Everyone has a place that gives them a lot of tranquility and unlocks their serenity and rejuvenates them. For some its the mountains, for some its scuba diving deep underwater, for some it could even be para-sailing; for me, its the beach. I love beaches. I a half Goan, its probably in my DNA to love beaches. Though I am slightly allergic to the coastal weather, I can definitely spend a peaceful vacation on a beach. May be my body and my heart knows that I go to the beach only for a little bit of time, so it doesn’t react. And if I were to live there forever my body would begin reacting.
Ever since I was a baby, I have been to beaches. My maternal grand-parents and many other relatives used to live in Mumbai. My grand-uncle’s house was right at the Chowpatty beach, I have so many memories being there. I remember My brother Indranil and I taking walks on the beach, playing around in the sand and in the waves and looking out at the boats passing by. From my Grand-Uncle’s house windows, we would stare out almost all the time, taking in the amazing view. It is one of the most cherished memories I have of Mumbai.
Then there are the two Goa visits I have made. Since I have no relatives there now, its very rare that I get to go there. I hope I can visit Goa very soon, I love it there. The moment I enter the Goan border, I begin feeling really happy. There’s just something quite magical about that place. The first time I visited Goa was for my late cousin Advait’s “Munj” ceremony. It is the Hindu ceremony to mark the rites of passage for a boy and his formal transition into the Hinduism faith. After the ceremony, my parents and I went onto tour Goa.
First we went to Panaji, the capital of Goa. We visited many of the landmarks and many famous places. But the most fun I had was on Miramar Beach. Luckily for us that day, it was an India vs. Pakistan cricket match that kept everyone indoors. Whenever there is a India vs. Pakistan match, its a 100 percent guarantee that the roads and all such heavily crowded places will be deserted. And so, that day there were no crowds, everything was almost deserted. We got to enjoy the entire day in absolute peace! We even spotted a few dolphins playing around at some distance. I played in the waves and lied down on the sand. Closing my eyes and just listening to the waves was so soothing!
The next visit to Goa was during Christmas a few years later, when my Dad had an exhibition at the Chitrakala Parishad (Art Institute of India) in Panaji. This time around we got to explore Goa even more. One of my Dad’s students’ gave us her car and her chauffeur to go around sightseeing. It was incredibly sweet of her and we went to the most non-tourist-y places that again gave us a lot of peace. But again, its the beach that gave me the most tranquility.
Right behind the Chitrakala Parishad is the jetty towards mandovi River, which a little further mixes into the sea. Its a beautiful place!
In 2014, exactly two years ago, I went to Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu, for a friend’s wedding. A group of us went for 4 days and had an amazing time. The first day we went to the Promenade and the third day, we went to Mahabalipuram beach, which was again something that calmed my soul.
My favorite thing to do at the beach is collecting shells. I love collecting various kinds of shells and fossils and I have quite a collection at home now. It takes my mind off of stress and helps me focus.
Another thing I love is the feeling of the waves rolling on my feet. The water flowing in a lot of force and then receding into the sea leaving behind the wet sand, it makes me incredibly happy for some reason.I even clicked a picture of it at Mahabalipuram. The feeling is indescribable and incredibly soul stirring.
The beach is my Fortress-of-Solitude. The waves that roll back and forth, the sound of the waves that resonate in the ears like a piece of instrumental music, the soft sand that touches the feet, the cool breeze that blows over; Everything just makes me happy and harmonious. I forget all my worries and I feel one with nature. Lying on the sand or just sitting and digging for shells, reinvigorate me beyond belief. Hopefully soon enough I will be able to plan a nice beach trip; Till then these pictures will give me some amazing nostalgia moments.