12 September 2010

KERALA WATERWAYS

Kerala Waterways


This is Kerala, blessed with natural beauty. Unfortunately the locals are insensitive to the surroundings and not aware of the lush green natural beauty they see every day. Their dreams lie elsewhere. the grass is greener in the Gulf,  Europe or the USA. Is there any grass in the Gulf ? 
They don't mind.

Kerala Waterways

Very romantic settings spread all over Kerala. The above two pictures were taken in Engandiyoor near Thrissur.



Kerala Waterways


Kerala Waterways



Kerala Waterways



Kerala Waterways


Kerala Waterways

Kerala Waterways



There's your house and here is your boat. 
Not everybody can afford to own a boat. Mostly lower middle class and poor live here. People depend on small boats to cross the backwaters to reach the road. Everybody prefers the road as it is lot faster. But they have no options.


Kerala Waterways


My friend  Father Mathew a priest hails from a village called Thiruvarpu on the Alleppy kottayam backwaters.  This boat costs over hundred thousand rupees to make. This is not back waters actually. some areas get isolated in the rains and the only mode of transport is the boat. there are canals on both sides of this village.

Kerala Waterways

This is an old picture taken near Mahe'. Boats are a vital mode of transportation in most parts of Kerala. Its always a joy ride for me, where ever i am, in Malabar or Cochin Alleppy kottayam or Kollam. These boats take you to the inaccessible areas.

Kerala Waterways

This is a luxury boat for rich tourists. Costs more than 5000 rupees a day to hire.


Kerala Waterways



Kerala Waterways

This is a tourist boat in cochin. a similar double decor boat capsized in Thekkadi lake drowning more than 50 tourists last year. There have been accidents due to over crowding.


Kerala Waterways


This is a local Kerala State Road Transport Corporation ( KSRTC) managed boats. Doesn't look very healthy. But the locals are dependent on it. Gets over crowded during the peak hours.


Kerala Waterways



Kerala Waterways


Kerala Waterways

Kerala Waterways

i had no seat here, i didn't want one actually,  i stayed out on a narrow deck taking pictures. This is near Cochin harbour.

Kerala Waterways

Kerala Waterways

This is not crowded but gets crowded in the mornings and evenings. There is room for traders carrying things to different islands like Vypin Mattancherry, Fort Cochin.


Kerala Waterways

Kerala Waterways



Kerala Waterways

Kerala Waterways

Kerala Waterways

Kerala Waterways

Kerala Waterways


This was a very sweet ride for me from Aleppy to don't remember where, as i got in to a boat one early morning with school going children. i didn't want to reach anywhere.


Kerala Waterways

Kerala Waterways

Kerala Waterways


they were doing their homework in the boat
you are supposed to do your home work at home,  what were you doing last night ?
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE  we were watching TV

Kerala Waterways


The boat picks up more children.  There are houses on both sides of the backwaters. The boat has to touch both sides even if there is a single school child waiting.



Kerala Waterways

Kerala Waterways

Kerala Waterways

Run Lola run, you'll miss the boat. She didn't. The boat waited for her until she was safely seated.

All these children come from very poor families. They are neat and clean well dressed children, despite their poverty.  Education is their top priority. They will go without a meal but they will not miss the school.


Kerala Waterways

Kerala Waterways


The friendly and kindhearted boat conductor is helping the children with their home work. They see him every day. The children carry a subsidised pass issued by the government owned transport department. 

while boarding,  one girl said she forgot her pass and she has no money to pay. with a smile,  this conductor said hop aboard kid.

The fare is ridiculously cheap. and a lot cheaper for everyday passengers holding season tickets and still cheaper for the school children.

Kerala Waterways



Kerala Waterways

Its slow moving boat, there is lot of time to do the home work, play or fight. lot of mischief too. Here on the boat the conductor plays the role of their teacher and a guide.

End of fun on the boat,  here comes their school.

Kerala Waterways


train in rain

Train in rain

Leaving for Coorg tomorrow, to get some rain drops on my body. i sit at the door steps of the train. This picture was taken on my way to Aleppy in Kerala. I am not going there now, going there by the end of this month.  Here comes the controversial picture.


Kerala Waterways

Can any one of my new readers explain what in the heaven's name is happening here on this boat ? Why the stupid husband is sitting comfortably and why his wife holding a baby is standing ?

i posted it a couple of years ago in Black and white in Environment series SPEED and there was a debate on this picture.

Thank you so much for your patience. i know it takes a while for the page to load as i have posted bigger size pictures this time.

please do your best to be silly and stupid
that's the way to live
nothing else makes sense.
All my love

37 comments:

freefalling said...

oh I love the little fella with the 2 little girls and his big green bag next to him - he reminds me of my nephew - who is a wonderful little soul.

