Lessons from the Chameleon

Almost forty days of confined life within the boundary walls of my home…and slowly but surely I am / was getting depressed. The news of a very close relative getting hospitalized due to covid and the forecast of the third wave had all taken it’s toll on me. How long can one pretend to be optimistic?. The tourism industry is the most affected. Since Kadamakudy blog is connected to travel and photography, I almost forgot about this blog of mine for a while. When that is the case, three good things happened to me today.

During this six decades on planet earth, this is not the first time I felt this low. There are many occasions before, which I could overcome by God’s grace and my will. It is photography that helped be to divert my energies on the positive side of things. Today, again I reached out to the camera, changed the 50mm lens to 250 mm and walked around the backyard hoping to click something interesting.

The tipping point happened in the form of this chameleon. He was changing colors rapidly to match the environment. He reminded me of the ability and openness to adapt to the changed environment quickly as a key skill to survive in unpredictable environments. The main stress is due to the wait for normalcy, which may not happen at all. The life after the pandemic may never be the same again. It will be wiser and easier if we can adapt to this fact.

The second good thing was a call from an urban planner to know more about Kadamakudy Islands. We spoke for almost thirty minutes about kadamakudy, and the possibilities for sustainable tourism in and around kadamakudy islands. When she said, she got my contact details from this blog about Kadamakudy, that was a kind of a reminder for me about Kadamakudy and the pleasures associated with the slow cycling and photography jaunts to this pristine cluster of Islands.

This prompted me to search for Kadamakudy in google, and to my surprise this blog started appearing on the first page of the search results about Kadamakudy. That is the third good thing.

Kadamakudy still remains as a very safe place to visit as it is not crowded at all. Now is the time of readying the fields for pokkaly rice cultivation. Thinking of making a trip to Kadamakudy during the next week. The Chameleon effect !

He brought me out to wide-open spaces. Psalm 19

Me and Sanesh pray together for a while and meditate upon the Creator of heaven and earth sitting on a culvert at Kadamakkudy, early in the morning. That is a wonderful experience. Now we know the reason why most of ancient saints preferred to pray and meditate in the open than in confined environments. A must experience.

Vada at Raju chettante chayakkada

I like Raju chettante (elder brother) chayakkada (hotel) because I am confident of the quality of food served there. I do not have proof for it. It is just a feeling of mine that Raju cannot do anything evil for a few bucks more. This is one shop which is in existence since my child hood. That means it is there for more than fifty years and is still going strong. The interior of the hotel is not posh but clean and this is also applicable to this gentleman owner of this hotel Raju. His heart and soul must be purer now as he is preparing his next pilgrimage to Lord Ayyappa at Shabarimala.

Raju

This is one hotel, which will greet you with a share of the prasadam (offering to God) from the temple every day. Raju, keeps it on his table for his customers. His way of blessing the visitors to his hotel, every day, except on Sundays, because Sunday is a holiday for his hotel.

Prasadam
A wall painting inside the hotel

Crisp uzhunnu vada is my favourite here. I have never tasted such delicious vada anywhere else. Vada will be ready by 7.30 am every day.

There are no hotels available at Kadamakkudy. Raju’s hotel is at varapuzha town, near Davison theatre. You will enjoy a quick bite here, especially during your way back from Kadamakkudy. Ask for Raju chettante kada, near Varapuzha panchayath office.

Birds and humans of Kadamakkudy – The special bond between the Parrot and Shanmughan

Shanmughan a portrait

This time, he was with a parrot with whom he has developed a special bond. He does not own this parrot. Every day morning this parrot makes a visit to his house. Shanmughan and his family give him food. Then the parrot accompanies Shanmughan for a while and then disappears to reappear the next day. Shanmughan says that this parrot has a special knack to pick up cigarettes and cigarette lighters from his home and throw them out. Here is Shanmughan with the parrot at the main road cutting across of Kadamakkudy Islands

Shanmughan with the Parrot

May be, the birds have a special power to identify those with a beautiful heart like Shanmughan who is very soft spoken person. When I asked for his permission to photograph him, he had this small request….Sir, will you please get me a copy of the photograph. Last time when you published my photograph , lot of people told me about it, but I could not see it as I do not use neither a phone nor a computer……

Shanmughan’s photograph, captured almost a year back

This time, I will definitely give you a printed copy of your photograph. Thank you dear friend for spending some time for me, amidst your daily struggle for your daily catch of fish. Good bye, till we meet next time.