This time, to Fish Pond, Njarackal. With Family and some ex-neighhbours. It’s a backwater picnic spot roughly about 22 kms from our home. The sky is a bit gloomy, with grey clouds and the sun hidden well within its frills. The weatherman (my better half) declares “it’s the perfect weather for some boating, and no it’s not gonna rain today”.
There’s a small foot-over-water bridge to get there. From there, we take a row boat to get to the other side of the fish pond. The men do the rowing. The rest of us do the yapping. The seat that I’m seated on is broken, and I’m trying my balancing act to keep my butt fixed somewhere, lest I slide to the centre where the wood is almost in splinters. Baby adds to the woes. She’s excited to be on a boat and jumping all over me. The sights around momentarily keep me preoccupied and I forget the butt on the broken wooden seat for a while.
Tranquil waters lined by coconut trees and mangroves. There are a couple of platforms built in the middle of nowhere (the pond) where we can stop by and drink-in the view around. But they were wrecked, so we ditch the plan. We reach a place by the shore where there’s place to sit down, fish, lie on a hammock, and generally enjoy the beauty of nature, so we dock there. We wade through the water, as we get closer to the shore. I almost lose my slippers in the sticky mud beneath the waters. We relax, snack, the kids try their hand at fishing and actually manage to catch one fish (we jump with excitement!), lie in the hammock tied between 2 coconut trees and while away time with no cares in this world.
The men take the row boat across and decide to bring two pedal boats instead (No, the men in the picture are not our men, they're fishermen rowing on their boats in search of their prize catch). We get in and pedal across the pond. Simply serene, beautiful and yes, very intoxicating (hope it doesn’t get addictive!). We sort of laze about, not wanting to go back to the concrete jungles and the madness. Then we get to food. We’re famished after the hours of pedaling. So dig in, without waiting for the word ‘go’. Fish curry meals. Daughter eats twice more than her usual capacity. Icecream for dessert. All of us grin silly.
We then head to a beach closeby. The place is called Milky Way. No Galaxy this. But a world of its own. Baby refuses to get out of the water. We linger on. The clouds get darker. There's a brief lull. The clouds close in and break into a drizzle. We dash to the car and drive away. Ah, a weekend spent well!
Monday, as we’re trying hard to get rid of the Monday morning blues, getting ready to get back to work, news that our maid is not coming back hits us like the storm after the calm. We’re wondering what to do, who takes leave to manage the kids et cetera, when hubby comes up with the idea that we could all take a trip to Alappuzha (where my maid is from) to speak to her, plead with her to come back. We jump into the car and get ready for the trip.
When we get there, she tells her sob story. Son and daughter-in-law fighting with each other when she’s away that it almost came to divorce, 2 little grand children, so she won’t be able to come back, and stuff.
We tell our sob story. Both of us working, baby is now used to having her around, it would be difficult to find another maid in a day’s time, school going to reopen in a week’s time and stuff. Baby adds to the sentiment by crying when we leave the place. We are desperate. We tell her that we’ll give her son a job as well. And she promises to come with her son the next day. We leave with hope resurfacing. Our spirits are lifted.
We go shop-hopping (Kallu shop, i.e., Toddy shop). Plenty of them around the place. Toddy shops are popular for their spicy-yummy delicacies & side eats – mostly fried fish, kappa and fish curry. Slurp, slurp! And then some pure sweet toddy. Daughters too have big gulps of the local drink. Now did they get tipsy? Must’ve, bcoz they sort of crashed in the car, soon after.
And what have we...some fine trips - some planned, some at the spur of the moment.