T is for Tides of Togetherness
April 2016, Kovalam, Kerala, India
Kerala was a destination that I was anxiously waiting to visit and experience for a very, very long time. So when we visited God’s own Country last year, we not only fell heads over heels in love with this breathtaking paradise, but I along with the 8-year-old wanted to leave the big, bad city and move here lock, stock and barrel. DH are you listening?! Sigh!
The simplicity, the surreal beauty of this land, the unending lush landscapes, the reinvigorating salty sea breeze, the food-every gourmet’s delight, the petty women – oiled hair (in coconut oil of course), secured in a plait or bun, adorned with the fragrant jasmines and their gentle demeanour, the mundu (a kind of sarong, clustered above the knees) clad men, the dreamy backwaters, the creative dance forms, the musical performances, the grand houseboat, the spice plantations, the magnificent temples, the abundant flora and fauna; you name it and Kerala has it.
After a laid back few days at Kumarakom (you can read about it here) we drove down to Kovalam. Kovalam is a beach destination and those are an all time favourite with the family. We can never seem to have enough of the sun, sea and sand. Though the DH claims he is “greedy for both the sea and the mountains”.
On our first morning, I was up early, as usual, to take a solitary walk to the beach which was right by our hotel. The gentle breeze felt like gossamer wings of a butterfly, it energised my senses immediately, and I felt I was one with heaven, as I walked lazily, my arms and heart outstretched taking in the beauty of the surroundings. There were flocks and flocks of water birds by the lake of the property. They were busy digging into their morning catch. Quite a sight to savour.
I ambled towards the sea, inhaling the serenity that it had to offer at the onset of a fresh new day. There was not a singe soul, except for that one black beach dog, that came leaping up to me, wagging it’s tail in excitement and then chose to run away to meet his coy girlfriend. A few traces of last night lay strewn by the beach chairs – a few empty beer bottles, fresh coconut shells that must have been Piña Coladas. There was a calming silence at this hour, except for nature making its presence felt – the receding and returning tides seemed to be making an effort to roar gently and the breeze that was now behaving like a rebellious child who refused to let go of my hair as it carried it back and forth across my face.
I then started to walk to the other side of the beach, where I saw a big bunch of fishermen lined in a row, holding on tight to a thick rope and pulling it back. They were humming some tune in the local language. Their camaraderie was infectious. They laughed and then poked one another, made some random jokes, yet their focus didn’t leave the rope. They were in the process of pulling out the fishing nets from the sea. The fishing nets that had been hoisted the previous night to get hold of the fresh morning catch.
I was completely enchanted by their bonhomie, their team spirit and their diligent efforts at making a living. It seemed they were completely enjoying what they were doing and they all had each others back. Their team spirit was so infectious. I stood their watching them for a long time and reflecting on how important it is for all of us to work as a team. Whether it is at home, or work, or at school, college, with our neighbours, society and country at large. Without team work we are just stand alone entities. It’s that spirit of togetherness that eventually reaps fruits for the future.
At the end of this arduous effort that normally takes a couple of hours, and a lot of patience the fishermen together as a team had garnered an abundant catch. Yes, I returned with the DH and the girls post breakfast to sunbathe and swim in the sea and to be able to see the fruits of their labour.
It was amazing to observe how they had enjoyed the process and not begrudged it, by singing and engaging in mindless banter at the same time. It was an enchanting lesson I took back with me from the Kovalam beach of Kerala. To live life with the spirit of oneness and to enjoy the process irrespective of what we do – work or play.
My theme for this year’s Blogging from A-Z Challenge is Travel Epiphanies that are my very own tales of adventure and revelation. I will be writing 26 posts throughout the month of April. You can read my theme here.