Indian puppets

Traditional art for Communication in Indonesia – India: Puppet – Wayang

 Considering the traditional tools of Communication in India, one of the prominent medium is Kathputhli (Puppet). ’Kath, means wood and Puthli means doll. In various Puppet theater forms, they are used to  illustrate the narratives. In India, the roots of the puppet theater lie in a dancer’s mask. Excavations at several Harappan sites have revealed a number of toys whose body parts can be manipulated with strings.

Rajasthani Kathputli in India

The puppeteer narrates his story in verse or prose, while the puppets provide the visual treat. Stories adapted from Puranic literature, local myths,mythological heroes and legends usually from Ramayana and Mahabharata form the content of traditional puppet theater in India.

This art imbibes elements of all creative expressions like painting, sculpture, music, dance, drama, indeed  it’s a convergence of many arts. The presentation of puppet programs involves the creative efforts of many people working together. The sole purpose was mass entertainment via this mass communication tool. One of the very good audio-visual entertainments via puppet was projected in a novel based Bollywood movie ‘Paheli’ (puzzle) in the year 2005, starring Indonesian’s favorite Indian super stars like Shahrukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee directed by veteran actor and director Amol Palekar. The format of the Puppet-narrators in Puppetry art projected in this movie appealed the audiences and a it brought into a series of movies in Bollywood who adapted the pattern of narration….trend.

Modern India uses puppet in varied fields like medical, education, social awareness, for communication and here the characterization is transformed according to time and need.

There are basic four kinds of puppets used in India as follows:

  • String Puppets – This includes Kathputli of Rajasthan, Kundhei of Odisha province, Gombeyetta of Karnataka and Bomallattam art of Tamil Nadu province.
  • Shadow Puppets – This includes the Togalu Gombeyatta of Karnataka, Tholu Bommalata of Andhra Pradesh, Ravanachhaya of Odisha
  • Rod Puppets – This includes Putul Nautch of West Bengal and Yampuri of Bihar region
  • Glove Puppets – Important form is Pavakoothu of Kerala
Wayang - shadow puppets in Indonesia
Wayang – shadow puppets in Indonesia

The term ‘Wayang’ is used to refer to a wide variety of Indonesian theatrical forms. Wayang figures come in all shapes, sizes, and mediums, including picture scrolls, shadow puppets, rod puppets, masked figures, and puppets twice human height. For most genres, wayang is the first term, indicating a form of traditional theater with or based on puppets. The second term identifies the medium or puppet type: scroll paintings (beber), three-dimensional rod puppets (golek), animal skins (kulit), or human beings (wong). There may be a third term in the phrase, usually designating the presentation of a story cycle such as the Hindu epics the Ramayana and the Mahabharata (purwa), Islamic (menak, meaning “aristocratic”), or historical chronicles of the East Javanese prince Panji, the grasscutter- turned prince Damar Wulan, and the wali (saints).

Puppetry is the preeminent performance art of Indonesia, even theater with live actors often follows the patterns, movements, and stories borrowed from the puppet arts. Wayang is a key to Indonesian thinking, reflecting the lives and world view of the Indonesian people. Contemporary political scientists have studied puppetry in order to analyze the changing dynamics of Indonesian society .  Anthropologists have plumbed the secrets of puppetry in order to analyze the country’s social structure and cultural values.

Wayang is especially popular among the lowland Javanese, the Sundanese who inhabit the highlands of West Java, and the people of the adjacent island of Bali. For them, puppetry has long served both ritual and entertainment purposes. In 2003, Wayang puppet theater was designated by UNESCO as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. However, to compete successfully with new media  technology performers tend to accentuate comic scenes at the expense of the story line and to replace musical accompaniment with pop tunes, leading to the loss of some characteristic features, also now performed in Indonesia Bahasa (language) in place of Javanese to appeal gen-next.

by Dr. Mital Makrand

Freelance Media Professional &Academician

[email protected]

References cited:

https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-asia/southeast-asia/maritime-se-asia/a/introduction-to-puppet-theater-wayang-of-indonesia

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0451850/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm

https://ich.unesco.org/en/rl/wayang-puppet-theatre-00063

hildren heading ball while playing football

Protect the developing brain of the child

A child’s brain undergoes amazing period of development from birth till twelve, producing more than million neural connections. However, what protects this delicate tissue from injuries and trauma? It is the skull and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the brain acts as shock absorber. It certainly protects the brains of football players during jogging, jumping and kicking. Another attractive aspect of the game that fascinates all is heading the ball.

