Dear coffee-stained diary,
It’s been a while since you and I turned pages together, but then there were no new stories to tell. Now we say ‘hello’ at the start of a new line for am on the road again; taking paths that wind through tea gardens and forests, hug beaches and overlook a harbor in this homeland I call Kerala (India). The sights are plenty, so are the stories.
Yours to know are tales of ships docking here to trade in spices and those of communities striving to keep their identities alive. Yes, you’ve had your generous share of the history of the Chinese fishing nets but perspectives are things of beauty. Oh, I almost forgot the people.I’m sure you’ll like Jaleel and his chalk paintings by the beach and the father-son fishermen duo of Augustine-Biju who can reel off nutritional values of fish (they haven’t been to school). Mohan, he talks about everything from Indian mythology to nature conservation. We’ll go steady with our affair with food, too; remind me to tell you about phyllo pastry and how it probably made for a good snack at impromptu movie screenings held in alleys in Greece. I may even spill secrets of the spice mix, for the love of good food. Alright go ahead, throw that line about sugar and spice and everything nice.
Well, what’s different about writing these pieces over articles penned during my two-year stint as a journalist? The blessing of nostalgia. Returning here after two decades in other parts of the country, there’s this blissful state of knowing your land from memories and at the same time being able to add the new to it. Not to forget the joy of learning and unlearning that has come to mark my days on this journey. So then, photograph by photograph and story by story is how we’ll travel together across this (virtual) land. Social media outreach is the fancier term.
And, did I mention I am in good company? RAXA Collective is the name.