Have you ever spilled talcum powder and then accidentally stepped on it? This is how it feels like, barefoot, on the sands of Panambur beach.
On a breezy Saturday afternoon, when the summer sun smiled and simultaneously made everyone sweat in Mangalore, we reached the beach gates. Who would brave the heat now, we’ll have the beach to ourselves – is what I thought. In reality, there were throngs of people dancing to the beat of the waves. There were colorful kites in the sky, children building dome-shaped sand castles, parents warning their kids to not venture too deep, college kids with their general merry-making. Basically, India on every beach.
Empty red plastic chairs lay waiting next to street food stalls serving seafood, juices, ice lollies, corn on the cob. Further towards the sea, there were people throwing rings to claim a prize.
I made the customary look left, look right, find the best spot routine. Towards the right it was, where the crowds vanished, as if bound by a lakshman rekha. We happily made our way in, swinging our beach bags, triumphantly claiming a secluded spot.
Out came my whale fin swim cap, and yellow swim goggles (I call it my Wes Anderson glasses). Of course, I were already wearing my swim suit underneath and a generous amount of sesame oil to boot.
Few things in life make me as happy as making a run for the sea and greeting the ferocity of the waves head on. It’s like when you come home to a jumping dog. Probably I am the dog.
The water felt warm like a *you-are-here-again-hug*. That made me curious. Why are some seas ice cold in the hottest of weather and some are this?. I tightened the space where my swim glasses meet the skin, took a mouthful of air and dunked in. It was all hazy with the soft sand particles and bubbles. In my imagination, this would have been as clear as Ni Harn, where I could clearly see if my feet are wrinkly with too much water. But, tried to make the best of it anyway. One amazing thing to do in the sea is to hold your breath underwater till a huge wave passes over you on the surface and you experience the undercurrents and the champagne like bubbles around you. Another amazing thing to do is to float with your face to the sky, and somebody holding a toe so you don’t drift off. I did a lot of that.
“If it were up to me, I would stay in the water forever”
Avi literally dragged me out. We walked back to where the aroma of fried fish made our mouths water. A plate of fried prawns for ₹80 is a pretty good deal methinks. It’s a wonder we stopped at 3 plates. Maybe, the wedding reception food waiting for us later in the day made us.
On the way back, I felt the sands that had seeped into my shoes and couldn’t help ponder how wonderful it would be – to live by the sea someday.
P.S. – I still have the sand in my shoes as I write 🙂