However, injuries due to heading the ball may result in severe damage. This occurs as the shock caused to brain due to injury is more than that can be absorbed by CSF. At first, it may seem like just a minor headache. However, there could also be micro-level damage of the brain tissue. This insignificant damage may lead to serious health issues such as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) later on. CTE is associated with memory loss, impaired judgement, and many others.

View of Healthy brain vs damaged brain

Children are more susceptible to this damage because their skull and the brain tissue is still developing. It is not strong enough to absorb the shock when heading the ball. The damage to kids presents itself as a concussion early on but recent studies show that even one concussion may cause long term, lingering brain damage.

My university organization in Prague strives to make contact sports much safer for athletes. We strongly discourage ball heading in small children in football. We understand the passion associated with football and would like to make everyone aware about the neurological danger associated with the sport.

CTE does not seem to be a compelling concern for kids today. However, a simple act such as prevention of ball heading can lead to a much safer development of the brain. Ensure that students, coaches and parents include exercises to strengthen neck muscles; no encouragement is given to “headers” and lastly, ensure that kids are given medical care immediately.

Trisha Jigar Dhabaliaby Trisha Jigar Dhabalia

Medical Student at Charles University

First Faculty of Medicine

Indoindians Weekly Newsletter: Celebrating Independence Day of India & Indonesia
Jai Hind & Selamat Hari Kemerdekan,
Celebrating Independence Day of two great nations – India & Indonesia. ‘For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others,’ famously said Nelson Mandela
Raksha Bandhan is on Aug 26th. All gifts on Indoindians Giftshop can be delivered along with rakhis, if specified. Order today for India and Indonesia.
Our report on the coffee morning and enjoy a travel article contributed by  Pramod Kanakath, in addition to interesting info on both countries. Read newsletter here>>
Warm Regards,
IndoIndians Team

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6-unique-regional-traditions-in-indonesian-independence-day-peresean

17th August is a special date for all Indonesians to celebrate Independence Day. A host of traditional activities are held in every neighborhood and village to celebrate this historic day of freedom.

Activities include Indonesia red-white flag fluttering from every home, flag hoisting ceremony, traditional games competition, social service and visiting park of the patriots.

Despite celebrating the similar customs, these six regions in Indonesia also hold their unique regional traditions on Indonesian Independence Day:

Torch Relay Race, Semarang

6-unique-regional-traditions-in-indonesian-independence-day-torch-relay-race

In Semarang, this running competition has been a local routine for thirty two years on Indonesian Independence Day. The participants bring the torch during the race on the night of August 17th as the locals believe the torch symbolizes the spirit of the Indonesian heroes who strove for Independence of Indonesia.

Peresean, Lombok 

6-unique-regional-traditions-in-indonesian-independence-day-peresean

Peresean is traditional competition that originated from Sasak Tribe in Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat. According to history, the monarchs and their warriors organized this tradition as a post-war activity. The tradition involves two parties, known as pepadu (the fighter) and pakembar (the referee). The locals consider Peresean tradition represents the agility and toughness of the participants in a battle. Other than that, Peresean is often held as an prayer ritual for invoking rain.

Barikan, Malang

6-unique-regional-traditions-in-indonesian-independence-day-barikan

Barikan is a tradition that is held a night before Indonesian Independence day. People in Malang City perform this tradition in order to express gratitude to God for blessings that have been given to them. Afterwards the people of the neighborhood will gather to hear the reception remarks, sing national anthems, and send prayers to the nation.  The event ends with a communal feast.

