The Fishermen of Varkala

"Do you want me to help?" I shouted to the fishermen hauling in their giant net. They laughed, but waved me over nonetheless. A group of 15 men were drenched in sweat, casually chatting amongst themselves while their muscles tensed and their hands gripped tight around the thick wet rope.

Varkala is a picturesque beach town perched on top of vivid red cliffs, every restaurant selling their fresh catch of seafood ready to be cooked in the tandoor oven. Walking North away from town, the restaurants begin to fall away to be replaced by thick green palm tress with the odd hammock tied between them.

The 5km walk up to Kappil eventually reaches a stunning juncture where the lush green backwaters meet the Indian Ocean. Not before passing a more rugged beach, untouched by parasols or beach hawkers. There are a few rustic huts at the back of the beach and rows upon rows of colourful boats stacked up against the steep shoreline.

This is the beach the men from the local village begin and end their daily fishing trips from, catching the fish that eventually make their way to the restaurants. After realising my contribution to reeling in the fishing net was irrelevant, I stepped back to give the guys space, crawled back into my comfort zone, and got out my camera to document the amazing hard work, team spirit and camaraderie on display.

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