Posts Tagged ‘Houseboats’

An Indian Year: Now on YouTube!

June 14, 2011

In addition to the 70,000 words I wrote and 1,800 pictures I took this year, I also took a sizeable amount of videos. Though not high in quality, and often taken with a shaking hand, they can show things that my words and still pictures can’t. You can browse through them for your enjoyment.

AnIndianYear’s YouTube channel:

Some videos you might enjoy:

Downtown Nagpur, so to speak

An “Ooty”-ful view from the South Tour

A view of the houseboats in Kerala


South Tour: Alleppy – Recollections of a blinking night sky

December 28, 2010

29 Nov

NR. ALLEPPY: I’ve spent most of the last 10 hours staring at palm trees swaying in the warm winter wind, flocks of birds flying over fishing boats, and the beautiful blue backwaters of Alleppy.

But all I can think about right now is what the sky looked like tonight.

I’d forgotten that stars actually twinkle. Had I not seen them tonight, I may have even forgotten the stars exist at all. With the sky devoid of moonlight, and the light of the other houseboats across the waters barely visible, those stars were my only source of light, if only for a few moments.

Even so isolated from the outside world, we made some excuses for chaos this evening. The temperature somehow went up after sunset, making our clothes rather uncomfortable. Once I leaned against our other boat precariously, and had to leap monkey-like to avoid falling in the water. And of course we had our now-routine late-night bonding session.

Yes, I’m on a boat – this time a houseboat – and it’s another life experience I won’t forget and don’t regret. In spite of the mosquito breeding ground that is our main room, the aura of today’s journey has far outweighed any of its pitfalls. (Don’t worry, my bug spray works quite well!) We were welcomed on the boat with fresh coconut juice – straws sticking out of the coconuts themselves. Sabrina [Austria] and I couldn’t resist reenacting a scene from Titanic – inspired by the movie’s music playing from someone’s iPod. The views, the sounds, and the smells from the day were all ones not to be replicated. As Jordan told me: “I wish I had a moment camera.”

However many words I write, and however many pictures I take, some things in life just have to be experienced. Being on a houseboat is one of those things. The view can be captured, but what about the gentle, subtle sway of the boat? What about the enticing smells of fresh fish and roasted bananas? What about the songs playing in my head, reminders of our post-dinner group dance-meeting that’s become so routine but is always so…indescribable?

What about the view tonight? It felt odd to stand alone – if only for 3 minutes – and a bit awkward to peer around the ceiling for a half-view of the sky. The stillness is captivating, similar to the one earlier in the afternoon, when seven of us sat quiet on our deck looking at the scenery, light music in the background, the boat carrying us not to any particular destination, just onwards, ahead, somewhere. We didn’t need words to enjoy the moment.

Words can only take me so far…

I’m going to turn the lights off now, and think about the stars shining a million miles over my head. I’ve already touched the sky on this tour. Can the stars be that far out of my reach?


Click to enlarge