Sail Boat Rally, Batam

6-unique-regional-traditions-in-indonesian-independence-day-sail-boat-rally

Batam utilizes its location that is adjacent to the river to schedule a sail boat competition every 17th August. Usually the rally committee divides the participants into groups of three, five, or twelve persons. It is an amazing view of the river full of colorful sails from participant boats. Besides Batam, Banjarmasin City also holds a rowing race at Martapura River with 5 – 10 members in each group as an Independence Day Tradition.

Telok Abang, Palembang 

6-unique-regional-traditions-in-indonesian-independence-day-telok-abang

Telok Abang is boiled eggs painted red. This typical Palembang custom is closely reminiscent of the Easter tradition of decorating eggs. Telok means egg and Abang means red in Palembang language. When 17th August approaches, many street vendors of Telok Abang are seen to attract locals and other visitors. Most of them plug the eggs into toy-shaped corks. Those on-sale toys appear in form of ship, airplane, and car miniatures.

Parade of Decorative Cars, Medan

6-unique-regional-traditions-in-indonesian-independence-day-decorative-cars

Similar to Jakarta where ornamental bicycle parade is held, people from Medan also organize a parade  with decorative cars. It is a requirement for the contestants to adorn their own car with mixed colors and decorations. Frequently fifty participants from different institutions join the parade. There is also art and drum band performance at the event.

These different regional traditions during Indonesian Independence Day is a way to express gratitude to the founders and to the nation, especially to commemorate national heroes who fought for the country’s independence. Does your region also have a unique tradition of celebrating Independence Day? Please share in the comments below!

8-Side-Jobs-for-Full-Time-Employees

Many people tend to prioritize their 9-5 jobs because it gives them the satisfaction and fulfillment that they seek. However, part time jobs may be difficult to find if you do not have much experience or knowledge about a certain skill. To maximize your chances, try to look for a job that is widely available and suits your set of skills. Several of these jobs are the most widely available yet quite lucrative.

Here are 8 common side jobs in for full-time employees:

Teaching

Everyone is born with one particular talent that they are capable of. Whether it is the current job that they have or something else that they are passionate about, they will amass a certain amount of knowledge on a certain skill. Therefore, one of the things that you can do is to teaching others the skill that you have. Surely, you will be able to gain more income from those efforts.

Ebooks

Passion for writing can also result to a side job. If you are passionate about a certain subject, then one of the things that you can do is write about it. Ebooks are different from books, for many different reasons. First, the books are widely shared online. Second, it won’t need to be printed on paper. Third, it can be read on different mediums. Best-selling works in Indonesia that have even been published into books and sold in bookstores.

Internet Celebrity

If you have a passion for public speaking, then having a platform online may be for you. With just a mike, a computer and internet connection, you will be able to make your voice heard around all areas of the world. As internet celebrities are on the rise, it’s no wonder that you will be able to earn lucrative amounts of money and get endorsements on your name. You can start by opening a platform of your choice from a youtube channel, instagram channel to podcasting channel.

Reselling

The boom of online shops has created many opportunities, even for full time employers.  If you are a collector of sorts, this will be the perfect side job for you. Not only is it flexible, but your knowledge on your collection will help earn you money. Your side job can help you make more money for your collectibles!

Translator

For those who are fluent in more than one language, translating is one of the things that you can do. The only requirement to this job is perfect application of grammar and spelling. This job is very flexible, which is why it can be done in your free time. Translators are also independent, as they are hired based on their personal skill and do not need any additional help.

Catering

Food and cuisine is an unavoidable part of everyday life. People who are particularly passionate about this can turn their hobby into a full time home business. The key is to develop a taste that is not only delicious but also unique. With your dedication and passion for the culinary world, surely more people will be signing up to taste your cooking.

Editing and proofreading

Other than translating, editing and proofreading are also amongst several jobs you can do. Employees can do this job as it is flexible, which means that you are free to arrange your schedule around your full time work and your editing and proofreading job. Not only that, this job is also one that is widely available in the job market as many people need it from college essays, student essays, self-published novels, press releases and much more.

