Our travels teach us things that textbooks could never teach. When we look back, we attribute many of these things to the people we meet on our travels. There is a lot we come back with other than sweet memories.
Rekha Aunty from Coorg
At the outset, aunty seemed like a reserved home-maker waiting for her guests, who were already late by an hour or so. We thought she would be angry or something that we had interrupted her nap time. We were so wrong. As soon as she saw us enter the gate of her sprawling home, her face drew a huge smile to welcome us. She said she was worried whether we weren't able to find the place or reach her. Soon she showed us to our room and all the access areas. The pictures online didn't do justice to the property. Moreover, it felt like home the instant we stepped in.
The following two days were spent in pure bliss. As much as we enjoyed the outdoors, we eagerly awaited the nightly dinner spreads, the yummy breakfast and all the home-cooked goodness. Rekha aunty pampered us and how! She works non-stop, dawn-to-dusk taking care of her home, her family, her estate, her pets and still manages to run this fab homestay business like a pro. Gosh, she sure has some superpowers!
Aunty took us along for a mini estate tour where we learned all the hardships they face to maintain and manage the upkeep of the huge estate. She also educated us of the whole coffee-making process which was so intriguing. We were shown the variety of fruits, veggies, spices, and flowers that they grew in their estate and it was an amazing experience.
Maintaining their own estate and then selling the produce is their 1st source of income, as is of most of the locals in Ooty. It is a lot of hard work that goes into this occupation but we didn't see a speck of a frown on aunty's face. They take pride in this hard work and make it work like a charm. So much to learn from them.
How could we leave without getting our stash of their home-made 'Filter Kapi'? We also brought back home-made wines and spices. Now back home, when I make that occasional cup of filter coffee, I remember Rekha Aunty with a smile :)