Tag Archives: Kerala

Merry Christmas

“However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man’s abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Web Preparedfishman (Large)

Early Bird Catches the Worm: Early one morning, before sunrise, I arranged for my tuk-tuk taxi man to fetch me. We shot some sunrise photos on the edge of the lake and it was then time to explore some of the narrow alleys on the edge of the lake / waterway.

The fisherman below had no doubt woken up a short while before me and had already retrieved his catch of small fish from his net. I met him in an alley that heads to the main road.

About 30 min before I had met another local who, like the fisherman, was also a smoker. I thought it would be a done deal; offer him a few packets of Beedi (thin, Indian cigarette filled with tobacco flake and wrapped in a tendu or possibly even Piliostigma racemosum leaf tied with a string at one end) and then he would allow me to take photos of him.

The fisherman declined the Beedi deal but through the translator explained that some Rupees (cash) to buy a 07:30 refresher in the morning from the toddy shop (coconut wine / beer) would seal the deal!

Wikipedia: “Palm wine is an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of palm tree such as the palmyra, date palms, and coconut palms.

In Karnataka, India, palm wine is usually available at toddy shops (known as Kallu Kadai in [Tamil], Kalitha Gadang in Tulu, Kallu Dukanam in Telugu, Kallu Angadi in Kannada or “Liquor Shop” in English).

In the Indian state of Kerala, toddy is used in leavening (as a substitute for yeast) a local form of hopper called the “Vellayappam”.

Toddy is mixed with rice dough and left over night to aid in fermentation and expansion of the dough causing the dough to rise overnight, making the bread soft when prepared.

In Kerala, toddy is sold under a licence issued by the excise department and it is an industry having more than 50,000 employees with a welfare board under the labour department”.

Canon 6D, F4, 1/400 sec, ISO 640, NL – 24/105mm L

India 2014: Leopold Love & Fort Cochin Sunset

The photo below was taken inside Leopold Café during one of the many nights that we spent their sipping on ice cold beer and eating warm curry or derivatives thereof.

The photo is named Leopold Love but I cannot honestly say that the couple sitting together glued to their mobile phones were or are an item. For all I know they could be friends, relatives or who knows what.

The couple are seen sitting at one of the downstairs tables where it gets a little hot at times even though the fans above are flying at high speed. The restaurant does have an upstairs section which is air-conditioned that to the extent that one might possibly be able to chill some beers.

“Leopold Café is a large and popular restaurant and bar on Colaba Causeway, in the Colaba area of Mumbai, India, located across from the Colaba Police station. The cafe was also mentioned extensively in the novel Shantaram. The cafe was an early site of gunfire and grenade explosions during the 2008 Mumbai attacks by terrorists. The restaurant was extensively damaged during the attacks. Gunmen sprayed the restaurant with bullets and there were blood stains on the floor and shoes left by fleeing customers. Sourav Mishra, a Reuters reporter and one of the first media witnesses of the attack, suffered severe bullet injuries. The cafe reopened four days after the attack, but was reclosed by the police as a safety measure after two hours because of the unexpected size of crowds gathering there.” ~ Wikipedia

If you have not been to the Leopold Café, then due two things right off each other in this order. Firstly, read the novel Shantaram written by Gregory David Roberts, and secondly, go pass a good few hours inside the cafe sipping on your favourite drink and eating the lovely food.

As of 01 March 2015, I’m busy on chapter 3 of Shantaram; happily reading this long thick interesting book for the second time.

Leopold Love

At the time of starting to work on the photo(s) below I was simultaneously “grumbling” about photographing sunsets and sunrises in India and how “hard” it is. Unlike in South Africa where you usually get a splendid fifteen minute or so warning in the sky that the sun is about to rise, in India the sun seemed to often rise without warning and only appear out of the haze once a few “centimetres” above the horizon. This is that same point it often disappeared at sunset before sinking below the horizon. Back home the sun can sink out of sight and below the horizon and then throw beautiful light back onto the clouds above.

Cochin Harbour

The photo(s) below was / were taken at Fort Cochin, Kerala at sunset and it was one of those lucky late afternoons where I got some action in the sky. A Chinese fishing net, rummaging dog, courting couples, hunting crows and boat entering the harbour complement the sinking sun.

Crow Playground

Fort Cochin is where we found Patrick and Mary of Heavenly Homestay, who really made us feel at home and exuded much love, respect and goodwill. It was the best place I have stayed in during three trips to India.

Heavenly Homestay address: 11/639, Machenzie Garden Road, Pattalam, Thamaraparambu, Kochi, Kerala 682001, India. Phone: +91 98470 33818.

Sunset Fort Cochin

To end off the section, I will include three further photos below showing the crows, one of the dogs and a ship entering the harbour. The one photo is called Crow Playground as they were a hell of a lot of crows flying and jumping around. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before and will surely same mention again: the crows in India are very healthy birds.

The other photo is called Sunset Stroll and shows some of the people, who gather at the waterfront to exercise, socialise and or just watch the sun go down. Fort Cochin could be described as the cutest little town I have discovered this far in India.

Sunset Stroll

India 2014: Fort Cochin Sunset

At the time of starting to work on the photo below I was simultaneously “grumbling” about photographing sunsets and sunrises in India and how “hard” it is. Unlike in South Africa where you usually get a splendid fifteen minute or so warning in the sky that the sun is about to rise, in India the sun seemed to often rise without warning and only appear out of the haze once a few “centimetres” above the horizon. This is that same point it often disappeared at sunset before sinking below the horizon. Back home the sun can sink out of sight and below the horizon and then throw beautiful light back onto the clouds above.

The photo below was taken at Fort Cochin, Kerala at sunset and it was one of those lucky late afternoons where I got some action in the sky. A Chinese fishing net, rummaging dog, courting couples, hunting crows and boat entering the harbour complement the sinking sun.

Fort Cochin is where we found Patrick and Mary of Heavenly Homestay, who really made us feel at home and exuded much love, respect and goodwill. It was the best place I have stayed in during three trips to India.

Heavenly Homestay address: 11/639, Machenzie Garden Road, Pattalam, Thamaraparambu, Kochi, Kerala 682001, India. Phone: +91 98470 33818

Pôr do sol Fort Cochin

God’s Own Country ~ Kerala

Kerala

This photo was taken on a trip to Kerala, India about two years ago. I pulled it out the archives to psych myself up for our trip to India in December 2014.

In a few days I will start the posts relating to my most recent trip.