24 Nov 2013
We had to leave early, hence having breakfast at home was not possible. We had breakfast on the road. I had Gee roast and tea in one restaurant. Then we drove to the Niagara falls of India, Athirappily Falls and Vazhachal Falls.
Here, there were more people, mostly Indians and few people of different race. I, then again, witnessed how well local tourism is supported in India. I realized that I wasn’t a superstar here. In Delhi and Agra, in crowded places like this, people would start taking my photos or taking photos with me. Well, here’s different. I was just one of them. Every one, including myself, enjoyed playing with the cooling water from the mountains.
We trekked down and walked along the slippery rocks around the falls to see a better and closer view of the majestic waterfalls. After taking countless photos, we went to the other falls called, Vazhachal. Suddenly, it rained heavily that we had to stop walking and took shelter under a small guard house with a family. We waited there for about 20minutes until the rain finally came to its stop. We managed to take lots of pictures again, because Domson just kept on making me pose everywhere I kept on protesting against it but he seemed not to hear me out.lol Here,we also had an interesting meal for lunch, tapioca with mutton or Keralan Tapioca Briyani. Tasty but as usual, the serving I think, is for two people. I gave half of mine to D, because I didn’t want to waste food.
By the way, I was able to write a poem again while we were within the falls’ vicinity;
On bamboo seats, keeping my thoughts to myself
Rushing waters, boulders surrounding, flowing and still
Both at the same time occurring
I can’t seem to figure out
How things can be so powerful
Excruciating pain, I can almost feel it
My heart’s cramped because of
The thoughts that everything’s temporary
It’s inconceivable how can permanence
And flowing change elicit the same nostalgia
The rocks are crying
For the feel of the water massaging its surface are not constant
It only looked too beautiful from the outside but
Every time the current mildly caresses its surface
Slowly, parts of the boulders are being carried away by the flowing water
Losing parts of you can make you feel miserable
But imagine that those parts will be brought to a beautiful waterfall
Part of you would be carried away to the steep cliff
Taking a leap, freeing, letting every fears go!
Isn’t that an amazing feeling?
Do not be afraid to lose yourself.
Do not be afraid to lose parts of you.
It just might be the most enlightening feeling you’ll ever experience
Just like diving from a waterfall!=)
We drove back to the city and the view of the bamboo trees and palm trees on the road side, with occasional sightings of the mountains was just amazing. It felt like I was in the wild with Domson’s background music. It was beautiful.=)
We reached the Kochi city just in time for Kathakali actor’s make up session (5pm). This would be the “culture” part of my holiday. This performance originated in Kerala. With painted faces and splendid costumes, the characters from Indian epics dance the story accompanied by rhythmic percussion. The actor was on stage, putting on his many layers of makeup. It was said that these meticulous make up session symbolizes a mortal slowly turning into immortal. He scolded people who took his photo with flash, I guess it’s because he was losing his concentration on putting on the smallest details of his makeup.
They started of the show by introducing what Kathakali was and a brief introduction of the usual facial expressions and hand gestures used in the said play. It was indeed difficult to understand. Looking at the actor’s eyes, I could feel the nystagmus he’s trying to induce through intentional rapid eye movements. I felt dizzy for him. After the brief intro about the art, the story of that day’s performance was narrated. I didn’t get the name of the epic though and I wasn’t able to follow the narration despite it, being narrated in English. I don’t know why, I suddenly went blank. Maybe, I got too mesmerized by the actor in full costume. It was cathartic, somehow hypnotizing. Because of this blank slate, I had a hard time connecting the pieces during the play itself.
The play ended and we had dinner at one Chinese restaurant. The next day was achacha’s birthday hence, as I love to give away cakes, I decided to get one for him too. I asked Domson to keep the cake for me so that the next morning we can surprise him before I leave for my flight. He agreed.