Island Resort’, we saw multiple floating restaurants on one side and an expanse of sand on the other. The sand was a makeshift beach of sorts, barricading the sea. The sea in this part was in a constant state of high tide and the beach was quite unsafe, with various places marked dangerous since it was surrounded by quick sand.

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Beyond the conch lay vast acres of greenery. Flowers in full bloom, coconut trees looming everywhere and small paths weaving in and out, with hammocks in full use, welcomed us as we walked inside the resort.

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From the entrance, one could see tiny cottages popping up here and there with a swimming pool built right in the centre of the entire resort. Once check-in had been done, we were escorted to our floating cottage. Unfortunately, our first and last impression of the floating cottage wasn’t the best. It was dingy and somehow, just didn’t seem appeasing.

For the first time ever, I feel, I put my foot down. My parents had headed for lunch while I decided to wash off the oils from the spa treatment I had done before. Turns out, there was no water! Shocked, upset and taken aback, I stormed out and refused to enter the cottage until we were relocated to a better accommodation.

Thankfully, post lunch, we were housed in one of the newer accommodations which had a wonderful view of the entire resort with the sea visible in the far distance and a jacuzzi installed in the walk-in bathroom!

Come evening, we had a small tour of everything the resort had to offer. We soon realised, this part of the backwaters was best suited for a weekend getaway rather than a long vacation. So we decided to shorten our stay at Poovar and head back to Kovalam after two days rather than three.

Also, it seemed Poovar Island Resort hosted day trips and the like, since the resort seemed to be bustling with people throughout our time there. It was a surprising change from the quiet and calm of Kovalam where people were in their own space and silence was a calming blanket. It doesn’t imply that it was disturbing! The experience was simply different.

We were also informed of the Ayurvedic Village (a must do for everyone, I would say!), located in a small corner of the resort, tucked away from all the cacophony and bustle of tourists making the most of their vacation. Excited, we made ourselves a few appointments, deciding on giving our muscles as good a pamper session as our skin.

Stay tuned for more updates!


First Impression of Kovalam

I am not one to lose my calm when I am around my parents. Why? Because they’re capable of doing it without my help. They lose their marbles at the drop of a hat which is why, even if I want to, I can’t. But, they know, that if I start to panic, there really is something to worry about.

Headed to Kovalam had me worried. We had a super early flight and somehow, we were extremely close to missing it. We made it inside the airport with minutes to spare and my bad choices had me swearing under my breath, incessantly. The one time I should have worn sneakers, so that I could do all the running around with ease, I decided on 6 inch heels.

Poor judgement aside, we boarded our flight without much of a delay.

A stop over later, we had landed in Trivandrum.  After a fifteen odd minute drive , we were pulling into the breathtakingly beautiful resort, Vivanta by Taj. Beautifully structured and designed around waterfalls and forestry, the resort oozed serenity and calm. Welcomed with shell garlands, we settled down to cool ourselves, sipping on some refreshing coconut water while our backs were taken to our room.

Having toured all that we could of the resort while the receptionist was confirming the details of our check-in, we decided to stop by the sea. It gave us time to have a quick trip down to the beach, something, all of us were quite eager to visit.

The sun was at its peak, there was salt in the air and the waves were crashing relentlessly on the rocks.

Yes, my vacation had indeed begun.

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We then headed back to the resort where our lovely concierge Roshin surprised us by upgrading us to the Premium Deluxe Suite. Let me just say, the room was spectacular. With a gorgeous sea view, a panoramic view of the resort, two balconies and a walk in bathroom, I was all but ready to kick my heels off and collapse into the relaxing environment that was beckoning me, enticing me never to return to reality.

Having not had lunch, I decided on treating myself to Roasted chicken breast with rosemary, potato mash, mushroom jus and sautéed vegetables.

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I got quite obsessed with mushroom jus by the end of it, my father being witness to it. He actually caught me with my finger dipped deep in the jus, unabashedly treating it like a jar of nutella.


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On our way to the sea in the evening, we got to see more of the resort, landscape and design of the resort and everything it had to offer as we bumped along on the cute buggy that was driving us there.

