What better (or rather worse) image that the elephant along the road carrying stuff around?
(By the way to all those who don’t know - this is not a common sight in Kerala anymore, the expense of maintaining these beautiful beasts and ever increasing pressure from environmentalist are making this a rarity).
Actually I should have started with the lower image. Any highway in Kerala looks like this. The whole state sits on the extreme southern tip of
Because of this beautiful and rich landscape the distinction of cities versus countryside doesn’t clearly exists in the traditional sense of it. In fact the whole state can be seen as a sprawling city or you could say that here there is neither an idea of Rural nor Urban. But whatever little Urbanity there is exists in typical Indian small town chaotic Urbanity. Largely made of highly fractured or unplanned settlement growing around some kind of infrastructural hub.
To explain this phenomenon below is an image from a small town just outside
And then ofcourse there is the image that the tourism industry wants to sell – that of pristine beauty, man co-existing with Nature – as the tag line of Kerala says as ‘God’s own Country’. Though I wonder which God would actually be happy here, I have to say that the state has its own charm and is definitely worthy of its place in the National Geographic ‘10 place you must see before you die’ list.
Here’s to this spirit of Kerala – the
And for the end I save the picture that I would show if somebody asked me to ‘Explain contemporary Kerala in ONE image’.
The image is of the
*- Money flowing in from expatriates working in the Middle East, a huge percentage of the people here either have some relatives there or indirectly benefit from the large presence of Keralites in the Arabian Gulf. Including yours truly – born in Kerala, bought up and spoiled in