Marine musings

While the waves tumbled, and broke into foam, my mind wandered backwards.

The gentle breeze blowing in my direction calmed the senses as I sat on the beach in solitary splendour, fronted by the vast expanse of the Arabian Sea. While the waves tumbled, rolled and broke into foam on the shore, my mind wandered backwards: To a time and place when you didn’t have a care in the world and all your waking hours meant playing endlessly, interspersed with eating and sleeping. That once in a lifetime phase of childhood, innocence and bliss remains a distant but fond memory.

I bury half my feet into the soft white sand experiencing the nice, tingling sensations. The sea is calm, the sky is a clear blue and far away a vessel is sailing. My childhood memories recede as swiftly as the foamy water retreats. A bird darts across and I am winged back to another stage of my early life – the post-childhood days, a traumatic period that I haven’t forgotten. Woken up earlier than usual and rushed through the morning drill and transported from the comfort of home to a regimented environment managed by a cane-wielding teacher; it was dreadful to say the least, a view my mates of the time will undoubtedly endorse. 

Forcibly and inevitably we resigned to our fate for the next decade or so and then with adolescence we found ourselves breathing some fresh air of freedom in college. While the cool breeze blew over me and the frothy water soaked my feet so often, I took a deep breath, watching silently the marine vista in front of me before jumping on to the time machine on another ride down memory lane.

This time my thoughts revolve around those fun-filled, youthful days when we did what we felt we needed to. Movies? We dashed to a theatre to see the antics of our heroes and heroines. Parties? An impromptu one would be organised hastily at a friend’s home.  Some smoked, some guzzled beer, most let themselves free on the floor swaying and swinging to the Beatles or Beegees or Rolling Stones. Bored with serious lectures? We bunked classes to return home and bury ourselves in something more profound such as Kafka or Bach or Greene. If only these were discussed in classrooms instead of the complexities of demand and supply curves that we never understood.

Games? We played cricket in compounds, on the streets or in any open area. If the weather was unfriendly, we turned to shuttle, table tennis or board games. Those five to six years were defining moments even if we defied our parents and teachers by rebelling against established mores to chart our own course and dream our own dreams.

In the rat race of life there were personal and professional frustrations, moments of agony and ecstasy, ups and downs, all taken in one’s stride; marriage, children, creating your own nest in another land, taking one day at a time. And then a dream picture began unfolding in front of my eyes. Orange and red colours streaked across the sky in the distance as a magnificent sunset began. Rubbing my eyes, I stood up, returned to the present after straying briefly back in time.

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