Under the 12 o’clock Sun of April in a tropical country on a deserted rocky seashore sat a girl under the blue umbrella.
She stared at the sea and the noises that it made — it sounded like the jets that flew over her in the city. She couldn’t spot the source of the sound; all she knew was that it came from the sea.
The water level rose and washed away the mountains that she had made out of the sand.
15 more minutes passed away.
A car stopped on the road next to the shore, 2 people — young, blond, a boy and a girl jumped out of the vehicle and started racing towards the sea. Speed that matched their excitement levels brought them closer to the endless water body, then broke into a wide leap and a splash.
I looked at my friend. He keenly watched me and said, “Go!”
“But, I have to attend my colleague’s wedding. I have to be there in next 1 hour!”
“I know you want to go and play, so go!”
I closed the umbrella, took off my flip-flops and ran towards the sea.
. . . Pause the Time at Kodi Bengre
Kodi Bengre will always remind me of a silent stretch of beach, embellished by the side-lined rocks, randomly placed in such a fashion that resting against them feels like sitting on a throne of your own.
The google map shows this place as a picturesque point where the backwaters meet the sea. When you take the narrow, snake-like road to reach there you will find few clustered houses at the dead end — with rocks placed at the edge as a wall, protecting them against the sea.
Hence, they say don’t rely on google maps.
Kodi Bengre and Delta point are a part of the same stretch of coast — clean, serene and highly tranquillizing if you know how to get high on the sea.
Udupi had called me back and I had decided that I would return with a little more this time.
The Road by the Sea
While beach hopping in and around Udupi, there will be ample times when you might find yourself on a thin stretch of road — one side of which puts to display the restless sea and the other side looks out at the silent backwaters.
Trust me when I say the sea will lure you several times as you pass that road — the waves splashing against the rocky shore send the water several feet high in the air. The breeze then throws these tiny showers at your face, enchanting you with the magic of the sea.
The Hanging Bridge that Links the World
Google took us through a long maze of tall coconut trees where only a white cemented road kept us from getting lost. We could have ridden endlessly had someone not stopped us from going any further.
I halted the two-wheeler on an incline with a jerk like any unskilled rider, turned it around without starting the engine and left it to my friend after being scornfully elucidated on how to apply brakes.
The already-incline hanging bride shook under my heavy footstep. Only the colour green pleased my eyes, even the water below was green.
The other side welcomed us with more coconut trees. I lied down to look up and get high on my once-in-a-long-time thoughtless mind.
A dhoti-clad uncle passed by me, then a few kids, later 2 burqa-clad aunties followed by some Japanese tourists and a cool guy who played the guitar — the world passed by me and I didn’t budge.
The Toddy, the Boat and a Noisy Family to Spoil It All
Under the retiring 5 o’clock Sun, on a Sunday evening atop a slender wooden boat at the slow-moving backwaters sat two travellers and a family that talked about crocodiles and sharks.
It all started when an uncle gave us toddy (local natural alcohol) that was extremely diluted — claiming that it was a special one just for us. It smelled pathetic so we believed him and filled our 1-litre bottle to the brim.
The next moment we hopped onto a boat. Unluckily, a family with 2-3 kids got on board as well.
And the boat rowed as we precariously balanced between being mindful and mindlessness.
Why the Lighthouse Beaconed Us to Return
The Kaup beach laid bare to the incoming waves. The lighthouse clad in black-white jailer costume braved the sea breeze. And, I stared wide-eyed at the fluorescent gibbous moon while floating a foot above the ground.
Under the 6 o’clock sun, next to the 100 feet tall lighthouse under the orange skies on the shallow backwater stream, floated two travellers.
No images available because we had closed our eyes and let our bodies drift with the current.
The evening Sun splashed colours across the sky, the lighthouse started its late-night shift as the humongous lenses began rotating, cautioning the ships at the other end of the world.
The time halted, the people disappeared, the noise cut down — my ears submerged in the water, my breath clearly audible, my mind open to nothingness.
Lost but alive. Stagnant yet present. Calm yet clear. I lived.