Project 365: Day 73 – Playing with a story

12th September 2014 – Cochin, India

He lay, waiting for the next coat of the pious green,
And a shade of evil red, if he absolutely must.
The colours say more about a person than ever, and
sometimes, its not the face, its the paint that we trust.
The paint is on! - Cochin, India

The paint is on! – Cochin, India

I slept last night in a little-known town in Malapuram district, called Perinthalmanna. For a full room with an attached toilet, all of it costing me only 300 Rupees ($4.5). I might have spent more on electricity, if I was sleeping in my own house! I met with 2 college friends who lived in this area, and we joked about old times, and how I have barely changed.

Come morning, rode out to Guruvayoor, about 40 KMs away. Guruvayoor is one of the most famous temples of Kerala, and is renowned for its collection of elephants. They even hold an annual elephant run, like the famous bull-run of Pamplona. But I was mildly disappointed when I reached Guruvayoor around 11, for 2 reasons. For one, cameras were not allowed in the temple compound. And two, the elephants were not in their shed, probably taken for a walk or something.

With the temple episode not going too well, I rode another 110 KMs to Cochin. This old trade city, is still the most vibrant place in Kerala, and probably the hub of any tourist activity here. There are plenty of home stays in Fort Kochi, and really cheap. I settled into one, and left to see a Kathakali performance. Kathakali is a portmanteau word of Katha (story) and kali (play). It is a traditional dance-drama of Kerala, where stories from the Hindu epics are told in the midst of a lot of singing, dancing, and eye-brow movements. And with each character donning a heavy layer of make-up of 5 basic colours, each of which signifies a different character trait.

I was, somehow, more interested in the makeup session, than the actual dance.

If you are interested in world dances, you should check out the Kolo dancing of Serbia. Click here!

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About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

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