Any crocodiles in that water?

Ruth said...

I didn't realize that so much travel has to be done by river in Kerala, rauf. Of course the best of this post is the school children, so smart in their uniforms, so sweet working on their assignments. The little girl smiling at you (did you tell her to say EEEEEEEE?) is wearing the same bracelets I wore at her age, maybe a couple years older. They were glass, and some friend of my parents from India gave them to me. I wore them straight on from the day I received them, and one by one they broke on my arm. Some time later I felt stupid for wearing them and not protecting them. That was silly and stupid. Was I making sense?

rauf said...

a lot of mischief goes on the boat LETTY GIRL, they play pranks on each other, tease the conductor. Actually the boat is their class room.

no oh no Lettys, haven't heard of any crocks here. You'll find them in the river Cauvery in the state of Karnataka. i have posted some pictures of crocodiles few years ago.

rauf said...

RUTH, you did the stupid thing wearing the glass bangles all the time. And that is the right thing to do. They are meant to be broken so that you buy new different coloured ones. these bangles are made by very poor people. if you break them you are actually helping them to survive.

oh that girl was sweet Ruth and she was asking me lots of questions, she ate my brain. she was not letting me take pictures. She told me in Malayalam what a devil her teacher is. even the women teachers employ corporal punishment. these children are hit with a cane or a wooden ruler.

i didn't have to say EEEEEEEEEEe she was cheerful all along until she reached her school. The atmosphere in the house is not always happy Ruth. poor people work hard and then come back home drunk and create trouble. she told me that her dad is a carpenter. unhappy incidents of yesterday are left behind and a new day begins every day for them Ruth.

monsoon dreams said...

raufee,
good to see a post on coconut land.how i miss those days,working in alappuzha!what attracted me the most is the loving conductor guy.It's hard to find people like him these days.
...and the last snap- she's standing bcoz her saree would get wrinkled,or the kid doesn't want her to sit.and he likes to be with mom and not pop.got the answer?mallus r not that heartless,raufee.Malayalis Zindabad!!!

vishesh said...

This is a photo blog, the pictures need to be big.biiiiigggg..humongous :D

rauf said...

yes sweet guy the conductor was NEENUDEES, please hold a red flag and shout Malyalis Zindabad. i know you appreciated the beauty surrounding you Neenu kuttas, but i have seen very very insensitive people who thought i was mad to go to the forests and remote areas of kerala. Is there anything to see here ? Why have you come here ? Are you mad ? Now i ignore those questions.

rauf said...

oh this is not a photo blog VISHESH. i can say i also also post pictures here.
i use pictures to dampen the impact of what i say, so that my friends are less annoyed with me. i began this post by highlighting the bad attitude of the Keralites.
Like you most of my friends are Malyalis.

i have other blogs for pictures. Have a Chennai photo blog ' chennai outdoors' you can see the links on the side bar.

Aaarti said...

Lovely wet cool fun kerala... been wanting to go for sooo long.. Gonna be heading there this year once for sure i know!!

Adorable school kids
eyes shimmering with mischief..
hehe
but damn sweet to see them go to school even in such poor conditions.. amazing!!

So many boats
so many differnt kinds..
sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet :D

have fun in Cooorg
was there last year around this time
no rains, oh wait, yes rains..esp when we went to Talacauvery... poured n poured n poured!! sheesh.. never ended... we were drenched
but sooooooooo much fun we had Raufeee!!
take care!! and i look fwd to the "Chennai blog"

Claudia said...

All the children smile at you when you take pictures of them, rauf. Such a shame that most adults seem to have lost that capacity to smile somewhere along the way.
I hope your travels will bring us more beautiful photos like these. For me Kerala has become a synonym for beauty, thanks to you.
Thanks for the lovely words in my blog.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the wonderful pics Rauf! Missed the rains this time. Loved the pics. I want to be that man on the boat holding the umbrella. Kids are so adorable and Mr .Conductor seems like a nice guy. Probably wanted to be a teacher but decided to take up a "government job" as a boat conductor instead.
You are right--we forget the beauty that surrounds us and move out. But look at this way. Since half the population is in Gelf or Ameyrikka--less population pressure on the local envt. :D.

Have a great trip to Coorg and hope to see more visual treats and insights from Coorg.
e2d

tweetey30 said...

WOW Raufe.. These photo's are amazing.. I love looking at them and you live so differently than we do. It shows you how much we depend on our cars. And how much we depend on other things in the US too..

Vagabonde said...