Processed with VSCO with f3 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 presetRight next to the beach was a small lagoon. A boatman would, every forty minutes, seat three to four people in his boat and take them around the lagoon. Just as the sun was setting, we got into the wobbly boat, wearing extremely unflattering lifejackets. The boat ride was quaint. The stillness of the water breaking every time the oars splashed, was possibly the only sound one could hear, with the occasional screech or hoot of birds in the surrounding environment. None of us spoke. We simply absorbed the rustic beauty surrounding the village; the swoosh of the oars, hum of the boat floating slowly and our gentle breathing, creating a mild tune to keep us company.

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The water was so still, everything was a mirror reflection on its surface. On our way back, once the boat had turned around, we got to witness the sun setting. Shades of pink, purple and orange kissed the skies and watching it, had my heart fluttering at its beauty.

With our feet back on solid ground, we relaxed some more on the beach.  Eager to let loose the water soul I host, we headed back. The swimming pool in the resort was beautiful to say the least and I really wanted to dip my toes in and swim, something I hadn’t done in ages!

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The design of the swimming pool mimicked the infinity pools that have become so famous, with one side of the pool not walled, instead, ending in a steep drop. The view on the unwalled side of the pool was basically, a never ending view of the sea and the sky meeting, two distinct shades of blue, shaking hands.

Dad decided to give me company while I swum. Having not swum in ages, I decided to really push myself. By the end of it, my muscles were on fire, something I actually enjoyed. While I headed back for an extremely relaxing and LONG bubble bath, my parents headed for their spa appointments.

I think I dozed off in the bath. The warm water and the heady scent of lotus from the bubbles had me relaxed and I lost track of time. When I got out, I felt so sleepy. It was a good kind of exhaustion, not the kinds where you are weary and want to curl up and cry. Donning a bathrobe, I collapsed on the couch, all set with my book. Soon, my parents returned from their spa appointments, smelling of oils and looking, well…sticky.

Dinner was as succulent as lunch. I treated myself to Garlic butter prawns for an entrée and Pesto pasta for my main course. For dessert, I chose Tiramisu with shaved coffee flavoured chocolate.

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Well fed, relaxed to the point that our limbs were almost jelly-like, we hit the bed. For the first time, in what seems like forever, I fell asleep immediately. Actually, I didn’t even realise I had fallen asleep. Middle of the night, when I awoke, parched and in search of a water bottle, did I realise that I had fallen asleep and had been tucked into my bed by my Dad. Slightly embarrassing but adorable too, I’d say.

My first day in Kerala was perfect in every way!


Much awaited reunion

I think I would have killed myself if I had been to Mumbai and not visited one of my dearest friends from University.

Aakriti and I clicked with each other on the first college trip we took together and since then, corridor chats, sarcasm and restaurants were never quite the same. From then on, I have never not called her my Iron Butterfly. Why? Well because the woman is sheer brilliance not just because her wit has me in splits but also because of the way she cherishes her friends and their quirks. Her talents leave me speechless as does her gentle yet firm understanding of my personality. Her strength is inspiring as is her determination and confidence. She knows how to pick me up and well…at times let me sink just because she knows I need to drown before I learn to save myself. She kept me distracted when I got my second tattoo, held my hand each time Simba (my dog) fell terribly sick and made sure, I didn’t lose my love for poetry.

We had a tradition while we were in University. Every other weekend, after we would be done with classes, we would head to the back lawns, sit on one of the rusty benches and have conversations that seemed endless. Mind you, all of them were heavily doused in sarcasm. It’s a thing we do, okay? We would also head out to try different restaurants. Aakriti being the food connoisseur, would choose the restaurant and we would have a gala time, enjoying sumptuous food and of course, alcohol.

Needless to say, reuniting with her, had us following all these to the letter. Meeting her, I realised, just how much I had missed her. From the moment we sat down, having hugged each other for quite some time, the craziness kicked in. Food and alcohol came and went, hours passed by and we didn’t realise, not once. From careers to friends to reminiscing about old times and discussing the future apprehensively, books to music to new tattoos, we chatted about it all.

