From peace and solace to bazaar like hustle bustle: Kovalam then and now

Some scenes get etched on your memory permanently. And no matter what happens to you in Life afterwards, no one and nothing can dampen the effect of that memory. That memory evokes happiness and joy whenever you come to think of it. It could be a walk with a loved one, in the hills. Or that first date with your long-harboured crush in the college canteen. It can also be the first uber-expensive, totally not-worth-it Coach bag that you buy from your salary. Or it could be the sight of deep Blue waves crashing against the shore at Kovalam beach.

The first time I visited Kovalam was back in 2015 on an all-Kerala trip. I was newly married, new to the ways of relatives and in-laws, first-time people leader, new to the ways of managing tenured team members and had just joined a startup that was famous for its hustle culture. And even then, I was so happy when I arrived in Kovalam. I loved the sea, the giant waves, the lighthouse to my Left, the unending coastline stretching to infinity on my Right, a series of small and big cafes selling tea and sandwiches, the kinds that often place a candle on the tables when it’s evening. I was so free and happy that I was posing constantly while my husband kept clicking my pictures. Back in 2015, I was the only one there on the beach posing with such happiness and joy. Insta Influencer Influenza hadn’t spread at that time. So all tourists and localities were staring at yours truly like I was an alien from a different planet.

Kovalam in 2015

I spent all my evenings in Kovalam looking at the sea and promising to myself that whenever I would think of Kovalam, I will remember the beautiful, simpler times. 🙂

Kovalam of 2022

When I visited Kovalam recently, I noticed that the sea is still Blue, the waves are still huge, the coastline is still stretching far, but something is changed. The lighthouse appeared shorter, the beach practically disappeared behind the cordon. There were Instagram Influencers everywhere posing and clicking photographs. And in between, you would see tourists and localities. The shops still had a display of fresh catch of the day from the sea but it wasn’t that attractive anymore. The shops selling trinkets and jewellery were there but no one called for tourists.

You could see a few kayaks and boats in the sea. And that’s about it. My parents couldn’t stand the smell of fish. So we decided to leave early. But even after spending a couple of hours, nothing significant happened to me. I couldn’t believe I was in Kovalam again. The same Kovalam with gorgeous sunsets, with beautiful beaches, in God’s own country. And then, I decided to create a special memory.

I chose a spot from where I could get an uninterrupted view of the sea and I stood there for a few minutes noticing the shape of the clouds, the waves, the deep Blue ocean, the colourful boats on the sea and how calm it all was. While in the world, we have created unimaginable noise and chaos, the nature had still preserved its serenity- only if we decide to look. 🙂

These ‘no-onion, no-garlic’ vegetarian cuties!

Things to do in Kovalam:

  1. Watch the Sunrise
    If you are visiting Kovalam for the first time, do spend a minimum of 2 days in the place. The beach is beautiful. The sky is usually colourful. And you would certainly enjoy the Sunrise if you are an early riser
  2. Spend evenings watching the sea and the sunset
    I love going to cafes to find a table that overlooks the sea & spend my evenings there. Chai, cultlets, pakodas and sandwiches can keep you company as you witness nature busy with its artwork at that time. Good music generally elevates the mood (no matter what’s happened yesterday or might happen tomorrow) Word of caution: Mosquitoes. Carry some sprays or patches or tubes with you. Most cafe owners do burn the coil to keep the mosquitoes away. But still, it’s always good to be prepared.
  1. Check out the souvenir shops
    There are many souvenir shops around. Do take a look and buy something if you like.
  2. Be nice to people
    And with that, I mean the people who pick up your luggage, sell you sliced pineapple, or coconuts. Be nice. I would recommend to not negotiate with them either. Pay them in full. And smile if possible. Be nice. Why? No reason. Just, be nice. 🙂
  3. Read a book under a shack
    If you visit Kovalam during peak season, you might be able to find a shack. And while you can do things that suit a shack, but I would also recommend a good book. It’s an experience to cherish. 🙂

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Lars says:

    I‘ve been going to Kovalam since the 80ties .. it really depends what season, what day, what time in the day you visit. Yes with times things always change. But, what you describe in 2022, you could also experience 20 years back. Try going longer to the place you will have a better experience

    Like

    1. Just Yamini says:

      Sure, thank you 🙂

      Like

  2. arv! says:

    Nice…Kerala is always beautiful, no matter what season

    Like

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