Dear city folks,
Thank you for taking my picture. It’s not as if we don’t get enough visitors in the wilderness – staring at us wide-eyed and going crazy with the camera. You are not an aberration, you are the norm! Ever since that crazy sayippu came with his one-tonne camera and put us on TV, we’ve had loads of people coming to disturb the serenity of the place. But since you asked so nicely, I shall smile, even with that back-breaking weight on my head!
What did you say? That your ancestral home was just 15 km away? And you discovered this place only now? I know you folks, the ones who go to all those posh green places like Sri Lanka and ignore the beauty in your own backyard! Tch! No wonder the oldies always say, Muttathe mulaike mannam illa!
Yes, that huge sack on my head weighs a tonne, almost! And it has firewood… And I do such trips atleast five times in a day trekking 10 kilometres up and down. You people call that huffing and panting, hiking? Try it with firewood, I say!
Here, have some tender coconut water to ooh and aah over. And that little boy there, ask him not to stare… yes, I can wear a saree and in your parlance, go trekking! Ask your models to do it on the runway… and we shall see! And yes, we’re no lesser than men… it’s Kerala after all! We outrank them in sheer numbers.
Yes, you can bathe in that waterfall over there. It’s cool and inviting! But keep your excitement to yourselves. And then perhaps, you can hear the birds cooing and the leaves rustling in the breeze. And feel the wind wipe away your worries and the water soothe your souls!
Thank you for coming. I urge you not to spread the word around. We don’t want people coming in droves and spoiling the place.
But for now, enjoy the cashew fruits, tender coconut water and while leaving, don’t forget to take your trash along with you!
And since you’ve been such good people, I pray that the ‘sounds of silence’ remain forever in your hearts.
*sayippu – Malayalam term for foreigner (white-skinned)
*Muttathe mullaike mannam illa (You have no value for the flowers in your own garden!)