Sell your creativity

Employees who are artists at heart can make lucrative amounts of money from their talents. Not only will you be able to get in touch with your passions, but you will also enjoy working. Moreover, this side job that is required in many different fields. From graphic designing, images on t-shirts and mugs, or even designing logos for local businesses, the choices are endless.

It may seem tough for full time employees to engage in side jobs, but it can bring many benefits in the long run. Money is not the only benefit in having a side job, but also the improvement of their skill, becoming better at your main job, keeping their hobbies and passions alive and even expanding their network. Not to mention the sense of security that comes with having backup career to fall back to.

What do you think are other revenue generating jobs in addition to your day job? Tell us in the comments below!

32
8-Ways-to-Get-Over-a-Fitness-Burnout-Use-stress-to-your-advantage

Exercise is one known to be the best way to reduce stress. This cardinal rule has been mentioned by doctors and life gurus all around the world. Be aware and be more careful when your body starts to exhibit signs of burnout like fatigue, insomnia, decreased performance, mood changes and many more. Although it is said to be healthy and beneficial to exercise, going overboard can put a strain on our body and more stressed than we originally were.

Here are eight ways to get over a fitness burnout:

Use stress to your advantage

Stress is a part of everyday life. There will always be problems no matter in which aspect it is in your life. When exercises also stress you out to a certain extent, any form of exercise seems unbearable. Why not use the stress towards reaching your goals? Give it all you’ve got to while exercising and feel the stress melt away with every move you make.

Remember that fitness is a practice

Everyone needs to remember that like anything in life, fitness is a skill that must be learned. If you are not seeing the results you want from your practice, don’t give up. Keep practicing and learn the methods properly. It is only through this way that you can achieve your goals. Take a break if you have to, but continue your routine practice sessions. Your persistence will be rewarded as you become better and achieve the goals you set for yourself.

Find time to meditate

As it has been said in the beginning, not all exercises are relaxing. Some may even cause stress to the person. If high-intensity workouts such as running, lifting or cycling are too stressful for you, there are other ways to channel that frustration. Try to find some time to meditate and calm your nerves before you head back to your workout routine.

Give yourself some slack

In the middle of trying to reach your fitness goals, you may end up being stressed whenever you try to exercise. Although this might go against your goals in the first place, we advise you to take a break and do what your heart desires. Eat that that delicious cake you’ve been eyeing or drink a fulfilling glass of wine. Whatever it maybe that causes you stress, do it. It’s important that you must not go overboard, but cheating a little will provide you the relief you need.

Get a workout buddy

One of the ways to make the workouts you go through easier is to get a workout buddy. Research has shown that exercising with your friend can give you a lot of benefits. Not only will you be more motivated while working out but they can even motivate you to achieve during your workout session. Friends also act as instant de-stressors when you are feeling frustrated.

Do what you love

Although you know the benefits of going to an exercise class, the truth is it stresses you out. Meanwhile, the main focus of exercising is to have fun and relieve your stress. Listen to your instincts and try to find an exercise that is more exciting for you. That way, exercising will become more enjoyable but you will also get your dose of exercise.

Give your body what it craves

Unbeknownst to you, your body may be suffering from the strain that you put it through on a daily basis. If you are someone who sits on the table or stares at the screen all day, then consider your body when choosing the exercise. Choose exercises that focus on hips, shoulders or your back. Another thing that you can do is alternate the type of exercises to focus on different body parts. Even with the daily stress that you put it through, we guarantee you will feel different and so much better.

Drop the data

The use of technology has helped us in almost every aspect of our lives. From travelling, working and even to the way we communicate! It is therefore no surprise that technology has even started to help our exercise pursuits. However, numbers and data on technology starts to become more stressful as people will solely focus on it.

