the most unexpected part of my recent magical trip to kumarakom was a visit to the bay island driftwood museum where the charming, idiosyncratic raji punnose gave us a rushed (we arrived near closing time and she had ‘obligations’) guided tour.

raji is one of those amazingly passionate people (she’s spent 25 years collecting driftwood, usually pouncing as soon as tsunamis and storms hit the bay of bengal) who possibly teeters on the brink of lunacy (hey, it happens those blessed / cursed with passion-fueled obsessiveness).

kerala was amazing. lounging on the backwaters where people were getting mail delivered by a postman on a canoe, getting drunk on toddy (well we tried – the local yeasty coconut palm wine wasn’t that strong) and marveling at local sky-high literacy, alcoholism and suicide rates in the ‘communist’ run state which is easily one of my indian favorites. kochin was surprisingly hip, we spent most of our brief stay there tracking down the last remaining cochin jews on jew lane (cute bookshop next to the synagogue) in jew town!

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