The Rousseaus in India (Pt. One)

(I’m currently in Colombo, Sri Lanka, but more on that later)

My family had a great time exploring cities all over India. Every destination was very unique and presented us with a new area of sights, sounds and tastes.

Kerala is called the Venice of India, and with good reason. Like the veins that run through the human body, the water channels are the lifeblood of this land.


My family stayed at a homestay, a Kerala family’s home turned into a small hotel. Each evening we would take winding┬ásunset walks on the island’s mud path, past a church and a sacred Hindu temple, through the rice paddies filled with egrets and herons. We watched villagers take baths or do laundry on the banks of the river. The houses are brightly colored and have decorative gates and windows in poured concrete. The children are ever-friendly. It is so quiet, as there is no honking traffic to drown out the calls of the birds and frogs. Boats of every size rule the landscape.

On the second day of our stay it rained, and so in the morning we were quarantined on our room’s beautiful veranda, overlooking the garden and the river beyond. Houseboats full of laconic tourists, (which to me look like the love child of a grass hut and a submarine) float silently by. Brett and I took a swim among the waterlilies, the raindrops on the water tinkled like the silver music of Indian women’s anklets.

We celebrated New Year’s Eve in these silent backwaters, with sparklers and some toddy-tapper singers who serenaded the homestay guests. I definitely didn’t make it until midnight, but this year I didn’t feel like a fuddy-duddy, but fell lovingly asleep to the crickets.