July 31, 2005
Each house had a number of boats. From the sizes, we could make out that the bigger boats were for carrying coconuts or the entire family, while the smaller ones would be for the kids - even small children were rowing boats. Each house, it seems, has small boats for kids – same way as we have bicycles. The kids go to their friend’s house or to school in their own boats! Sometimes the boat passes through a narrow stream, the muddy edges touch the boat from the sides, and you have to duck to avoid collision with the trees and creepers. At places, it suddenly becomes very dark, as though you have entered a tunnel formed out of trees. Once I got a feeling that we were rowing on the top of paddy fields. I thought that it may spoil the crop, but was told that the level of water at that particular time was high, so the paddy fields were covered by feet of water and this would not hamper the growth in any manner.
We also saw people collecting coconuts, toddy, and rubber. There were no markets. I wondered how these inhabitants must feel on their trips to the nearby towns. For those 3 hours when we were in the boat, I had a feeling that I was in another world – or was seeing Discovery Channel. I also kept on wondering who was luckier – them or me?
From journal Its green and enchanting - spice capital of India