Special guests@The Treasure Trove

A couple of weeks back I received a casual message from my friend in US inquiring about my home stay in Wayanad, Kerala. My friend Ansu who is settled in US after her marriage wanted to recommend my home stay to a American couple from
San Francisco who were planning to visit India. They were on a short vacation and wanted to have a feel of Kerala.

I furnished Ansu with the details and within a week I received a mail from Ashley who was planning to come to my place confirming the booking.

Ashley and Suarez

Ashley and Suarez

Ashley and Suarez after a spending a couple of days in Mysore moved into our place. They ditched the usual tourist circuit of backwaters in South Kerala and choose Wayanad.

During their stay in Wayanad they visited Edakkal Caves and Wildlife sanctuary and rest of the time preferred to relax in our cottages and spent time with my family in our house.

On Ansus request we provided them the Onam feast which was served in plantain leaves.

Onam Feast served in plantain leaves

Onam Feast served in plantain leaves

They were really thrilled and Suarez was with his camcorder was shooting the dishes being served in plantain leaf.

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Suarez recording the feast being served

It was really nice to see Ashley and Suarez helping themselves with different dishes served in the plantain leaves using their hand.

A nod of appreciation from Suarez

A nod of appreciation from Suarez

They enjoyed every dish served,

Waiting in excitement for the dishes to be served

Waiting in excitement for the dishes to be served

Before leaving they promised to come back the next year.

Ashley

Ashley

More than the monetary gains it is the wonderful moments spent with such friendly people that gives us great satisfaction and the feeling running a homestay is worth the effort we put in.

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Thanks a lot Ansu for referring such wonderful people to our place.

Final click before leaving

Final click before leaving

The Bridge to Bliss

This bridge I clicked evoked a strange feeling inside me when I sighted it first. It looked like a bridge to nowhere. Running across verdant grasslands and lined with rubber trees towards its end, the bridge looked a bit spooky. The clouded sky and faint light of the setting sun added to the spookiness. The  same night I had a strange dream; where this bridge was the centre stage. My attempt to recall my dream ended up in this piece; it is a poem or pose, I am not sure. But this was how it was for me on that night of 30th August 2014.

The Bridge

The Bridge

There I stood at the start of the bridge

In a golden chariot, with an angel draped in white.

The angel said this path is tough,

Walk with vigil, For you might be tricked.

Again said the Angel, Once you cross the bridge, It is full of bliss! It is full of bliss!

If you don’t cross alive, How can you cross when you’re dead?

Once gone there is no returning, Think again before you cross.

The voice was sweet and full of care, I felt the voice dear and familiar

Before I crossed, it flashed in my mind, all the toil I underwent all these days

I had wandered at home and abroad

Through scores of alleys from town to town

Met quite a lot, some warm some hostile

And all of them helped me to shape this living

Then I met a lot, who claimed aloud, “Join us for you can reach the promised land.”

They said there is a bridge, cross it and you are in the promised land.

The path is not too stretched join us, for we have the means to cross the bridge.

 I toiled in the midst of them, with a lot of pant and puff, but I never reached the bridge to the promised land.

Their words were deep but deeds very shallow, and their acts I felt were for momentary gains.

Their means to cross the bridge and reach the promised land, Seems to me all hollow and sham.

Turn back and see before you cross

Said the angel in a tone so firm but calm.

Through the pristine flowing white robes, I saw the wind, ruffling long locks of hair

Oh! Now I know whom the angel was, for I knew HIM all these years

Then I saw HIS witty grin and HIS usual naughty wink.

HIM

HIM

“It is not yet time for you to cross the bridge, since there are a lot for whom you mean a lot.”

When the time is right HE said, I will steer you to bliss, swift as a wind, across the bridge

I look back and there stood all my dear and near

Waving at me, they say “For God’s sake never cross the bridge.”

Then I recognize they were never a twinge in my life, for they lit up my living with those little squabbles

And sprinkled around colors of Joy, with those sporadic acts

A cold breeze flow across my face, spraying my cheeks with drops of  rain.

Then I wake up from my dreams, realize they were not rain drops but tears rolling down.

God i was fast asleep tucked all inside, in the comfort of my blanket

The night was cold and it is pouring, The night was silent and it is pouring, Since the rain allows no sound, but peacefulness

Now I get up and switch on the lights, Oh! the bridge in my dreams looked so known.

I flip through those clicks in my camera, Oh! the bridge was there, that came in my dreams

In real I had crossed the bridge and returned at ease without any hitch.

My heart, now, soar like an eagle, above all the sorrow and pain.

For HIS grace guides me above these sorrow and pain.

More storms may come to shake me, to shock and put me askew

But I know HIS love is unfailing,  and connects us all — me, you and HIM.