You know those trips that we go on sometimes, with a certain oh-so-utterly-serious purpose in mind and return having accomplished quite another not-oh-so-utterly-important one? Whenever we travel, we always return enriched by something more than we hope to accomplish: a new friend, a new local brew, a new perspective. But there are certain trips we wish we’d never made, not having gained anything significant from it, not having achieved what we set out to achieve and spent seemingly worthless days under someone else’s roof. This is an account of how a simple dessert at a hotel saved an almost pointless holiday.
It was back in 2010. I was running from pillar to post, writing entrance exams for prospective graduation courses all over the country. One such exam was scheduled in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram in the gorgeous state of Kerala. My family seemed to be looking for an excuse to get out of the house, so we planned a trip there. For anyone who intends to travel in Kerala, here’s a pearl of wisdom: Don’t sleep through your car journey; it’s worth every cent you didn’t pay (for a flight ticket). The landscape, dotted with mountains, trees and waterfalls, is a blur of green and brown through your car window, and it would take the most insensitive to not feel awed by the pristine beauty of nature untouched by human greed.
Our stay at the Trivandrum Tennis Club, where my grandfather seemed to know everybody from 30 years back, was a pleasant one, watching dog walkers and church goers at the break of dawn and tennis players, young and old, by evening; all thoughts of an exam further than ever. However, the Trivandrum Tennis Club gave us all one thing we will certainly remember forever- a simple, delicious melt-in-the-mouth dish, a tender coconut soufflé. The flavor of the coconut tingling in our mouths, with the slightest hint of sugar and small unground pieces of tender coconut playing seek, this was one recipe we were NOT leaving Thiruvananthapuram without.
Have no doubt, the exam yielded no result. Three years later, I’m into my third year of college, and there isn’t one vacation my grandmother has failed to bring this dish to the table, the tale of that small trip recounted every single time with lots of love, all thanks to a delicious little lump of sugar.
Contributed by Leah Sebastian