The aroma of tea had awoken me on a drizzly morning in Munnar. The cryptic yet pleasant roar of the raindrops coerced me to take a walk into my balcony and observe the misty clouds hovering over the Kannan Devan Hills. I found a heaven on this Kerala’s tea country and this was only the beginning of my rendezvous with the real nature. I went head over heels when the warm sunlight poured through the forest and illuminated the verdant hills. The infallible hospitality of the local people tugged at my heart because as an urbanite I seldom get such a selfless treatment back home.
Contrary to popular belief, hill stations like Munnar ought to be visited during the monsoon. Certainly, cloud bursts and subsequent landslides are common in hills stations. Nonetheless, Munnar welcomed me in the most unique and candour way. The tiny drops of rain bathed the mammoth tea plantations on the hills while the joyous songs of the cherubic birds were an accompaniment to this heavenly view. Since I have a penchant for the less boasted-about trips, Munnar was never on my to-do list. My closest friend was tying the nuptial knot, and skipping it for professional commitments would have desisted the umpteen years of camaraderie. Moreover, I wanted to take a hiatus for few days from the hustle and bustle of the city even if it meant a quintessential trip.
Admittedly, I had a whale of a time at the wedding ceremony but couldn’t resist myself from exploring the other undiscovered facets of Munnar. I immediately moved to a cosy home-stay which made me live in close quarters with the wild outdoors. The swishing sounds of the wind in the evenings and the whiff of the cardamom and pepper plantations tempted me to take a leisurely stroll down the unkempt paths of the lush green hills. It would take days to pen down the array of cuisines I sampled at Munnar. Whilst at the pompous wedding of my friend I did have delicious food, all the original Munnar dishes made of organic ingredients were available at my home-stay. Although a health-conscious person, my taste buds needed a change.
It was surprising to see how the local residents used indigenous methods to prepare nutritious food. I was glad to be in a place which had no fixation for high-end technology. The less-travelled tea trails in Munnar oozed enigma and wove uncanny folklores of the great hills. The last leg of this breathtaking trip included an ayurvedic spa which made me feel rejuvenated and enthused after a really long time. However, all good things come to an end and extending my stay at Munnar would have definitely tantamount to a sordid crime as believed by my boss. My face was bedewed with tears as I had to bid adieu to this ravishing home-away-from-home. However, some promises are unbroken and the unspoilt hills will not miss me for a very long time.