She was a fourteen year old child born in a poor family living in the bye-lanes of Hyderabad.One day her mother took her to a houseboat in the backwaters of a small town in Kerala on the pretext of getting her married to a rich and handsome young man. In the night a seventy year old drunk Arab Sheikh entered her room and tried to molest her. She resisted with all her might but it angered the Sheikh who shot her dead. Next morning only the crimson sky seemed to be reflecting the innocent's blood, mocking the humanity.
Soaring coconut trees greeting them and wisps of red and yellow clouds in the azure sky trailing them, he stood on the deck of their houseboat, immersed in the striking calm of backwaters. A houseboat with no open deck passed by. Pitying its occupants for missing such vivid beauty, he pondered. “See that houseboat? That’s most of us. On the voyage of life with a closed rooftop, a clogged mind, a narrowed perspective, a restricted spirit, missing some beautiful moments and simple pleasures around us.” he said. “Pass the joint, Mr. Husband! My deck badly needs it.”, she retorted.
She woke up with a shudder. All she could remember was a symphony of colors swirling around her while she was falling. And there she was on a huge house boat along with other dizzy people who seemed all funnily dressed. Some in office costumes, some as mummies, some as if ready for a fancy party, some with white cottons in their nostrils... This is when she looked at her own clothes and she shivered: a wedding dress. Between her fingers a small purse with 3 golden coins. The payment for Cerberus. The silence on river Styx was deafening.
It was supposed to be the perfect honeymoon for the perfect couple, Ella mused. The dress had arrived, the weather perfect. But Rahul was nowhere to be seen. Maybe he was already on the boat, waiting to surprise her, being always the romantic. She decided to surprise him instead. Rahul saw her reflection on the mirror and smilingly, drank down the wine. Seconds later, his body slacked and fell down, lifeless. Ella broadly grinned. The property was finally all hers. Morale of the story? All beautiful pictures need not have a beautiful story behind them.
"You a Mallu?", Dhruv tapped Shambahvi's shoulder, and asked her nonchalantly. "No, I am a Mangalorean", pat came the reply. "What difference does it make; I saw your Instagram pics, backwaters and all", he claimed. An inner voice shrieked at her, "It would all be gone"; given her folks abandoning agriculture for Industries. She loved the fact that Keralites were proud of their culture and would go to any lengths to preserve the swathes of paddy fields and their lungs, the waterways. Houseboats were here to stay. The same can't be said of it's neighboring region though.
They chose a house boat rather than a hotel for their honeymoon. Took it deep into the river away from everyone. And spent quality time together. Why so? Because if they had stayed in plain sight of the people they would have been annihilated as per Section "Homosexuality is a Sin" of the Weird Cultures of the World Act.
"You are not supposed to race ahead of the boat." "But too much of uniformity isn't natural. We can't let them know of our intentions. Our limited resources will then not make any difference." Just as the five passengers on-board, came into the open, the skies opened up. The reds and yellows had vanished. The darker blues, that donned the skies now, didn't do much to hide the rainbow. Nobody found anything amiss in the whole episode. Meanwhile, the new epidemic that would plague the city had been averted.
"Honey, Let's go inside." "Come on Shikha. We are on our honeymoon but it doesn't mean we have be at it all the time. I want to sit on deck; enjoy the scenery." Ten minutes later, Rahul couldn't bear the disappointment in the eyes of his new bride. "Let's go." He said and excited looking Shikha followed him to their cabin. Inside, she locked the door as he took out the tab from luggage. "Yesterday we bought return gifts to your Mausi and Fufa. Let's order something for my Jiju and Didi today."
“Why are you smiling that way?” “Summers must be nearby.” He peered excitedly. This elderly couple just came to Kerala and celebrating their wrinkled childhood on the house boat. They both reclined on the floor trying to grab the waves. They glanced at the pink-golden haze of sky and lost into nothingness for hours. Suddenly he snuggled her hand closer and recollected his vague memories. “But baba! Why can’t I come with you?” “Because they hired me, I’m not the owner of the boat.” He trembled with teary happiness “Dear, it took me 40-years to find this happy pearl!”
Sometimes the wind blows from the south, and you can smell the ocean breeze. In the evening, if the clouds are low, the water so purple it seems like wine. Once in a week a houseboat would come and bring in lots of stories with it. But people say they haven’t seen any boat in a while. There was a storm in the sea few days back though. But if you step into the water, the blood in your body will go down into your legs to feel the chill of the river waiting for its boat.
They were lovers for years till one morning she texted; “GOOD BYE.. I cant live this dual life of deceit. My husband deserves better So he was delighted when she called: can you come to Alleppy for couple of days. He laid his head on her lap as the boat moved lazily down palm fringed backwaters. Aha this is paradise: they were recovering from a night of draining lovemaking. Grrrr the alarm… He opened his eyes to the smell of coffee in his wife’s hand. wake up! You seem v happy: What were you dreaming?
She stretched her mind and laughed with the sun and the wind, there on the houseboat.At night, she wrote letters to the moon and poems for the stars.She even shared secrets with the dark waters.But she knew that the sun wouldn't let her stay there and she couldn't live away from home. He read the note.It read,"I am home".His tears made him wonder if he was sad that he hadn't been able to build her a home or if he was happy that she'd finally found her home in the calm waters.
Sujay: chinu why shouldn't we go to goa instead of kerala for honeymoon. Chitrika: Su i know you want to just booze and watch bikini chic's Sujay: what's wrong in that. Chitrika: then go and marry a liquor bottle or those chic's. After few days. Sujay: Looking at the sky, look chinu i have booked the entire boat house but i miss you. may be we should have discussed about our honeymoon at home rather then while driving the car which became the death of wheels for you.
"My vandi is better than that big thing there", Sonu said. "And what makes you think so?" His mother asked, to humor him. "Look at all those tyres it needs to run, I only need three for mine." His mother couldn't supress her chukle. He was already on to his big analysis.
I wake up to a FIFA buzz, my newly wedded groom playing on his laptop. As I tie the final knot to my housecoat, I undo the curtains. To my absolute delight, coconut trees and houses are moving; not me. I giggle. All this water! So romantic. Instant Gratification. In love with this place. For the fifa kid, I have a lifetime. Puttu kadle for breakfast, least something as planned. I pick my tea to a lonely corner of the boat to drool over the orange and blue morning. Surely, gets better from here.
"A couple were Sitting inside the houseboat" Ruchi: I had told you naa !! alleppey beach and houseboat would be a great idea. ruchi: Baby, i have something for you.Tell me how is it ? ravi: cake !! I loved it "he starts eating it" ruchi, i have something for you too. Ruchi: I love chocolates, thanx baby after some time ravi starts vomiting, and blood was coming out of his mouth Ruchi(chuckles): Dont panic !! just wait for few more minutes. Ravi(laughing): I know it just a mater of few minutes. "Ruchi starts bleeding as well".