Our first tip is to turn off the numbers that appear in your exercise machine. Second, focus more on your gut feeling and go according to the rhythms of your body. You will also be less likely to push yourself to the brink and reduce the stress of trying to reach a certain level.

Exercise brings you a lot of benefits like reduced stress, improving body function, increase energy levels and much more. Despite that, too much can put a strain to your body and reverse the benefits that you have received. Lessen the burnout by trying the above tips and return to your workout routine more refreshed and invigorated. We guarantee that you will see a much better improvement!

Do you have any additional tips when experiencing a burnout? Tell us in the comments section below!

75

This 15th of August 2018, India celebrates its 72nd Independence Day. The day of freedom and independence which was gained after 200 years of slavery. The road to independence was difficult and filled with pain and suffering of our heroes and founding fathers. After its independence, India has developed into a country known for its culture, spirituality and technological developments.

India’s fight independence was through non-violent movements of non-cooperation and civil disobedience led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.  In the 1930s when the reform was gradually legislated by the British, there was more conflict ahead. India got involved with World War 2, the Congress made the final push for non-cooperation and the emergence of Muslim nationalism led by the All-India Muslim League added the political pressure that it was already in. India’s independence was finally gained on August 15, 1947.

India’s First Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru (right) with the British Viceroy Lord Mountbatten (middle) and his wife Edwina Mountbatten (middle) .

At that time, Nehru assumed office as the prime minister and the Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten continued as its first governor general. The celebratory effect of the independence didn’t last for long, as Muslim nationalism made an emergence. This led to horrible riots that resulted in mass casualties and the dislocation of 15 million people from their homes.

Flag of India

During the assembly of the independence day, it was reported that a group of women representing the ‘Women of India’ were present to give the national flag at the assembly during the independence day 72 years ago. The flag carried special meaning and represents India’s beliefs to the core.

The horizontal tricolor of deep saffron (kesaria) at the top signifies the strength and courage of the country. The white band in the middle represents peace and truth. The image of Dharma Chakra, is to symbolize the ‘wheel of the law’ which represents India’s hope for continuous progress and the importance of justice in life. Finally, the green color in the bottom represents fertility, growth and auspiciousness of the land.

Independence has given all citizens of India an opportunity to achieve what they want in life. From our Bollywood films, culture to technological advancements we are leading the change.

Selamat-Hari-Kemerdekaan-Indonesia

Independence was a long and arduous road for Indonesia. Before being colonized, Indonesia had many kingdoms. It was only after the Dutch and Japanese that Indonesia united its forces to regain independence of its homeland. Despite the bloodshed and lives sacrificed, it took 350 years for Indonesia to be free of the Dutch and 3,5 years for Indonesia to be free of the Japanese on 17 August, 1945.

Indonesia’s history with colonists has been filled with blood and strife. During those times trade was monopolized and the land looted of its many natural resources. It was for these reasons that Indonesians began to seek independence.

The men hailed as founding fathers of Indonesia are Soekarno, Muhammad Hatta, Seopomo and Tan Malaka. It took the minds of these four men and 64 others to form Indonesia’s main ideology, Pancasila.

Tan Malaka (Left), Soekarno (Middle) and Muhammad Hatta (Right), Indonesia’s founding fathers.

After declaring independence, their struggles were not over. The Dutch East Indies, now backed by the British wanted to reclaim control. This intention was met with resistance by the international community, in which many expressed disagreement during a meeting dubbed the ‘Round Table Meeting’ (Pertemuan Maja Bundar) held in Den Haag, Netherlands.

Indonesia Now

Indonesia has come a long way since. In the over 7 decades of independence most people have forgotten the horrors colonization and instead find happiness. This wonderful country has managed to keep and maintain its cultural roots despite globalization and has become one of Indonesia’s defining feature. Indonesia also offers much more, such as its amazingly friendly people, untouched nature, delicious coffee , spices and much much more

102
Indonesian-Special-Occasion-Food-Nasi-Tumpeng-Recipe

There are many versions of nasi tumpeng from all over Indonesia. It is usually made to celebrate a special occasion as it is eaten in large groups. Whether it is independence day, birthdays or baby showers, nasi tumpeng is widely used to celebrate special occasions in Indonesian society.

