By Janet Love
approximately 120 kilometres north of Maduria, situated in the Palini Hills, is
the resort town of Kodaikanal. At an elevation of 2,133 metres, this quaint
hill station is a favourite travel destination for both foreigners and Indian
nationals, particularly honeymooners and college graduating students.
the only hill station during the British Raj to be founded by the Americans. It
all began at the turn of the last century as missionaries sought a break from
the oppressive heat of the plains.
Anxious to get
out of the heat, I travelled up the ghat road to spend a few days in the cooler
temperatures myself. A wide variety of accommodation exists in Kodai: flash
hotels, budget hotels, and hostels. However, I opted to stay at Cinnabar, a
unique bed and breakfast recommended to me by friends. Located just outside of
the hustle and bustle of town, Cinnabar is owned and operated by K.
Balakrishnan and his wife Vasu. Cinnabar’s tagline is:
Where you feel like a
friend, not just a guest.
I would soon discover the depth of those words.
Bala for short, welcomed me to his home and although I arrived long past the
breakfast hour, he asked, “Are you hungry?”
answered honestly. I’m not shy about food, for let’s face it, food is one of
the joys of travelling.
Within a few
minutes I was served hot steamy coffee and homemade granola, followed by fluffy
scrambled eggs and homemade bread — a true culinary delight.
the generic pleasantries over a second cup of coffee; where are you from? What
do you do? And it was here that I learned Bala obtained a bachelors degree in
engineering from the University of Madras and a master’s degree in computer
science from the University of Pittsburgh.
years, while Bala laboured in a life of computing, he took time off to travel
with his family to the far corners of the world, pursuing hobbies that have
always fascinated him. Then, a few years ago he made the choice to exchange
office life for what he truly loves to do; farming and living off the land.