As Aakriti put it, “So what, yes we were in a long distance friendship, but I never had to doubt or second guess the nature of our friendship. I always knew you were there, somewhere, but there, just as I knew I was there. We didn’t have to text or talk all the time, but we always knew what was going on and we knew that when that day would come, when we’d meet again, we’d pick up right where we left off. So I’ve never been concerned.”

Where and what did we munch on during this much longed for reunion?

Well, we met at Jamjar, a place extremely close to where we both were living. We met up for lunch and I gorged on food like a monster, after way too long a time. I think it had a little to do with four-five (?) double Jack Daniels I had downed, but I am not too sure.

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The interior of Jamjar

For starters, we decided on Melted Queso and Crispy Bacon Fries along with a plate of Butter, Chilli Garlic Prawns. Once we had polished them off, we asked for our mains. I decided to try something different instead of always zooming in on the Pastas. While Aakriti went for Fresh basil pesto spaghetti with mushrooms and bell peppers, I chose the Mushroom and spinach stuffed Chicken. I was close to licking my plate clean, the food was so delicious. Once we were done with the mains, we decided to pamper ourselves with dessert, although it was more to do with balancing out the alcohol we were consuming so very rapidly. Aakriti convinced me into trying the Spiced poached Pear and Brownie Sundae. It was divine. Let’s just keep it at that.

Also, as a side note, each time my drink arrived, for some weird reason, I would confuse the stirrer for a straw. Each time and each time, Aakriti found this hilarious and had to keep aside her freshly brewed beer, since she was too busy laughing…at me.

With bellies full and minds a little woozy, we decided to meet up again, over the weekend, when Aakriti would be reciting poetry at an art exhibition. I think I volunteered to attend even before she invited me. What can I say, I love the woman’s poetry.

If you wish to check out her poetry and delicious recipes, (another feather in her cap) check out her blog here !

Inked Sightseeing

With a hangover that had us groaning as we got out of bed, Rushil and I geared up for the day. Both of us were thrumming with energy though, despite the alcohol from the night before doing its hardest to slow us.

One of my intentions, having arrived in Mumbai, was to get inked. There was a need rather than a want and there was also a craving for change. Desperation had been eating at me for days to shed the old, leave behind the memories and sensations, forget the hopes and start afresh. Back when I was in University, this usually involved me getting pierced or colouring my hair, etc. Either way, it usually had to do with me, well, doing something to myself. In my head, this was always my way of establishing a new lifestyle.

As mentioned before, I have suffered from dysthymia for quite some time now. Having relapsed recently and slipped back into depression after keeping it at bay for almost a year, had me fighting for ‘something new’. I stumbled across the perfect image and after that, I was itching for it to be on my skin, permanently.

I got it done on my ribs. Many may wonder why I got it done there. Any one who has any idea about tattoos, knows, that the rib cage is one of the MOST painful places to get inked. The masochist in me chose that spot for that very reason. To get away from the anguish, my twisted thinking had me believing very firmly, that even if it was for just half an hour, the pain from the tattoo on the rib cage would distract me from the pain I was dealing with every minute, emotionally and mentally.

On some level, it did and on some level, it failed.

Nonetheless, I now have my third tattoo spanning across four ribs. Have fun trying to figure out what it symbolises !

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My tattoo involving three different symbols.

While I was laying on my side, nails digging into the leather and face, dealing with the excruciating pain, Rushil too was having her back inked. She was sealing the deal on a previous tattoo and adding the final touches to it, to make it complete. The minute she got done with hers, she rushed to me, her hands voluntarily being impaled by my nails as she tried to distract me from the sensation of a needle pricking me way too many times, carving my bone while it was at it.

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Rushil’s tattoo

After both our tattoos were done, we headed out for lunch. Rushil took me to SodaBottleOpenerWala, a Parsi restaurant. The cuisine was delicious and I loved the cuisine!

I left it to Rushil to choose the food for us. I was too busy trying to breathe through the pain. Rushil did a brilliant job with the choice of food. She always looks like such a stunner, but something about the restaurant made her look like a vision and I couldn’t help but capture her.

