‘Where ever you go, becomes a part of you somehow’ is a quote that is relevant to any traveler who has always felt connected to the places where he has traveled to. The place instills into the person, a feeling of being attached to the place as anyone would always choose a place that has provoked him or her to set a journey. Kerala is one such heaven where the tourists get to feel more at home even if visiting the destination for the first time. A journey through the place lets the people take a break from what they may call boredom from living the same life throughout. Every journey, no matter if it is a short period or long period give the people with an opportunity to explore or to set on a relaxing voyage. One such journey I got to be a part of a Kerala backwater package at the ever famous destination of Alleppey. I worked at TCS in Infopark and a new project had begun recently. The team leader insisted that we set on a journey together so that the colleagues could get to know each other and a better working environment could be set. Alleppey was located close by than any other tourist destinations due to which we decided to cut on traveling time and booked a houseboat through Lifemadeasy for a whole day cruise.
Early in the morning, our team boarded a traveler vehicle to Alappuzha. I was based in Ahmedabad and had no clear idea of what was meant by backwaters as I had never been to one. So the excitement was pretty much in abundance as two hours passed by as we reached the destination. That is where I realized that backwaters were referred to the rivers and lakes. Feeling slightly annoyed at the fact that I could have easily google it, I got along with the team where we saw the houseboat rowing towards us in the lake. We boarded the boat one by one realizing the factor that we were going to row through the longest lakes located in Kerala which was named as Vembanad. We had complimentary breakfast offered due to which we sat in the sitting space with the view of the never-ending lake. It was 9 am and the weather was neither too hot nor too cold. Hot appam and channa curry reached our hands with tea which had again been the fascinating food I had ever had at Kerala. In fact, all the breakfast delicacies of Kerala were worth a short. As we proceeded the cruise, all of us ended up staring at the beauty of the reminiscing water. The water seemed to be reflecting the sun rays and the place seemed peaceful without any sort of morning from the cars or pollution, In short, it was one among the most peaceful places where people could find solace. The boat had all facilities with two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen. The guide reached to us for a short talk and introduced us to the cook that had been there for cooking us delicious food in the houseboat.
He was an added benefit to us as it was hard to find someone who would be cooking us the food we wanted as they had enquired what sort of food we preferred to eat while the cruise. They had some options for us from which we selected a bunch of them as we were 18 in number and he had quite a lot of cooking to be done for us. Carrom board had been set in the room where we formed into groups playing an awesome match. Meanwhile, a bird visited us in the sitting space despite the factor that it felt free to come in even when 18 of us had been inside. Backwaters were, in fact, a place where a lot of the local species and migratory species of birds resided. We took some group selfies i\with the guest of ours who left us as we got closer to him to test if he didn't mind us touching him.
The sun began to shine brighter and we got some extra lighting for our pictures. Meanwhile, the guide came over to us to hand us 2 hooks and there we decided to have the real fun of being at a backwater destination. We had 5 hours left on our journey where each of us could try our luck at it. To make the game slightly exciting, we also decided to set a gift price of Rs 100 with extra ground rules of adding a time limit to it. The game, in fact, got really interesting 6 of them took their turns and got nothing in 5 minutes of time provided to each. So I and one of my colleague got down to try our luck from the houseboat and to my surprise, he got to hook a tiny poor fish. He won the cash price while we sat in the hall staring at the coconut trees surrounding the banks. A lot of activities had been happening around where we got to sight toddy shops on the banks and some people had been boarding catamarans to move across to the other side. One of them too out few packets of banana fries and jackfruit fries which we munched as the guide told us we were going to take a stop on the journey for 30 minutes.
The place seemed to be a hamlet where the trader had been busy selling their products to the inhabitants of the place. Fish was majorly being sold while fruits and vegetables were also being sold. We went to a small shop that seemed fascinating as it was more like a hut that had been thatched with coconut leaves and we were served with some super tasty snacks that were being made in coconut oil right in front of us. The food seemed really fresh and so we grabbed as much as we could. Alleppey, in short, seemed to be awesome for the food it serves to the tourists. A small shop had been selling handicrafts and ornaments so the ladies had been quite busy exploring the shop while we had been busy clicking scenic pictures of the location.
We got back to the boat and continued our Kerala houseboat package where the guide told us that our lunch was ready. With the best view of the backwaters, we hogged in some spicy non-vegetarian food and finally got into the bedrooms as we were in indeed of the air conditioners. Even though the weather had been good, we were full of food and wanted a decent amount of rest. We reached a point where the guide informed us that we would be taking a turn from the place to return back to the starting point. Time went by and we sang and got to know each other a lot more while the fun continued till the starting point. It was 5 in the evening and after having a very pleasant day with colleagues who turned friends, we got back to our house after forming a WhatsApp group with all the members of the team.