Hi Rauf – I did not know you posted again, but I looked at your beautiful pictures and read your posts. They are genuine – no, not a good word – they are from a free spirit I would say. I liked the sentence “i think you have to be very insensitive to be happy all the time.” It is so true. I find your photos and your words refreshing. I live in America and I check the weather when I wash my clothes as I like to have them dry in the sun. I do not watch TV, well I watch a comic news show by a guy called Jon Stewart and that is about it. My daughter‘s in-laws are from Kerala and they are super Catholic – why is that? They are a lot more religious than any other Catholic I met – they go to mass every day. It surprised me. They go back to Kerala (from the USA) every year for 2 months – they said we should come too, but I am not Catholic (nor Christian), so I am afraid a bit to go with them.

Your photos are so beautiful – I asked my daughter to help me get my posts pictures larger and she told me no, because it would take too long to download. (When I was in France trying to download my blog on a dial up computer it took 30 minutes for one post!) The reason I like you posts is I feel that you say what you mean, or you mean what you say. So many other blogs are trying too hard – too hard to be pretty, too artistic, too verbose, too psychological, yours is well, I’d say “alive.” I would like to take pictures of people but I do not dare – here if I ask they will say no. The children you showed are very beautiful.

mystic rose said...

Thank you so much for this post, it really touched my heart. Best of all are the children's pictures. So precious. And that amazing conductor. I miss that kindness here.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Rauf, you did a great photo reportage here!
Yes, Kerala is really blessed with natural beauty. The green all around is gorgeous.
Love all photos! The students are so beautiful, so cheerful smiling to you! The girl with the rose ribbon on her hair is lovely!

Love the bigger size pictures. No problem with me, fortunately my connection is fast.

Thanks for sharing with us your wonderful country!

sonia a. mascaro said...

Ah! I will see the series SPEED and will read the debate about the picture with the husband sitting comfortably and his wife holding a baby standing". Very dangerous indeed!

rauf said...

Oweee mees not prompt with my respones as you may think ORTEEDEE.
But this time i have an exchoose.
yekchoose me saar i was in Coorg.

Got some good and heavy rain drops on my body. i am the only one walking like a fool without an umbrella in the whole of Coorg. They watch me with wonder. Any one who owns one square inch of land has a home stay and its very expensive, least i heard was 1500 a day.
Aiyoo ! i was rolling my eyes. That is my ten days of travel budget.

yes yes, lots of boats in different parts of Kerala Orteedee, different kinds. i got an idea this time. i wan to follow Cauvery Orteedee. Those basket boats 'parisal' which are unique and can't be found anywhere in the world. i have lots of pictures of these basket boats in karnataka side of Cauvery but very old pictures of Tanjavur side taken in film camera. Want to go there again with digital.

rauf said...

i am very cautious in the cities CLAUDIA, specially with children. Always afraid some one would pounce on me if i smile or wave at them. In villages its different, people are sincere and children are simple and they don't suspect if you approach them and take pictures, always willing, always welcome you with genuine smile, children and adults alike.
There may be something wrong with my approach Claudia, there is fear in us always which is a recent phenomenon but we have not forgotten to smile. We seem to be too cautious. Caution is necessary, specially for you and we can't afford to smile at every one all the time. People would think something is seriously wrong with this guy. There are some exchanges of smiles with strangers and some strange connection. i don't have much experience in flights where the person sitting next to you doesn't want to know you. Same with inter city trains. But in long distance and rural passenger trains its a free atmosphere where strangers offer you food they carry and ask lots of questions and become friendly.

rauf said...

oh yes E2DEES, i always wonder what would happen if all the Kerala peepals living abroad return at once.
i don't have recent pictures of Mahe' side taken with digital. have old slides, some of them were used for a calender. The area is beautiful, perhaps more beautiful than Alleppy side.

yes the conductor was a sweet guy, all were teasing him or asking questions, they see him every day and even the parents seem to know him and exchanged greetings when they came with their children to see them off.

Recently met a sweet lady who was born in Mananthvadi living in Bangalore, Where ever you are you don't forget to put chandanam on your forehead do you ? She had chandanam on her forehead in her profile picture. Took her portraits. She is a Bharatnatyam artiste and an English professor, unfortunately doesn't seem to know much about Manandavadi, nor did the Kerala Tourism guy who was with me during 'Godes own Cundry' campaign shoot.
is it in Keralay ? he asked. He was an official from Trivandrum.

rauf said...

oh yes TWEETEY, we have lots.
You'll simply wonder at the number of different contraptions on the roads. Bullock carts camel and donkey carts. They run even in expressways. they have the first right of way apart from tractors. After all the Highway runs through their lands. You'll see striking contrast here. A new shiny Mercedes behind a donkey cart on a highway. And there are other contraptions called Share autos. You'd ask do you have people sitting inside this hideous box ? i traveled in one such box. people and goats and chickens were packed like sardines. till the end of a 5KMs journey i could never figure out who was driving it. yes it runs on wheels.

rauf said...

