Love is in the Small Things

Kodaikanal is a small town. It’s what we love about it—why it’s home. Its roads, sights and sounds are familiar, its people even more so. And it’s filled with a seemingly endless number of little things that make this place ours, a town unlike anywhere else in the world.

At The Kodai Chronicle, we have a great love for what’s sometimes overlooked, and we know that our fellow residents feel the same. Here’s a round-up of some of the best of the little things in Kodai—for everyone to see what our town has to offer.

Mountain joys

‘The smell of the eucalyptus that fills the air is amazing. Especially after it rains, the scent of it is so strong, woody, crisp and heady—it is such a Kodai thing.’

—Aravind Iyenar, taxi driver

‘The beautiful moss that grows on tree branches inside shola forests looks so ethereal—it is a world of its own. One time in Bombay Shola, after a spell of rain, I spotted droplets glistening on the bright green moss—gorgeous!’

—Abinaya Kalyanasundaram, Environment editor of TKC

‘I love the bulbuls! They’re so beautiful, with their bright red cheeks and perfectly coiffed hair. I love the way they dart their heads, their little chirrups, and, most of all, I love that they’re everywhere, like mascots of everyday cheer!’

—Neha Sumitran, Deputy editor of TKC

‘The button-like white flowers that grow in the marsh by the lake and the peace that comes from collecting them in an afternoon—drying them and knowing they will be around for a while.’

—Rajni George, editor-in-chief of TKC

Fruit of the Hills

‘Plums! I love eating Kodai plums because of how amazing they taste—sharp, sweet and so juicy. Their taste is why I have been eating plenty every year, ever since I was a little boy.’

—Mr Jayalani, proprietor of Fathima Coffee Works

‘Kodai avocados! Just when I had given up thinking I would get to eat an avocado after moving back to India, I found myself in a place with the creamiest avocados I’ve ever tasted, even better than those in Mexico!’

—Seema Ajit Ramchandani, Singer

‘One of the things I love about living here is that the first thing that people ask when you see them on the street is, “Saptiya?”—Tamil for “Have you eaten?”’

—Vahishta Mistry, writer

Come Rain or Shine

‘I love my daily walk to the lake and back home! My wife and I go every morning at 6.30 and walk for one hour (6,000+ steps!). We go rain or shine, even if it’s a busy time.’

—Raja Mohamed, proprietor of MM Store: A-Z, Pin to Plane Store

‘The quicksilver mood of the weather! It shifts from clear blue skies to an angry burst of rain, then warm sunshine and sometimes cotton-candy clouds. Every hour brings an unexpected and lovely surprise.’

—Dr Geetaa Abraham, Dental Care and Smile Centre

‘I love the view I get of Pillar Rocks from my father’s shop where I work on Saturdays, when there is no school. We sell dried flowers to tourists, and they are very nice to look at and smell. Sometimes there are a lot of tourists, but when no one is around, it is very quiet, and we can look at the rocks for a long time.’

—Narayanan, 8th-standard student.

A damselfly, rests on a rock by a stream in the Palani Hills. Photo: Neha Sumitran

Seasonal Wonders

‘The white flowers of the poonglan mazham, a forest tree that grows around Bharati Annanagar, where I live. When it’s in bloom, the whole valley smells sweet. For me, it smells like home.’

—Vaibhav Vaidya, founder of Malaivalmakkal

‘I love looking for mushrooms in the pine forest. There’s a thrill in searching under every small mound of pine needles on the forest floor and finding soft little greycapped mushrooms that you can take home and fry in butter.’

—Pavi Sagar, community editor of TKC

Bounty of Biodiversity

‘In the Shenbaganur Museum of Natural History, there is a fantastic collection on the town’s biodiversity. There are colourful butterflies, intriguing snakes, birds, mammals and plenty of other interesting and rare items. Oh, it’s amazing!’

—Father R Stanislaus SJ, museum curator, Sacred Heart College Museum

‘Kodai has some fabulous treks in many different types of terrain, through shola forests, rolling hills of grasslands, through fruit orchards, veggie farms and plantations of various species. Some are jeepable tracks, others mule tracks; rocky, dusty, muddy, grassy, leafy, and leechy trails, too. All are special in their own energy and vibe. Some trails along the edge of the hills or up a cliff or a peak, are spectacular. All this, with the added attraction of wildlife, makes the trails in Kodai some of the best.’

—Vijay Kumar, trekking guide

The Kodai Chronicle Staff

This is the official account for The Kodai Chronicle staff used to publish content that is not attributed to any of our contributors or editor, and is for general purposes.

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