By Tippu Sultan:
The other day I was sitting at the Marina beach, reminiscing about the old times. I have been a frequent visitor to this 13 km stretch on the shores of the Chennai city, with many historical statues adorning the city. When I used to visit the beach with my family during my childhood, it used to be a 45 minutes ride on a bus.
The Chepauk cricket stadium road perpendicularly leads to the beach road. From there, sitting inside the bus I could see the blue waves scripting their poems on the sands. Every time I see it, an overwhelming sense of euphoria would rise in me as if it was my first time. A good feeling that just got wonderful.
The walk on the sandy beach used to be a long one to reach the waters. To reach the waves splashing on us, I loved the feeling of the warm sand under my feet. Let alone the English language, no language can express that inexplicable feeling that used to creep over me, and slowly overwhelm me, amid the loveliness of the familiar shores.
The beach used to be dirty then, with no rules and regulations. No one spared a thought for the environment. While returning with frowning faces, sad to leave the lovely waters behind, I used to have the famous bhajjis made from a variety of dal powder and raw bananas, fried in oil. It is one of my most memorable experiences.
I used to sigh, wondering sadly, why my home was 10 km away from the beach, but consoling myself later that to experience the euphoria, the distance was a blessing. After 6 years of being away from the city and the beach, I find the same nostalgic euphoria hitting me when I drive on my bike and reach the aperture of the blue view. How can something that I have experienced close to a thousand times, arouse the same feeling every time, is a mystery indeed.
Now, the walk is not a long one to reach the waters. Global warming had its share of mischief. The beach is a lot cleaner. People’s perspective of ecosystem has changed and they do not want to litter. The bhajjis are more costly, but a lot tastier. 10 km seems nothing when I heard huge exclamations from my friends in North India of how privileged I am to have the sea so close to me.
The only thing that is constant, and has not been disturbed by the natural calamities or the cost of living or the spurge in economy or the topography, is that heavenly feeling of the grains of the sand when the waves splash, and leave you spellbound…
The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.