It is thought to come from Java island, tumpeng is widely cooked all over Indonesia to celebrate any important occasion. The placement and shape of the presentation of food is to represent Indonesia, in all its flavors and textures with the rice cone rising in the middle like an island.

Ingredients:
1 kg rice
900ml coconut milk
1 piece of old coconut
5 cm Turmeric
2 sticks of lemongrass
4 sheets of bay leaves
5 cm ginger
2 cm galangal
5 pieces red onion
2 pieces of pandan leaves
4 tsp salt

How to make Nasi Kuning:

  1. Wash the rice thoroughly and soak rice in clean water.
  2. Puree the ingredients consisting of turmeric, ginger, galangal, onion and salt. Add the mixture into the coconut milk. Stir until blended.
  3. Cook coconut milk until it boils.
  4. Remove the water soaking the rice and pour the coconut milk instead.
  5. Put in the lemongrass and bay leaves.
  6. Boil rice on low heat. While boiling, stir rice until the water shrinks and rice is almost fully cooked.
  7. Take out the lemongrass and bay leaves.
  8. Boil the water and prepare the pan for steaming.
  9. Add rice to the steaming pan.
  10. Add pandan leaves.
  11. Steam rice until completely cooked.
  12. Let the rice cool using room temperature.

Note: It is important to cool the rice before shaping it, other wise it won’t stick. You can shape it yourself or use a cone-shaped mold.

You can choose to serve it with ayam goreng, ayam bakar, sambal, perkedel goreng (seasoned mashed potato shaped into nuggets), tempe goreng, tahu goreng, lalapan segar (fresh vegetables), kerupuk, urap sayur (vegetables seasoned with shaved coconut), kering kentang, bihun goreng (fried vermicelli), fried egg or kering tempe.

Tips to garnish your nasi tumpeng:

  • Shape your tomato into a rose. To make the rose, use a very small knife. Peel the tomato in a circular motion and try not to break it. After you are done, form it into a tight circular shape that it looks like a rose. Scatter  the roses around the nasi tumpeng.

  • Create flower petals from chilli. Pick chillis that are large and long. Don’t throw away the stalks as it will add a visual effect later on. Use scissors to make the process easier. First, cut the chilli from the bottom all the way to the stalk. Try not to break it off. Next, cut the other side of the chilli. Continue cutting from many sides until the chilli opens up like a flower. Finally, clean up the seeds and fibres. Soak it in ice water as the finishing touch.

  • Make flower petals from cucumber. Choose cucumbers that are large and smooth. Lay the cucumber down and cut it down into two. To make the petals, cut the cucumber into thin slices from the top to the bottom. Remove the seeds as soon as you are done. You can add a carrot or cherry tomato in the center of the cucumber to complete the garnish.

  • hape carrots into aster flowers. Pick carrots that are large and wide. Lay it down on the cutting board and cut it into a circle formation. The pieces of carrots must be cut thickly. Use a cake mold to shape the flower and add square textures in the middle to make it look more like a flower.

  • Create a fence from long beans. Put toothpicks into long beans and place them all around the winnowing. Take some long beans and form it into a criss-cross motion. Continuously do this until the whole formation of the fence is formed.

  • Alternatively, use banana leaves as the base and fence. Take some banana leaves and place it on the bottom. Another alternative is to cut the leaves into rectangular pieces and fold it into triangles. Fold the two edges downwards to form a triangle. Cut the excess pieces of the triangle. Afterwards, take the right and left edge and form it into the middle. Sew using a toothpick so that it maintains its shape. Place the leaves outwards, all around the edge of the winnowing.

Nasi tumpeng can be a fun alternative for those who want to try Indonesian dishes for special occasion. Decorate it however you like and serve it with your favorite side dishes. This dish is suitable for people of all ages, from children to elderly people. Children will especially love it because they get a chance to use their crafting skills to decorate their nasi tumpeng.

