It is said that somehow subconsciously you retain your connection to the birth place. I was born closer to the by-lanes of Marina Beach in Chennai. I shifted to the sub urban portions of Chennai shortly. My parents told me when I was young , during weekend outings , when I was given a choice between Beach and Movies, I always preferred movies. They said my answer was always ‘Ayyo , Beacha!’.(Oh No!. Is it Beach!)
I am not going into a biographical account, but to make a long story short, weekends were mostly beaches and yearly outings were mostly Ooty, Kodai or Kashmir. I do remember that I visited Kashmir when I was in Third standard.
I think the formative years leave some impression that possibly came back to me when I was in early forty’s.
When I visited Andaman, I was at the Radha Nagar beach, stated to be the World’s number two beach. I do not have any clue on how they arrive at the ratings for the beach. I just sat in the beach and was numbed by the sheer majesty of what I saw. That is some picture which refuses to go away. It made me curious on why I shunned the marina when I was young. After visiting Andaman, whenever I go to chennai now, I make it a point to visit Marina beach and sit quietly absorbing the enormity of what I am seeing. Of course, I do not miss the Sundal (Boiled Yellow Peas) along with cut mango.
If I was numbed by the Ocean after Andaman, I was floored by the abundance of Himalayas after my road trip to Ladakh. I have visited quite a few beaches , hill stations and mountains before this, but this two trips shifted something inside me and though I am not able to get a handle on what got shifted, but I do feel a sense of surrender when I am with this two magical creations of mother nature.
However , I cannot shut off my noisy mind at any time and here is a parallel I have drawn between Oceans and Mountains
Sitting before a ocean is like love at first sight, but a wave makes you realize the futility of that love. It’s vastness represents that life is a journey without any place to arrive.
Mountains, in contrast, looks intimidating at first, but gives you a possibility of approaching that. It’s summit represents that life is a journey with a place to arrive.
Oceans, gives you enough space to calm you down. It will allow you to sit there for hours and absorb your silence.
Mountains, gives you enough shelter to approach it. It tells you, come to me and I shall take care of you.
Oceans , in my view , is not easy on explorers. Once you set sail, the point of return is a tough proposition.
Mountains, are more liberal. It allows experimentation to explorers.
Oceans, never allow you to get to the bottom of it. If you want evidence, have a look at this. You don’t conquer a ocean.
Mountains, invite you to get to the top of it. It allows you to conquer it.
Since this is inferences 101, I shall stop here with my personal bias.
Mountains tell me, ‘Give me a shot’ . I am thinking how to prepare.
Oceans tell me , “Don’t you dare’. I am thinking how to hoodwink this one.
I am not sure if any of this made sense, but if you have come till here, do any of this in this summer or whenever you are free or add this to your bucket list.
An afternoon in RadhaNagar Beach, Havelock, Andaman.
A day amidst the Ladakh mountains.
I promise that it will shift something fundamental inside you.
I promise nothing to nobody, but in the rare occasions if I promise, you know they are always kept. (that is a little boast, ok!.).
Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)