A dreary, overcast day in Fort Kochi sets us on our way to our final destination, a beach side home stay on Cherai Beach, a strip of land north of Cochin that divides the warm Arabian Sea and the Backwaters. We take the 3 rupee ferry to Vypin Island and negotiate the 17-rupee public bus to Cherai Junction. After an hour, we’re walking along the beach side track being buzzed by local kids shouting ‘hi’. We’d booked a room at Brighton Beach House but they’ve given our confirmed place away. Instead we get a better deal, at Veteran’s Homestay, four minutes away.
In the early evening, locals begin lighting candles and placing them along the seawall. It’s a touching tribute to the hundreds of thousands who died ten years ago today in the tsunami. Seven locals were amongst those killed that day, many more across Kerala as a whole.
With distance from the tour group, my fever lifts and I can enjoy food again, dios in the sea, the sun and the peace. While we’re waiting for fresh lobster and palak paneer to be served, the clouds part above us to reveal the crescent moon on its back like a glowing Cheshire Cat smile.