The-Village-Road-To-Luxury

As the car turns left from some joint on the main road in the Tabanan Regency of Bali, we derive a feeling of entering a best-kept secret land which is actually nearby. A Balinese village atmosphere beams right in front of us. The temporary stupas (temple towers) in front of the temples stand tall and elongated made of thatch leaves.

Entrance gatesto houses have an attached divinity to them, modelled after the structure of Balinese Hindu temples. A couple of convenience stores are juxtaposed between temples and houses. The empty road lies ahead, thus barring a vendor woman who carries a basketful of food on her balancing head and a tiny boy on his tricycle precariously riding on the asphalt.

We have crossed a few kilometres as the left and the right sides open up. No more houses and no more temples. Lush paddy fields, randomly cultivated banana trees, and lined up coconut trees on the alleys between the fields become our stock scenery for the next fifteen to twenty minutes.

The-Village-Road-To-Luxury

It’s around 9 am in the morning. The strengthening sunlight spreads its gleam on the green fields brightly that we can monitor the tiny birds looting the humans’ hard-earned crop. Not far from the birds, the ladies in the fields do not mind the looters’ daylight ravaging. We only see the ladies’ conical shaped hats as they lean down, busy collecting the crops.

Our destination is the acres-long property of Alila Villas Soori which lies on the verge of the Indian Ocean and at the end of this calm and peaceful village. But what we are passing by at the moment makes us skeptical and feel like gullible little children. More sights of paddy fields and lonesome arecanut trees pull a question out of us: are we being taken for a ride?

The driver holds the steering wheel very professionally; he might have been here a hundred times. But much to our surprise, he brakes, at a Frostian diverging of two roads. Without the bother to ask us, he takes out his mobile phone and makes a call, probably to our villa. Speaking in a very soft voice to ensure he got his vista right.

The-Village-Road-To-Luxury

We resume our journey, along the fields and the trees. The distant farmers, specks on the green fields, have probably started accumulating beads of sweat on their bodies. We had not in our mind one of those off-the-beaten-path expeditions where travellers usually hope to get lost and fumble into serendipitous moments.

All we had been waiting for was to dip into the private pool, laze in the heavenly bedroom and spread our wearied bodies in the bubble-floating bath-tub of our million-dollar valued villa. Then, to fulfill the dream of walking on the black sand beach which we had been savouring from the glossy pictures on a brochure.

The car takes several turns in quick succession and every turn gives a slideshow of the same sights we have been passing by. We are tempted to ask the driver.

“Do we need to ask some locals here?”

“No need. It’s another few kilometres”, he assures us without turning back.

We reach a cul-de-sac with a wall in front jutting out into the street. We see the name Alila written in the same font as on their website. Our skepticism gives way to impatience. We long to check in and be three-day residents in a regal villa.

Once inside Alila’s courtyard, we forget the path we took. The sarong-clad ladies escort us to our beach-pool villa. On our walk, we pass by a garden, an infinity pool and a soothing view of the ocean in the background. This is the very place we wanted to be in to be kept away from files, deadlines and desks.

The-Village-Road-To-Luxury

We jump into our private pool and the splash of the water affects our moods salubriously. The jasmine flowers from the adjacent plants keep falling on the pool intermittently. They deck the water’s edges and float in the ripples from our gliding movements.

We feel being on a vantage point from where we could charm ourselves with the endless sight of the ocean on one side and the green fields and the mountains on the other. Each morning, we take a stroll, either among the fields or on the black sand beach which leads to a temple on a clifftop.

The-Village-Road-To-Luxury

The tranquility ambiance is a gift that you are not able to buy elsewhere. How peaceful the villas are! They are luxurious, yet aim to entice people by avoiding the boast of glitters associated with sheer luxury. At last we relish the evenings with the barbecues, savouring the best of steaks, and ogling the deep red horizon that is ours.

Written by Pramod Kanakath

www.premtravels.me

IG: @premkan