Our story takes us to Mavelikara: A quaint little place on the banks of the Achankovil River, near Alappuzha, Kerala. My mother’s native place.
The outskirts have a rustic charm. A feeling of serenity, where you can hear silence.
As kids, we, the four cousins would spend the majority of our school vacations there.
Post Ammachy’s scrumptious lunch for her grandkids, when the sun got a bit lenient, we’d set out for exploring the land. Most of the times, Raiju and I would take Appachen’s trusted companion, a HERO bicycle, and discover new places.
Every road we took ended up inevitable at the river banks. After a long scout, we’d show off our recce prowess to Raisa and Deepthi.
Every bylane within a 1 km radius from our ancestral home was mapped in our minds. We knew the pathway like the back of our hands.
One particular day, when we’d thought that we had charted out all the terrain there is, a couple of capricious left and rights led us to a new discovery. A small opening between some unassuming bushes. A small road that led to an unexplored new land.
There was something very different about this place. It was the most serene location we’d been to so far. Not a human in sight. Right by the banks of the river, with the branches of a tree overlooking the calm waters. We could spend hours just sitting there, doing nothing.
We relaxed, spent hours there and made it a point to come back the next time.
Soon enough, it was time to go back and resume the unpleasant study days. Many months passed by.
The next vacation, we set out to find the road that lead us to that secluded spot, which society had forgotten.
We searched a lot. Multiple heads worked on finding it, multiple roads taken. No luck.
In the vacations that followed, the four cousins became five and then six; Aappachen’s good ol’ cycle migrated to a Kinetic motoscooter, and then it transformed into cars. We sometimes remembered about the quest for the place, and searched for it.
However, we never found it again.
Of course, we forgot that specific series of lefts and rights that were to be taken. That unobvious path in a maze of countless roads and trees.
But to us, it would forever remain the land that time forgot.
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