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We had the Chicken Sanju Baba, which was the Sunday special. Alongside that, we had Rotlis and Mutton Berry Pulao. The portions were pretty big and I failed to finish my share. I had to push my plate away from me with a very heavy heart.

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The lunch was made a tad bit awkward when my tattoo started bleeding. People all round had such quizzical looks on their face. I guess it is warranted when you are lifting your top up in public every few minutes, dabbing away with a tissue that is turning darker from blood with every pat.

Post lunch, we headed to the centre of Mumbai, where I, in the words of Rushil, acted like a complete tourist, snapping pictures of everything I saw. We visited Taj Palace and The Gateway of India. The rains did not help neither did wearing flats.

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From there, Rushil dragged me to Colaba Causeway for shopping. In my head, my tattoo was a big and very expensive gift to myself, so indulging in some more did not feel right. We window shopped for a bit and then headed to Kala Ghoda, a cafe that exudes serenity and calm; a place where you can go by yourself, discover, and let your creativity flow.

We went for an Iced Latte, Cold Coffee with Ice Cream and Muti Grain Bread with Hummus. The entire time spent there was so incredibly relaxing. There was no urge to keep up a conversation. One could be in their own thoughts and yet still enjoy the company around them.

We then headed back home, extremely exhausted. I think both of us even dozed off in the cab ride home!

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Back home, I think I woke up our neighbours. We had to clean our tattoos and taking off the tape concealing our tattoos reignited the pain that had numbed through the day. My screams had me demanding or rather begging Rushil to let the tape be, making feeble attempts at convincing her that the tattoo could be cleaned later on…maybe never. We all know who won that argument!

Doesn’t matter though. The pain was so worth it.


P.S : I pride myself on having an extremely high threshold for pain. The description of pain from getting my bones inked is truly not an exaggeration. If you’re planning on getting inked there, think twice and go drunk if you can!

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Hi Mumbai!

Recently, struggling to cope with reality, anxiousness to get away, loss of identity and a complete lack of will, had me cooped up in my bedroom for days on end.

That was until my gem of a best friend decided to step in. Before I dive into the details, I feel it necessary to give a brief sketch as to who this wonderful human being is and what she means to me.

I first met Rushil at Alliance Française, where we both lost any chance we had of learning French, when we began crushing over our super cute French teacher. Those classes sealed the deal and our friendship since then, has been one of the bright lights in my life. She is my anchor, my (at times undesired) dose of brutal honesty and my constant support and belief. There has been not one time, when she has been wrong or misguided by her gut instinct when it comes to me, my decisions/choices and the people I surround myself with. Her ambitious and brilliant mind, fascinating creativity and amazing talent with a camera, are few of the reasons why I am so incredibly proud of her.

Moving on from the love dose…

Rushil coaxed me into flying out to see her and experience Mumbai for a bit. Despite being a military brat and having the advantage of getting to travel the country, thanks to the many places my father was posted to, somehow Mumbai evaded me and I never quite got the chance to experience the city.

Having arrived and confused a domestic airport for an international one, Rushil and I reunited after three long years. The spark that first connected us, is still there and we’ve picked up where we left off, as though these three years never really happened.

So how was my first night in Mumbai?

Well, here’s how it went…

  • Drank some VERY expensive wine out of mason jars.
  • Gorged on pizza that was all kinds of meat heaven.
  • Clicked our first ever polaroid


  • Poured our hearts out (yes there were tears, a lot of tears) in the middle of the night while we sat on the roof, listening to the waves of the sea.
  • Walked extremely unsteadily on the streets as it poured cats and dogs, hunting for more alcohol as one bottle apparently, was not enough.
  • Drunk dialled people, something that is ALWAYS a bad idea.
  • Drank some more expensive wine.
  • Ate some more heavenly pizza.

Ultimately, we passed out. Or at least I did. Rushil usually can’t sleep when she’s THAT drunk.

As can be expected, we woke up with raging hangovers, the effects of which are still being felt…