It was on the 13th day after marriage that I took a cruise on a houseboat for the first time. It was a gift from my friend Kunchacko Boban. And this was the start of a new love affair - with the backwaters.
I have, since gone on a thousand cruises. Each and every one of them with people I hold close to my heart. I used to say 'houseboat' each and every time we planned a trip. And after a while, my wife Sarita used to ask me 'why Alappuzha, why houseboat, what is so exciting about it?'. But I used to eat, dream houseboats for a vacation. And each time, she used to agree for the cruise.
Every time, it used to be a new houseboat. But always through Alappuzha. I don't like to sit inside the rooms in the houseboat. I prefer to sit outside, seeing the sights, and at times lost in thoughts.
I have gone to a lot of tourist places, but no other trip has been as tranquil or peaceful like a trip on a houseboat in Kuttanad. Once, a foreigner told me that a houseboat ride from Alappuzha to Kollam was one of the most beautiful stretches in the world.
Before we got married, Sarita, used to say that she wanted to go to see vineyards. 'Inspired of course by the iconic Mohanlal- Shari movie 'Namukku Parkan Munthiri Thoppukal'. We have gone to the vineyards in Kambam and Theni. And also in a lot of foreign countires. but we are yet to see a vineyard which is as alluring as the one in the Mohanlal flick.' She still loves vineyards where as I love houseboats in Alappuzha.
It will cost you about Rs 300 for an 8 hours ride on the DTPC run cruise.
More information: DTPC Kollam 04742745625
DTPC Alappuzha: 0477 2251796
(In agreement with Vanitha)