Guest post by Jyothsna Jayaprakash
The magic of Souland Estates is not just in the beautiful coffee estates, the all encompassing greenery, or the grand old bungalow which gives you a “Once upon a time” kind of feeling. It is also the joy of welcoming friendly travelers and giving them an experience of “home”. And more often than not, when they leave, we end up feeling that we’re bidding goodbye to a long lost friend.
There are many stories in our hosting experience that stand out as absolutely special! One such episode is of Ishani and her 4year old daughter Koyna who stayed with us for five nights at our Cloud 9 cottage back in 2018. As soon as my little daughter Tejas saw Koyna, she was thrilled, mostly because, being raised in a house full of adults, she craves the company of kids her age. She even asked me for a holiday from school so she could play with Koyna. Seeing her enthusiasm, I readily agreed. It’s strange how children get along so quickly. I kid you not, watching them was like witnessing a meeting of best friends and to imagine they were just 4!
Even though Koyna lives in a big city, she’s quite the wild child! Their adventures together might take a whole other blog post! They played in mud and then in water, climbed trees and went exploring the estate looking for touch-me-nots. They splashed around in the Kaveri river, bathing the elephants at the Dubare elephant camp, eating ice creams and window shopping at the Golden temple. Oh! You MUST see how much these tiny ones know about shopping!
Tejas and Koyna have a muddy puddle party!
Tejas and Koyna meet the baby elephants at Dubare elephant camp
Tejas and Koyna cooling off with ice lollies on a hot day
Tejas and Koyna are monkeys on trees!
Tejas and Koyna looking for touch-me-nots in the estates
I also took them around Coorg to some kid friendly tourist spots too! The mirror maze and the gravity hole at Nisargadhama Park was a memorable experience. Ironically, although Ishani and I are the so called “physicists”, it was actually the kids who helped us get through the gravity hole! This generation has indeed gotten a whole lot smarter!
Tejas and Koyna at the mirror maze
Their stay with us coincided with the construction of our new property, The Loft. The property was to have a one of a kind hanging master bed. During the load test, Tejas and Koyna helped us by jumping and scampering and swinging like little monkeys on the swing bed. So now, dear guests, you can be doubly sure that the bed is quite safe and sturdy. The quality is “100% tested OK” by the girls!
Koyna and Tejas became best friends in a jiffy and so Ishani planned Koyna’s next school vacation at The Loft. The second visit was a real get together and we could see that the girls had really missed each other.
On their next few visits, Ishani and her husband Shailesh brought their families from Kolkata and Mumbai to stay with us and it was a delightful experience! Our families got along so well, that they decided to buy a little piece of Coorg’s paradise, neighboring Souland Estates. So now Koyna and Tejas are almost neighbors and Ishani is more like an honorary daughter to our parents!
Unlike grown ups, children bond easily and quickly! But then again, it’s a wonder how quickly and simply friendships and connections can happen between people. In matter of days, friends can become family, and relationships grow beyond business and develop into something special and unique. We will forever cherish the friendship that we found in Ishani, Shailesh and Koyna. We would probably never have met them if not for Souland Estates Homestay!
With Tejas, Koyna and Ishani at the Golden Temple, Namdroling Monastery
Tejas and Koyna are bff’s!
And it gets you thinking, it’s indeed a small world after all!