The boy shouted to
me, trying to keep pace with the boat. “Pen!”
I thought he was
saying, “penny,” that he was asking for coins.
Then, seeing that I didn’t understand him, he turned his left
with his right hand scribbled with an imaginary pen. “Pen!”
he shouted again as he ran along the dirt path between the placid
backwater and village houses.
That the children
here ask for pens makes a comment on Keralan
society. Had I known it before, I’d have stuffed my
camera bag with Bics before leaving the States. Cruising around the
backwater around Kochi/Cochin is great if there isn’t time
for a more leisurely cruise in a kettuvallam.
If you have time, do both.