I want you to try and imagine relaxing in a comfortable seat as we slowly drift along in our boat as the light fades.
Listen to the sounds of the gently lapping water.
The call of a bird carries across the water and in the distance, a long way off, there’s a radio playing music.
The voices of our friends descends to just a murmur as we savour the moment…..
This guy was sitting on the shoreline at Fort Kochi alongside people selling fish. He was hopefully doing business demonstrating and selling the parts of a Spirograph drawing game…..
An impromptu game of cricket of the sort that you see many engaged in throughout India on an afternoon that was strangely quiet owing to a general strike that was afflicting Kerala. This photo was taken in Ernakulam, not far from Fort Kochi.
Perhaps we might not associate the south of India with dramatic landscapes, but the mountains that border Kerala and Tamil Nadu have some impressive peaks and river valleys, forest reserves and wildlife sanctuaries.
This is the Chalakkudy River Gorge in the Shoylar Reserve Forest. Just a short way downstream are the Athirappilly waterfalls which I would love to visit in the wet season.
Two shop interiors and double portraits, one taken in Kochi, India and the other in a museum of a Victorian town in Shropshire, England.
One is relaxed, smiling and cluttered. The other is formal and ordered.
Languid water and luminous sky come together one late afternoon on a fated boat trip on the backwaters of Kerala.
Fated for the two misadventures that befell our boatmen. Firstly when a boat pulled out into our path as we negotiated a narrow channel and we ran headlong into them. Then later when we ran over the nets of two fishermen. They were in tears but thankfully, due in no small part to the negotiating skills of our travelling companion Shyju, recompense was agreed for both mishaps and we concluded our much delayed boat trip by being able to capture this sunset scene.
The history of the trade that India had with the outside world is a long one and here in Kochi in Kerala and similarly in Goa, the architecture clearly shows the strong influence of Portugal in these former warehouses along the waterfront.
In my early visits to North India I was amazed to discover carved Roman swags decorating the architectural detail and later was intrigued to discover the Hellenistic drapery on carved figures that wouldn’t have been out of place in Greece. At one early stupa I suspected that the columns supporting the porch of a small temple shrine showed evidence of Egyptian influence but have never seen or read of this as a recognised architectural source in India. You never know what you might come across as you walk around a corner in this wonderful melting pot!