November 12, 2009

kerala trip day 1: mysore to cochin

after the TED India closing skit, i loaded onto a bus with 10 other tedsters for a post-conference tour to kerala, the southwestern coastal region of india. i had really mixed feelings on the 4-hour drive to the bangalore airport: very excited for the coming trip, but also starting to feel the post-TED blues. it's like that deceptively defeated feeling you get when you take your first few steps off the moving walkway at the airport. the conference was such an awesome experience, really inspiring and full of interesting people. i had a particularly good last night on the infosys campus, so the departure was bittersweet.

i got a huge box lunch on the bus (it must have weighed 10 pounds), and i mostly used the time to sit quietly and reflect on the conference and this fascinating country.

the drive back to the airport brought us through the bumpy roads of small towns on the outskirts of bangalore. we had to drive slowly, so i savored every moment catching glimpses of daily indian life. the expressions, the toiling, the waiting. it was all so palpably real and beautiful.

when we finally landed at the cochin airport later that night, i got a text from the local mobile carrier: "Welcome to GOD'S OWN COUNTRY."

india's first muslim mosque and jewish settlement are both in kerala. kerala is india's most literate state, and its only matriarchal and communist government (we'd occasionally see the hammer and sickle painted on walls along the roadside).

the flowers in india continued to be stunning. we were greeted at the airport with garlands of aromatic flowers, and our hotel (the hotel trident on willingdon island in cochin) had small floating flower ponds in the lobby. gorgeous!

it was a long day, so i was pretty bedraggled, but i ate my weight in naan at dinner and went to bed happy.

1 comment:

---DJ--- said...

how was ur experience at the TED event in mysore...