After driving through a plethora of tea plantations and estates, we were natured out and wanted to experience the night life. Embraced by the mist, we snaked through the narrow wet roads to learn a little about what goes on up in tea leaves. We stopped by the cultural center, located on the edge of a hill up a hundred feet and off the main road. In addition to the exotic cultural shows, we experienced the slant of living.
The hospitable Malayali People are determined to preserve their culture and so here we were. The first was a 500 year old dance drama , Kathakali, a UNESCO Human Heritage Art. An unique ancient drama act, artists paint their faces to the point of horror, dress in eccentric outfits, and non-verbally enact folk tales with facial and hand gestures, rhythmic martial arts and abrupt wails that knocked us off our seats. These guys go on for hours, accompanied by topless male drummers playing chenda that step up the drama, like the nine facial expressions weren’t good enough to freak us out.