“The Yindian Trip” is what we called it. Touring the southern part of India along with a tremendous family is really something. Every year we go on vacation, but this year was the best we had so far.
“Wake up Sachin anna (brother in Telugu), the plane is about to land”, I squealed eagerly at him.
He mumbled something in a very monotonous voice and went back to sleep. I was almost 14 when we had to pack our bags for two weeks. My feet were vibrating, unstoppable as the plane reached out to the ground, after waiting for sixteen long hours. As soon as the plane landed, we shot off to the baggage claim, collected our belongings and raced out to find a taxi on the crowded streets of India. Our journey began with that note.
Around we went, through many cities, mostly on trains. Stopping in each station, with its dignity of the compartments full of riches and luxuries to the nadir of the luggage cabby dumped with insects and coal, the train chugged its way to Kanyakumari – the southernmost part of India where the sunset and sunrise are the most breathtaking sights. Early in the morning when the sky was dark, we gathered on the bank of the Bay of Bengal to see the much praised sunrise. It was said to be different everyday – but I remember how ours was bright and awakening, pulling us out of the darkness, free of all worries.
That evening we boarded another train to Trivandrum, Kerala – a tropical and green paradise, much like the suburbs of Florida. The cool breeze gently whipped across my face as I stuck my head out of the moving train. The train slowly stopped at the station as we disembarked. Outside the station was a long line of rickshawalas (rickshaw drivers) along with their rickshaws, waiting pull us to our destination. At that point I realized how hard people work for money. We directly went to the first one in line, his smile made my day. I was so tired by the time we reached our hotel, Park Plaza – a three star hotel. I plopped on the bed and stayed there till the morning.
Early the next day, we visited Guruvayur, a Krishna temple. It is the most beautiful temple in India. The thousand year old pillars were dressed in flowers and the gold on the shrine was glittering. After we parked the car, a huge parade of elephants meandered towards us. My heartbeat got faster; I started trembling and almost cried. I quickly went behind our car and hid. Two minutes later, I start to hear laughter vibrating through my ears.
The prayers in session were calming our souls and put us in a relaxing state. We slowly proceeded down the aisle towards the idol. The dim lights, good enough to make the idol glow, gave the place a serene atmosphere – the kind that made us stay and watch the sun change into a dim source.
After we left the temple, we headed west towards the shore, where a boathouse waited. One of the main attractions of Kerala is the boat houses that are rented over night. It had a flat screen TV, a royal dining hall, three bedrooms and a crafted cook. Captain George showed us around and started the whirring of the boat. We steered the boat, for it was the most amazing thing to do. The cool breeze hit us as the boat accelerated faster. This is what I call a vacation.
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