The forests glistened the dimmest shade of green. A swirl of dense-mist rose through sun-spangled woods, as the heavens rumbled all morning. In the stillness of the jungle, creaked a several trunks brittle and desolate from battling the storm. A faint drizzle hung in the air as streaks of white clouds cut across ashen grey skies like shards of splintered ice.
As the rain mellowed down, the sight of shimmering hills and cattle grazing in a distance captured our attention. We were all set to bid our farewell to Bodinayakanur to embark on a long journey towards Dhanushkodi where resided a few settlements of fishermen on the shores of Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal. The cyclone of 1964 had wiped out the entire town and it was declared uninhabitable by the government of India. We were curious to meet them and wished to understand how the incident changed the lives of local fishermen and other communities living in and around the town.
Our first stop was Irinjalakuda. We were quite excited to visit the town to meet familiar faces from our trip a few years ago. Living a life on the road, constantly being on the move, as travellers more than often we tend to make friends and form lifelong relationships wherever we go. And, as one journey ends and another begins, in the warm embrace of our new companions, we make promises of returning to them — our cosmic family — whenever the stars align. But, the constant rhythm of the road takes you through different paths and places. And, before we knew it, time had passed and we had a million promises to keep. In hopes that we’ll be united with our family some day, we continue to head towards realms unknown in search of true human connection.
We drove through 17 hairpin bends cut across the hills. The route we had chosen was neither preferred nor popular. As we climbed up the mountain, the entire landscape was blanketed by a thick layer of fog. In a few hours, as the mist cleared we caught a glimpse of rolling hills engulfed by tea gardens and spice plantations.
The velvety texture of the hills in Munnar shone within its emerald green cover. We sipped on some vanilla tea and coffee before heading towards the adjacent hillock. Dew drops danced on the edges of cardamom leaves as we drove through meandering roads towards Poopara. Flanked with lush green estates on both sides, the mountainous road curved upwards. Heavy downpour made it difficult to navigate the trail.
On our way, we also came across a rickety old bridge that shook vigorously as we crossed it. Apparently, it was used to transport construction materials to build a neighbouring dam years ago. We stopped there for a while to take in the view. In no time, it started raining yet again and we decided to leave.
After driving for about an hour or so, we came across a tiny waterfall in the middle of nowhere. The water created beautiful ripples as it tumbled and cascaded over the rocks. And, as the white veil crashed with a hiss onto the earth, a flock of birds soared high up the falls only to be swallowed by the horizon. Soon, the sun went down, and we drove through the forests hoping to hit our destination by nightfall…
Project ‘Rest of My family‘ is an attempt to connect back, re-discover our relationship with and understand our responsibility towards the larger family that we are a part of — the rest of our human family. Hence, it is titled Rest Of My Family.
Through #RestofMyFamily, we will focus on highlighting social issues and human interest stories, documenting the triumphs of the ordinary man despite all the hardships they face constantly, and help these stories reach a larger audience and wherever necessary extend support to the individuals and communities that we write about. We hope to make a direct impact to the lives of those people we meet and find suffering due to various social issues; to connect the ones who need help to the ones who can help….
Find more about the campaign here: http://igg.me/at/restofmyfamily/x/539502