Kovalam Lovefest

by Joanna D.

Happy Valentines day to all you lovebirds, lovers and lovers of life and light.

The moment I got to Kovalam I knew I was going to fall in love. And I did. I fell in love with the ocean. Fell in love with sunshine, the shops, smiling faces… the ease of a beachside afternoon. Come on! But there seems to be a small side effect to this smittenness… one I was surely not expecting.

First off, I get asked some strange questions:

“Have you taken your lunch?” or breakfast or dinner. Why do they want to know that? Seriously?
“Where are you staying?” (Not telling you that)
“Are you married?” if I answer honestly they say, “why not? You have a nice face.” I respond with an, “Uh, thank you.”

Get offered things all the time. Usually juice. And by juice I mean orange soda or something like Tang. Some want to buy me beer. A few. (No, have’nt taken anyone up on that.) Or chai or bananas. Get some pretty good lines too…

“You look like a traditional Indian woman. Pretty face.”
“I will show you things by the beach. No paying. Only as a friendly.”
“I am your friend, I make you food at my house.”
“Oh. So pretty. Pretty lady.”
“You have a beautiful smile. My God. So beautiful.”
Rickshaw driver with puppy dog eyes, “Call me, oh please. I want to see you next time.”

It goes on.

Of course some of them are probably trying to sell me something. But some are super random and it is surely surprising when it happens.

Just this morning, as I was walking to class at 5:45am a boy selling papers came up and started chatting me up. “Can I have your mobile number?” “I don’t know my mobile number.” I say. He continues, “I will give you my mobile and you can call me. Then we can talk every morning. Will you call me? Please call me.” OMG.

The topper, I would have to say, was coming home after an overnight excursion to another beach to find a small basket of… bird and flowers… and a note from one of my more prominent admirers… Aji. He most definitely has some of the best lines.

Maybe I was made for India. Made to have Indian men buy me orange soda and bananas and random basket things and tell me I’m awesome. Goddess power. Although this Hallmark holiday is uncelebrated in this glorious place of smittenness, St. Valentine lives on here, in the heart of Kovalam. For sure.