Friday, August 6, 2010

Cochin, In Good Company

For years now, Estalyn, Nikhar and I have discussed traveling in India. At long last those dorm-day discussions have come to fruition! Nikhar was visiting home in Delhi on a break before starting his PhD, Estalyn was traveling on a break after completing her Masters, and I, of course, am living here. I secured a few days leave from work and hopped a 22-hour train to Cochin where I joined Nikhar and Estalyn for the last stop of their travels together.

Fort Cochin has a Mediterranean feel to it left behind by the Portuguese. It is beautifully derelict, with faded and peeling paint on multi-coloured, shuttered buildings. During our few days there we did just about everything that could possibly be on a Cochin to-do list. Boulevards, squares, Chinese fishing rigs, monsoon, traditional Aryuvedic massage, delicious food, elephant baths, backwater houseboat, Dutch Palace, “Jew Street,” synagogue, Dutch cemetery, Kathakali dance, spice market, and Kerelan cooking course. Whew!

And all of these activities were punctuated with exactly the type of love, life, and pursuit of happiness conversations that I have been missing. Having only seen Estalyn and Nikhar ever so briefly on occasional visits to New York in the past few years, it was great to get the chance to do more than just catch up. And what better place to do it than over a few Kingfishers in the beautiful and relaxing Cochin!

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