Kerala is not only famous for its natural beauty and cultural activities but also for home-stays and Ayurvedic spas. When I planned for Kerala trip I thought we should stay, at least once, in a decent home-stay to experience their hospitality. So while going to Periyar I told our driver to take us to a home-stay. He had many acquaintances in Periyar. It was peak season being Christmas holiday, so there was a rush of tourists. One of his acquaintances agreed to accommodate us. The room was clean and large.
Periyar was the last destination of our trip. I had been tired of drinking coffee for more than a week. So I requested the owner of the home stay to give me a glass of black tea. His wife did not know how to make black tea. She did neither understand English nor Hindi, so I explained to her son how to make black tea. After some time her daughter brought a jug of black tea and some sugar in a separate pot. My son and I became very happy and drank the tea to our heart’s content after a long period.
We stayed there for two nights and whenever we asked for tea they gave us a jug full of tea and a separate container of sugar. I talked a lot with out hostess and exchanged information, thoughts and views about each others family, tradition and culture. Her daughter was our interpreter. The lady was a very simple but intelligent woman. They had few rooms for guests. All of their guests at that time were foreigners except us. They had a small garden where they grew cardamom, coffee, black pepper etc. She informed that in Kerala people grew spices for their daily consumption in their own garden. Malayalam cuisine is normally very spicy.
At the time of leaving when I asked what would be the charge for tea, the lady of the home-stay thought for a few moments and demanded only fifty rupees, she explained that for making a jug full of black tea she hardly needed a teaspoonful of CTC tea leaves and we took very little amount of sugar. We were happy. We enjoyed the time there very much.