I see families chit-chatting, young couples holding hands, old couples fondly discussing tales of their youth, children playing animatedly – like I once used to, fathers playing actively with their kids, tourists having a gala time – easily noticeable from their liberal holiday attire, groups of friends effortlessly bonding, determined walkers, and finally people like me, who come just to reflect on their lives and have a relaxed evening.
With the pleasant taste of caramel popcorn still lingering in my mouth, I consciously end my stroll as the soothing sound of the waves beckoned me towards it. I couldn’t hold it any longer; I went up to the rocks separating the sandy path from the sea and nimbly helped myself on one. The aura of familiarity instantly welcomed me and put my mind at ease. What magic is it that this unending stretch of water holds, with its ceaseless waves daring to attack me, its friendly breeze caressing me with its soft touch, and that ever so mild note of petrichor?
The gentle splashing sound of the waves gradually hit a crescendo as they lashed out with all their might against the rocks – from a baby’s feeble laughter to an opera singer’s majestic high, and then back again. I found myself totally giving in all my senses to this tryst with nature. As I traced the waves to their origin, all I could see was the soft moonlight glistening on the swaying water and the lonely lights of a few distant ships far, far away. As I continued to gaze at the sea, it seemed to be drawing me into some kind of a trance. I kept looking at it for a while before I reluctantly turned away to look at the source of light itself – the brilliant full moon, glowing in all its grandeur. The eerie clouds, looming all over, looked oddly spooky in this setting; they could almost be the spirits of all the dead people, for all. But they just had to be there to complete the most picture-perfect canvas. I marvelled for the first time in my life, how intensely bright the sun’s light had to be, to be reflected back from the moon. I tried drawing a picture of how far the moon would be. But it was an exercise in futility – I was only left to wonder.
Now, one thing was missing though – music. As I put on the track ‘Yellow‘ by Coldplay and the lyrics ‘Look at the stars, look how they shine for you…’ hit me, everything reached a whole new high. I was soaring high in the sky. It was the perfect moment. The result – gooseflesh and a heightened sense of inner calm – such a welcome distraction from this bourgeois life. I would almost go to the extent of calling this a spiritual experience, transcending all humanly emotions. As I turned to my right, a few dim lights exposed the jetty, jutting into the sea; I have vague childhood memories of collecting seashells with my dad here, on the sand nearby.
Taking a break from all this splendour, I turned behind only to witness my eyes being confronted with the usual sight of people going about their business, which dulled starkly in comparison. I looked again to my front and boom, I was redrawn into this magical world. Ah, life. You leave me speechless. As the first pangs of hunger began to take over me, I glanced above to see the spirits, I mean, the clouds, moving – they had covered the moon, shrouding all its untold mysteries. I guess it was time for me to go; the skies themselves had spoken. I had also promised Mom I would be back home for dinner; and heck, she even called at the same exact moment. I gave one last loving look at the sea as I bid adieu, and strolled to the parking, the aftermath still clinging tight to me and making me feel all light. The Promenade beach(aka Rock beach) will always be my favourite destination in Pondy, the place I go to for peace, and to draw inspiration from. One definitely has to experience this sensory treat at least once in their lives.
I just searched for tag Pondicherry in WordPress and found your post. I’m on a holiday today and tomorrow here and wondered if anyone was writing about this place. Anyway, you write really well and I enjoyed reading this. The Promenade does seem to be the place to be at evenings.
I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. And I hope you had a wonderful stay at Pondicherry. Cheers! 🙂