Manikandan Achari of 'Kammattipadam' fame and his long-time sweetheart Anjali had settled on their wedding plans months ago. Then came the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
But the couple took it in their stride and went ahead with the arrangements in the simplest way, in the true spirit of the law… sans flamboyance. Only their dearest and nearest were in attendance.
What set apart the union was a noble gesture of donating towards Chief Minister's COVID-19 relief fund from the money they had set part for a grand wedding.
As the lockdown put all plans on hold, the couple did not have the privilege of going on a honeymoon. With little prospects of an immediate outing, Manikandan, however, opens up about his love for travel and shares his dreams of going to places he has always wanted to see.
Travel as an experience
For Manikandan travel and journeys are an experience and he has had his fair share of it. From his struggling days to post-success days, he has travelled in the general to AC compartment of the Indian trains. "I've enjoyed every mood and variation of train travel," he admits.
It is his homestate that Manikandan loves the most. Manikandan is not one for whirlwind trips. If he goes to a place he has to be there for quite some time to know and understand it in its myriad moods.
While filming the movie 'Carbon,' he, along with his crew, got a chance to stay in a forest. That was when he got to see Attappady and all the surrounding places. He went back to those lovely places again, but without the trappings of cinema or sets.
An unforgettable trip
He once got a chance to go on a North-Indian tour with a drama troupe. The trip was to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. The troupe went to several places to perform. It was one grand tour where he got to see various places, their people, their lifestyle, and their cultural heritage. Manikandan recalls it was the first time he was exposed to people and cultures other than that of Kerala, an interaction that was unforgettable.
As for Tawang, its beauty is indescribable, he says. It held him captive and he was overcome by a mesmerizing feel. Tawang, with its monasteries high up in seemingly unreachable mountains, has the gift of converting to magic the mundaneness of any trip. Tawang is where spiritual beauty melds with nature's picturesque sights, adds Manikandan with awe.