When I first hinted at the idea of riding into the sunset with my teenage daughter along the backwaters in Kerala, I received sympathetic smiles from some of my friends. That’s a ride for couples, you know, I was told. I didn’t agree. Sunsets are for anyone who loves it, not just for those in love, I felt. So the daughter and I booked a sunset cruise package being offered on MakeMyTrip, packed a comfy bag, and headed to what was to become one of our most beautiful and calming mother–daughter moments.
A Contented Tale of Solitude
Our package had lunch too. So the boat ride started soon after a beautifully satiating meal of parboiled rice served with saambaar and various kinds of vegetarian preparations. The elaborate meal had a lot of delights of a typical Malayalee sadya, including the ever-famous pappadum and avial, and their lesser-known cousins like kaalan, olan, thoran, and pullisherri. To satisfy the hard-core non-vegetarians in us, we were also served a platter of freshly picked seafood, including crabs coated in spicy masala, sautéed shrimps garnished with coconut, a light-on-the-palate silver pomfret moily cooked in coconut milk and garnished with curry leaves and virgin coconut oil, and pearl spot (karimeen) deep fried to crispness.
Once the soul food satiated the mind and body, we got back in our pursuit of the calm we sought in the backwaters.
And assuredly, there is something very soothing about watching a boat cutting through languid waters. After about two hours of floating on the calm waters, you could feel the comparatively cool winter day starting to get slightly humid. But it was still bearable.
The daughter and I lounged back in our seats unable to react to the simply captivating sights of the coconut groves that passed us on either side of the channel our boat took us through. Time in this side of the planet, it seems, did not move on. But no one was complaining, least of all, my teenager! I could see how the surroundings had affected her. Her usual high-energy rambles of everything that was happening in her life, all at once, had been replaced with a contentedness that radiated on her face. She had a distant look in her eye, and a tiny smile playing on her face.
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A Sunset to Remember
Just when we thought that nothing could get more serene and mind-numbingly beautiful, our boatswain pointed us to the horizon ahead of us. Both of us gasped at the sight that awaited us. Ahead on the sky, a timid reddish–orange blob of fire was shyly bidding goodbye to the day, spilling its colours into the waters ahead of us. I watched as the daughter quietly got off her seat and carefully sat on the edge of the boat, trying to hold the passing, sun-coloured waters with her fingers, a contentment playing on her face.
As the boat headed back to shore, my daughter came back to where I was seated and snuggled into my arm. “Can we do this more often, mamma?” she asked.
Package taken: Allepey—Backwater Sunset Cruising (Online Only)
Price paid: INR 37,961*
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