One small island, one young man. Two small buildings, few toiling men. The young man supervises the men who lift bricks and lay them on one side. They seem to be constructing a boundary. The sun shines bright and it is hot. But the boy in cargo pants and shirts seems enthusiastic. He does spare us a glance, smiling a shy welcome. We get down from the boat and walk to the building on the island where a traditional Kerala meal awaits us. We are in God’s own country and it is beautiful.
A boat ride in the backwaters of Cochin is relaxing. We munch on tapioca and banana chips while the coconut palms sway along the sides, the boat rocking gently on the calm water. So, although it is lunchtime when we reach the island, we are not ravenous. However, we cannot resist the appetising aromas and we dig in. After a hearty meal, we walk around the island-resort — an enchanting drop in the midst of all this greenery.
As we walk, we meet Riyaz, the manager of this resort. He finishes his work, informing us that he is supervising the construction of a stone embankment. He needs to ensure that the embankment is built properly so that the water from the backwaters does not flow in and flood the island. The place is small, but business is growing, says Riyaz.
The island has a dining space, a kitchen and a separate two-room cottage. During the tourist season, the rooms are booked for about 15-20 days a month. All the year round, the owners have an agreement with a travel agency that conducts backwater boat cruises and people who go on a day cruise lasting for around six hours, stop here for lunch. The boatmen, meanwhile, take a well-deserved rest.
This indeed is India shining. The spirit of Incredible India. On a small island in the middle of the backwaters in a small place, you can see the zeal of enterprise, the blossoming of a generation that believes in tapping the unusual.