Thank you VAGABONDE for you kind words. i apologise for my late response as i was traveling for a week.

Yes i am familiar with Jon Stewart show, he presented the Oscars a few years ago, very funny he is. i like him too, very innocent face.

i upload the large pictures in Photobucket and give the HTML link in the box. I have no knowledge of HTML but by trial and error i changed the template settings to accommodate bigger picture. i compress the file size for faster download. i would not advise you to do the same as you would lose all the new features the blogspot offers.

You'll find religious harmony in Kerala. Muslims Hindus and Christians are almost in equal numbers. But within the religious institutions there are major differences. There are many factions within Kerala Syrian and Catholic Church who don't see eye to eye

We have many religions in India and many gods. But our primary and most important god is MONEY. To allow money flow in to our lives we bend rules religion faith, twist and crush them. other gods come next. We worship money and gold here. We know how to bribe other gods and make offerings in cash and gold to get more money and gold. going to mass every day or the temple or the mosque is just acting. If you touch their money or possessions they'll show their true colours. They all act like saints wearing cloak of religion. all religious institutions are very rich and they manage to shove the scandals under the carpet with the help of the politicians. Very little comes out, here are a few.

http://devapriyaji.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/church-in-kerala-is-rocked-by-sex-scandals/

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090412/jsp/7days/story_10809903.jsp

http://www.dancewithshadows.com/politics/amen-autobiography-of-a-nun-sister-jesme/

This does not mean your daughter married a wrong gentleman. But the first god is money here. Rest is all show.

rauf said...

oh i had trouble posting the above comment. i think blogger doesn't easily accept big comments. Ten comments appeared at the same time, had to delete 9 of them

rauf said...

Thank you MYSTIC ROSE, Kerala is known for very indifferent people. They don't love you or hate you, they are just indifferent. They are not even curious like you find in other parts of the country. But occasionally you find some very sincere kind and genuine people in Kerala like the boat conductor. He was quite helpful in directing me to the places i wanted to go.

Anonymous said...

How beauty you potraited the Boat journey in Kerala,really Gods'own country!!!

Anonymous said...

How beauty you potraited the Boat journey in Kerala,really Gods'own country!!!

Vagabonde said...

Thanks Rauf for your answer and for coming to my blog. I’ll look at the links you gave. But you know India is not the only country where money talks. Money is very important in the US culture. Since I came from France I have seen that greed is getting stronger here unfortunately. Maybe it is a new world disease like Bird Flue.

Marie said...

very nice pictures, as usual !

rauf said...

Thank you SONIA, you also post bigger pictures, i have no problems viewing them. i just want to use the space on the sides with bigger pictures.
i live in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu but there is a vast difference in attitude between people of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In Tamil Nadu people are enterprising, helpful and you can interact with them easily. Of course there are bad elements present everywhere. In Kerala you are safe but you don't get much help from the locals who are in their own world. Strangely the people do not know much about their own state.

Male dominance and thoughtlessness can be found anywhere in India, like you see in the last picture.

rauf said...

Thank you anonymous, please put your name and place next time

rauf said...

Trail of tears can be found in India also VAGABONDE. history is not a pleasant subject to read. We keep repeating the blunders and greed has always been a dominant force.

rauf said...

Thank you MARIE, always a pleasure to visit your blog

silent moments said...

I see what you mean by capturing the people....yes its much lively than inanimate landscapes.
I enjoyed your blog a lot.
nice work!

rauf said...

Thank you SILENT MOMENTS

wildpic said...

what can i say rauf ? maybe ... the grass is greener on either side, provided all humans shed their tongue at the age of 18 and hand signs are used only for asking food !

Marie said...

jolies scènes qui donnent envie de voyager dans ce pays que tu nous présentes.

fr. Prince Puthenchakkalakal said...

pictures that provides very strong nostalgic feeling. great work for the keralites in diasopra. may
God bless u

Elizabeth said...

Dear Rauf,
How I love traveling with you. The waterways look so lush and splendid.
Yes, the company of children keeps us young.

Who knows why the woman is standing holding the baby.....!
Some men are quite impossible, but, on the other hand, so are many women.
Variety is the spice of life as they say.
America, as ever, is in a big mess and getting worse. I really can't understand why we are here except for our grandson!

love to you, dear Rauf, from New York.