Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Another travel post... we went to Maldives last month to celebrate Mom and Dad's 40th wedding anniversary. We (me and my brother) wanted something close by since nobody was interested in flying long distance, and Maldives seemed like the best option. But searching for a nice resort was quite time consuming, cause Maldives is a collection of numerous islands and tourism and fishing dominate their economy. So resorts are everywhere, some islands contain only the resort with no sign of local life or villages. And the pictures of these high end resorts are amazing, cabins right in the middle of still blue waters and perfect landscapes everywhere. It was manicured nature, clipped here and nipped there to make it picture perfect. I was slowly growing desperate, I didn't want to go to any of these places... somehow they seemed to lack soul, that earthy charm was not coming through. So I delegated the search to my sister, I was behind her night and day to find a nice resort that didn't seem stuck up like the Apple brand. So after a lot of searching, we came across Aveyla Manta Village which seemed like a great place, the pictures too gave off this nice down-to-earth vibe. So I emailed them and they were quick to respond to any questions I had, we finally decided on this place and booked our rooms after a lot of emailing.    

The capital of Maldives, Malé (pronounced Mah-lay), is about an hour and fifteen minutes flight from Trivandrum. After landing in Malé we had to take a 20 minutes domestic flight to Dharavandhoo island where the resort Aveyla is located. Driving through the island you see small nondescript houses with the particular hammock styled swings hanging from trees. Aveyla, which means 'Ancient' in the Maldivian language, is architecturally beautiful and has a cute little reading nook, the rooms are clean and spacious and the few standard dishes they have are quite nice.We stayed here four days and most of the time we were in the ocean rolling around in the white sand, playing in the turquoise waters, going for long walks on  the beach, sitting in the sea immersed swings and checking out the village. I can see how we evolved from the ocean, there's this inexplainable affinity to the ocean... she always seems to beckon us back in. The beach had a deserted island feel to it, there were hardly any folks around and since nature was the primal landscape artist here.... the beach had all  kinds of beautiful decaying stuff lying around. There were dead tree trunks stretching into the ocean and they made this trip even more memorable cause of all the scrambling and climbing I was doing. To get on the higher branches, my brother would kneel down and I would climb on his knee, up his shoulder and then get onto a high bark. It was pretty hilarious, most of the time we would topple over into the water, but once we got on top it was pretty cool... the scrapes and cuts were worth it all, not to mention the awesome picture opportunities. Just walking on the beach was like a treasure hunt, with a lot of beautiful ocean junk lying around; we came back with a bag full of it. On our last day on the island, it was thundering, lightening and sheets of water were hitting the ocean while waves were crashing the shore and the wind was whistling through everything... it was nature's grand orchestra biding us adieu.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

The Danny effect and the Cooper effect

With all the free time I have now (thanks to Cooper) I thought of writing something here. 
This is Cooper, a friend's dog, and whenever I go home to Nagercoil, we generally hang out together, talking and taking Cooper for long walks in the colony. This time was no different, we were on our walk when this stray little street dog started barking and I was holding cooper's leash... my hand in that loop when Cooper suddenly became way excited than usual and took off after the stray like Flash on steroids. He dragged me along and I couldn't keep up; I stumbled, fell on the bad road and bruised myself. 
And since I had nothing better to do, I made a collage of the wounds to send to my sister... who found it hilarious that I fell. So anyway, went to the doc, got my tetanus shot and now I'm just taking it easy for the next few days. And one person has been constantly on my mind since this incident, Danny.

I met Danny about 12 years ago in Santhi Nilayam, the special school I used to work in. He was a five year old Down's syndrome boy who rarely spoke, he was extremely shy. Ask him anything and he would look down, but ask him about his younger sister and you would see a smile on his face. One day in school, he jammed his little finger in a door. It was jammed quite tight, but all he did was stand there with a tear running down his face. Somebody else saw this and told the nuns, they went to see and the top bit of his little finger was ripped, it was hanging by a shred of flesh. And Danny, just stood there with tears running down his face, not a sound out of him. They quickly put the tip back on wrapped it up in cotton and carried him to the rickshaw to take him to the nearest hospital. In the hospital too, the doctor was stitching up this little kid's finger yet he did not utter a sound, just silent tears falling from his eyes. My God, I was stunned... he stole everybody's heart. He must have been in immense pain, yet not one sound or tantrum, he just let the tears fall. After the stitches were in place the doctor said he was a brave kid, then Danny lifted his head looked the doctor in the eye and said that he would go home and tell his mother about this. What a kid, that day I knew these kids were extraordinarily special. I keep thinking about him cause this pains a little too... that's when I see his cherubic face with the soundless tears.