Virtual sands of time


It is the twilight hour. I stand on the balcony and observe the world outside. The world is slowly being enveloped in the dark purple of night. I turn around and look indoors. Warm yellow light fills our living room. My husband is on a work-related call, my son is finishing up his homework and my daughter is attending classes in her room.

The dining table is set for dinner. I wait patiently for all of them to log off from their virtual lives and log in to family time.

With all family members at home all the time, there is a false feeling that we are spending a lot of time with each other. In fact, we walk around the house leading our own lives, not engaging in quality family time.

I think back to the family holidays we took before the pandemic. Whenever we went to a beach, we would all imprint our footprints on partially wet sand, along with the date. A simple, cute memory of lovely times spent with family. There are many such pictures of our footprints on the sands of time. And just after we took those pictures, the waves would come and wash them away, and we would run back laughing.

How things have changed!

I head back in. All of us are done for the day. We head to the dining table to eat.

And just after dinner, and before everyone slinks away, I order a family hug. My teens react with incredulous looks and awkward smiles. They ask if a hug is really required. I insist. And the four of us gather around for a family hug. We fall into a beautiful silence. That hug, just 10 seconds long, rejuvenates all of us, though the kids will never admit it.

No footprints on the sands for now, but the hug will do quite nicely till then.

The traffic in our lives…


I am standing on the 14th floor in my friend’s apartment. I look out of the window. I can see the highway below, where cars and trucks are whizzing past, taking people and goods to various destinations.

Just behind the highway is a cycling track that is surrounded by lush greenery. People on the cycling track are enjoying the morning, the fresh air, and the feeling of goodness from all that exercise.

Beyond the cycling track is the ocean, where waves are beating against the shoreline. Boats and ships can be seen as mere specks from where I stand, bobbing gently on the water’s surface.

When I slide open the window a little, the sound of traffic is quite loud. Along with this noise, there comes a cool breeze that gently whips the hair around my face – so refreshing.

This is so much like our lives, where there is heavy traffic in our minds about chores, assignments and deadlines.

During some parts of the day we feel choked by the traffic; then again, when we are not so busy our life slows down a few notches, and we are on the cycling track, where we stop to enjoy life, where we focus on our goals and feel positive.

Then again, when the day winds down, we are at peace; we are in that in-between zone, where the day’s worries have gone, and tomorrow’s checklists haven’t invaded! A time when we are on the beach, enjoying the gentle breeze, rejuvenating ourselves and bonding with family!

Sunset


We are lounging on reclining beach chairs, staring at the ocean that stretches beyond one’s comprehension.

Waves vie with each other to play tag with the beach – the younger waves, smart and nimble, as they compete with each other in a race that has no end; the older waves, sedate.

The sun, which was a bright yellow ball till a few minutes back, slowly takes on a warm orange hue that defies description. Within this beautiful orange are a million shades of pink, red, yellow and orange.

The clouds form molten orange streaks across the sky, basking in the sun’s reflection. The sun’s outline can now be seen, a huge golden orb that is moving down the horizon.

Silhouettes of birds dot the sky. Faraway coconut and palm trees sway in the evening breeze.

The waves catch the reflection of the golden sun and throw up a stunning light display on the water’s surface. The play of colours is superlative.

We settle down with refreshing milkshakes; to ponder upon the mysteries of nature – of the indefatigable ocean and the dancing waves.

In a matter of minutes, the sun slips out of sight into oblivion, into other faraway lands. The crickets set up their nightly chorus.

The waves are calmer now, winding down for the day; for the same cycle will repeat tomorrow, and bring with it another day full of promise.

The Beach


The long stretch of beach stretches on either side. The sun is hidden by clouds. Not too many people around.

I take off my footwear and walk on the soft sand towards the water.

The first wave washes over my feet. My feet sink-in further, as the sand from under my feet, gets carried away by the water.

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I look out at the waves and at the majestic ocean. A feeling of timelessness grips me. These same waves must have been pounding these shores for centuries, tirelessly.  They show no exhaustion or fatigue as they crash on the beach, recede, build up new vigour and come back – again and again.

Every new wave that washes over my feet is magical. When I look at the horizon in the distance, I know that thousands of miles away there is land somewhere, and maybe someone standing there, just like me, dreaming and imagining.

This timelessness that I feel at the beach calms me; life is beautiful and unfolding the way it should.

Just like these waves here, we just need to keep trying to do our very best every single time. Sometimes we may not form the perfect wave, but if we hang in there we will definitely emerge stronger.

Here are some pictures I took.

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Sunrise at Kanyakumari – In Words & Pictures – My Travel Diary


We are at Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent.  The entire family is up at 5.30 a.m. to watch the sun rise.  Daylight arrives with the bluish-silver colour of the sky.  We wait now, and as we watch, the sky turns a pinkish orange, lighting up the clouds around it. Molten orange cotton-puff clouds streak the sky.  The pinkish orange glow spreads across the horizon, as we wait with bated breath.

The Indian Ocean catches these golden moments, and reflects them in the calm waters of the morning. A few boats bob about near the beach, tired out from their fishing trips of the day before.

Again, in just a few minutes, the pinkish orange is replaced by golden yellow light and there, peeking into the horizon, is the golden Sun.  Over the next few minutes, this golden ball rises up and takes over the sky.  We watch in amazement.

As the day progresses, the warm colours of the morning give way to the bright and white light of the Sun as it moves across the sky.  The breeze and the waves play with each other throughout the day, sometimes energetic, sometimes gentle.  The swishing of the waves, and the gentle sounds of the breeze talking to the coconut palms, soothe the ears.

We see a number of vendors selling sea-shells of different colours, shapes and types. The lady in the shop asks me to place the shell against my ear.  My ears hear the ocean and its waves, the stories that this shell has to tell me about its adventures in the sea.

We are in harmony with the waves, the breeze, the rocks and the Sun.  We feel a sense of timelessness, as we watch the Universe at work, quietly going about its day.

Pure bliss.

Some photos that we captured.

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First bluish-silver light of dawn

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Pinkish-orange clouds streak the sky

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The whole area is enveloped in pinkish-orange warmth, as the boats bob gently and the water catches the first light and reflects them

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Miraculous play of colours, orange is hidden and golden yellow takes over.  First view of the Sun

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Can anything be more beautiful?

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The gentle breeze and waves play hide and seek with the coconut trees

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One man-made object standing before the elements..

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Different shells, different journeys…carrying the stories of generations

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Treasures of the ocean, a piece of the ocean to take back with us.