After good rest and relaxation we gulped hot cups of evening coffee & crisp cookies. The bathrooms were fitted with high pressure shower heads which enabled high intensity shower spray hammering down on your skin. Next dressing up for the evening meet - scheduled at an outdoor atrium besides the Vembanad backwaters. Men in veshti-shirt-kurta or churidar kurta and women in their finest silks dazzlingly bejeweled. Girls wore skirts or pajama bottoms and tank tops. A impromptu stage and amateur sound arrangements were made. Soft drinks were served for the tea-totalers and kids. Scotch whiskey for the spiritually oriented & non vegetarian dishes were arranged clandestinely in a back room cottage.The evening congregation was fun. Kids were the shining stars with supremely talented performances drawn from Bollywood themes. This was followed by some powerful delectable crooning by Priya and enthralling Bharatha Natyam by Krithika. Kalidas joined in the fun with some energetic singing and dancing from his side. He also sang a few stanzas from his latest movie Poomaram. Some of the family seniors like Jaya, Narendra, Narayanaswamy,my mother Ramal, Malampuzhai Ramu & myself were given an opportunity to talk briefly about Perumbavoor days and interaction by Anna and Manni. It was amazing to hear these extempore speeches which were delivered with confidence and conviction. I was most astonished to hear my mother (aged 92 years) addressing the gathering with no prior preparation or notes. She was the first daughter in law in the family and her experiences of the early days were delivered crisply and with clarity. Her oratorical powers and incredible reminiscences of her days in Perumbavoor 78 years ago were astounding. The fitting finale of the evening was a beautiful & Mohini Attam performance by Aswathy - executed with great poise, charm & panache. Jaya took this opportunity to distribute a nice attractively bound booklet written by her about her summers spent in Perumbavoor. It covers a wide gamut of subjects - the lifestyles, food habits, storage bins,servants,festivals, weddings in the family,anna and mannis special qualities,anecdotes,horrors of visiting the open pit toilette, the avanaka ennai treatment and so on. It is a priceless document containing a wealth of information and a fascinating record about life and times in Perumbavoor.
Dinner was at the restaurant - multi-cuisine menu strictly vegetarian both Kerala & Tandoori - preceded by a range of salads, delicious starters, soups. Deserts included payasams, sweets like gulab jamun & basundhi and ice creams.
An eventful day starting with breakfast at Sarovaram, then an exciting five hour cruise with traditional kerala style saddi and finally a power packed family entertainment at the resort. After dinner most of us wearily trudged back to our rooms (some traveled in golf carts) for a well deserved deep slumber in the cosy confines of our rooms.
The next day was relatively quieter and less eventful. We all met up in the restaurant once again for breakfast. Breakfast was a leisurely affair with both continental and Indian spreads available.After breakfast we gathered in the sprawling lawns for group photos. We re-assembled at the same atrium on the banks of the lake for an informal and impromptu session lasting a couple of hours. Cool drinks, butter milk and Kerala Kallu were served.There were a few inebriated souls. Some wandered away to take a walk around the resort and explore its ambiance and enchantment. Kalidas topped the popularity charts - maximum demand for selfies with young girls and kids in the family.
Finally it was time to pack up and check out which we all did before proceeding for lunch. Golf carts were deployed to collect all baggage and deposit them at a central point. Post lunch we all proceeded towards the exit gate where out Tempo Travellers were waiting to collect us and our baggage. It was time to say good bye to the Lake Palace Resort. Our reunion had virtually come to a conclusion. We returned to Sarovaram disembarked and final said our good byes and went our respective ways.
One of the greatest & most memorable weekends in our lives. Adjectives would be insufficient to describe the camaraderie happiness enthusiasm & wonderful bonding. Fabulous & fantastic holiday in idyllic picturesque settings of the Vembanad backwaters amidst swaying palms and whispering winds - stirring & scintillating - loads of fun merriment & laughter. And oh what entertainment provided by the maestros in the family - Kids juniors & seniors alike.We really do have such a great talent pool in the family and youngsters with a huge future. The buggy rides were comfortable and convenient. Rama periamma/athai/pati seemed to be in her elements enjoying and every moment. She had a spring in her steps and made effort to participate in each and every event. Assertive & commanding as always, she was was effortlessly jumping in and out of the buggies.
A memorable two days indeed. Superb arrangements aboard the Rainbow Cruises with a barman par excellence. and exquisite Kerala sadya on plaintain leaves with three payasams to boot. And an unforgettable stay and experience in Lake Palace luxury resort. All rooms with a lake view.The hospitality was impeccable.
The countless demands on Jayaram & Kannan for selfies shows their immense popularity in Kerala.
The dining experience under the skilled and vastly experienced chef Krishnan was thoroughly satisfying.
Kudos and thanks to Jayaram and Aswathy for organising this first family reunion. Kudos also to all family members who made immense efforts and participated and made this memorable reunion possible.
Of course due to short notice many in the family could not participate. They really missed out on an awesome experience. Surely they will participate in the next reunion.
Cheers & Hip hip hurray