Smooth sailing on Poovar

While in India’s southern tip, a cruise on the backwaters may be de rigueur. But given how popular Kerala is as a tourist destination, it is also a good idea to eschew the familiar for the unexplored. In other words, think Poovar instead of Alleppey, using Trivandrum as a base instead of Kochi. It is…

Wayanad: God’s own greens

There is an untouched simplicity about Wayanad that is charming and surprising at the same time. Over the last few decades, Kerala has worked hard to live up to its self-anointed and rather grand moniker of God’s Own Country. But the part of Kerala my husband and I are driving to for our long weekend…

Friday photo: Kathakali

Kathakali means a story (katha) told in the form of a play (kali). A mix of classical and folk dance forms, Kathakali is originally from the Malabar region of Kerala and goes back to the seventeenth century. Everything in Kathakali is exaggerated and larger-than-life – the music, the make up and the gestures – and…

Vote on Kerala Blog Express

So, if you have been reading this blog all along (and if not, why not?)… Or if you have just wandered here after a chance search on google… Here is the perfect chance to show some blog love. I am participating in the Kerala Blog Express contest, where 25 bloggers from all over the world…

The great Indian Regatta

There is a buzz in the air. At 11 in the morning, the dozens of houseboats lined up on the edge of the water are all packed, people already sitting on rooftops for that vantage view. Police patrol boats have been going up and down the lake for the last hour, with the cops making…

Snapshots from the Biennale

I went, I saw, I came back confused. It’s contemporary art – and I don’t really get most of it. So sue me. Update: In Tehelka, the reasons why the biennale didn’t work for me – Controversy Calling. In the meanwhile, decide for yourself. Some snapshots from the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. At the lovely Kashi Art…

Scenes from a boat race

After years and years of dreaming and planning, I finally found myself at the Nehru Boat Race in Alleppy last weekend. I joined an enthusiastic group of photographers at the weekend workshop organized by Photography Onthemove – when I say enthusiastic, I mean that most of them were to be found all the time taking…

A story in dance

I recently watched a Kathakali recital at the Chembur Fine Arts Society in Mumbai. The performance that evening was based on the story of the wicked king Jarasandha who is supposed to have lived in the time of the Mahabharata. Over a two hour period, the performers enacted a piece called Jarasandha Vadam (the conquest…