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Leisurely we glide – on visiting Kumarakom

Posted by on Jun 17, 2011 in Travel Writing | 0 comments

At the heart of Kerala’s backwaters, a quiet resistance keeps tourism at bay.

Mint Lounge, 11 June 2011.

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Build a better mousetrap, and catch fish with it.

Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Personal | 3 comments


(On fishing strategy, from Kerala’s backwater country)

Cordon off a part of a river by the bank. Have a door divide the thus separated ‘pond’ from the rest of the river.

Keep the door open. Sprinkle food particles into your ‘pond’ as bait. Fish will swim into the ‘pond’ for the food. As soon as some fish are in, shut the mousetrap’s door to prevent fish from swimming out of the ‘pond’.

Bring out a net. Catch the fish. Just eat it.


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A slow shift in Kumarakom

Posted by on May 7, 2011 in Personal | 0 comments

A few weeks ago, I was in and around

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Kumarakom, in the middle of Kerala’s backwater country.

Most resorts and homestays there are traditional houses. These are

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ancient sloping roofed houses with more than 8-10 rooms, spread over 40-50 metres in each direction. That’s in addition to the just-as-big flowering gardens around the houses.

These were meant to accommodate large joint families.Today, of course, joint families have dispersed to seek greener pastures. Multiple rooms in these houses are inventory for homestays.

Wood-paneled paddy storage rooms still preserve a hint of warm, musty smells, but these are now converted to special luxury suites. Farming is far less profitable today. An agrarian, traditional society is slowly drifting towards a tourist economy.

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