Cruising through the HouseBoat

I guess, I was 8 years old, when for the first time my Mom taught me about the Dal lake at Srinagar and the houseboats there, from my text-book. It was since then, that living on a houseboat became a fantasy for me. We kids even played games imagining our house on a boat, in the middle of a river.

But it was only during our trip to Kerala, that I actually saw a houseboat for the first time and believe me, the experience was far beyond my expectations. It made our stay at Alleppey backwaters, the best spell of our vacation and I assume, this will remain one of the most cherished memories through my entire life.

After a six hours long journey from Kanyakumari, we were already quite starved and exhausted. It was hot too. So within no time, we hopped on to the houseboat as soon as we reached there. The manager introduced us to the boat and the cruise but I was in no mood to listen; my eyes were busy examining all the details of the boat very desperately.

 

As our cruise started amidst the brightly shining sun, I could barely open my eyes. I put on my sunglasses but the cool breeze that started flowing, was such a respite. We were so spellbound by the amazing views: the coconut trees, the floating plants, the villagers along the river and the vast expanse of water; we could hardly pay attention to the deliciously cooked lunch by the chef. He and the captain were the only two people along with us, on the boat, they were very friendly and thank God they knew Hindi and English too. The captain even gave me a chance to sit in his seat and ride the boat for a while. I can’t even explain how much fun it was.

The whole place seemed so divine that we felt like being rewarded for something and compelled me to put a pause to every little thought that could ever pop up in my mind. The assorted type of boats and people enjoying their cruise in difference ways was all so lovely.

 

Now it was evening, the time to halt (when we were not at all prepared to halt). The two men asked us to walk into the nearby village and explore the place. It was so green that it seemed monsoons were on (but actually monsoons had to start 2 months later). The banana trees and coconut trees were framing a different composition at every place and in no way seemed monotonous. After a short stroll, we came back and sat down along the river bank, had nothing to talk about and were just enjoying the beauty of the place, all speechless.

Soon it was dark and the chef called us for dinner. After watching TV for a while, we chose to sleep early so that we could have our share of early morning views and some extended time spent in that heaven. As the morning came up, people started coming in their built to suit boats, heading towards their work. The chef served us a nicely chopped pineapple just after breakfast as a farewell delight and then we moved on.

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