Somewhere around the middle section of Kerala's coast, the Indian Ocean finally realises that it has now become the Arabian Sea. The result of this personality change is a splendid azure colour, quite distinctive, with frothy whitecaps and a translucent, pearl-like quality. The sands that fringe this coastline for endless miles are themselves distinctive, deep and rich and fine, in a shade closer to ochre than gold.
This natural brushwork leaves its mark on human life too. The people of the area have been fisherfolk for millennia and over this time, they've evolved a way of life that's as tranquil and colourful as their world.
The village of Mararikulam is part of this world, tucked away behind a line of dense palms that rise like a sudden rampart of green out of the sands. Like all villages, it has evolved naturally, in picturesque disorder. And in here lies the Marari Beach resort where not just the architecture but the way of life takes from the village.
Sprawled expansively across 25 acres of land, the resort is separated from the sea by a windbreak of stretching palms. There are a mere 52 cottages, so the sense of space here is much more dramatic. The winding village pathways are a faithful echo of the originals. Rambling walls curve around corners, their rust-coloured stones smothered with trumpet flowers. Completing the picture are rippling lotus ponds, usually with a family of ducklings getting a swimming lesson out in the middle, offering - a truly relaxing holiday