Saturday, April 28, 2012



So there we were sitting on a grassy cliff staring down at little puddles on the grey black sand. They were in fact large quick sands, but from a height they looked like puddles made of rain. But there was no rain, only a strong breeze, the kind the Arabian sea is proud of. The sun was setting the way it always does, or the earth was turning away the way it always does, you may choose. There can be infinite more versions but for now the pale orange sky gave no respite to our jagged nerves. 

We had fashioned ourselves as two young runaways who wanted to be somewhere one can sit on a newly purchased cheap straw mat, when the city mall and the city mall’s watchman had denied us the joy of sitting on a straw mat on a sidewalk. It wasn’t the strangest thing but nevertheless, I had uttered, 

“this would have never happened in ......” 

And so with a brand new straw mat we two were on a bus to the beach hundreds of miles to the west. Now this place held no promises as it had seen a serpentine queue of people, things, songs, trash and pigs come ashore for half a century, all seeking some imaginary promise. Earlier in my life I had concluded it was the music the sea waves made at five thirty in the morning but only if strong psychedelics were administered. I could attribute nothing else to the magnetic field of this red coastline, which now lay infested by elite university educated selfish kids. 

“There is a tsunami coming…” 

My dilated pupils and my jagged nerves proclaimed. The coconut trees were being pushed away from the beach by the strong breeze and the odd probability that the large puddles were in fact quick sands kept us rooted on that grassy cliff and completed the weather forecast.

With every last penny donated to our man Jackson’s pockets, who had given us a discount sitting on his purple straw mat, while our regular brown one stood against the green wall, we only had the sunset and now somewhat soothed nerves. 

“ Tsunamis don’t come here…” 

Nothing could convince me otherwise so safety was sought inland. We walked for sometime and sat at a juice bar. The green hut was inviting with the juice bar man putting down two cold beers in front of our dilated pupils. I didn’t open it, because of our man Jackson’s pockets and my wallet being every beatnik’s every fantasy. 

There was so much disdain in our dilated pupils and so much fear of the tsunami in our nerves that one opened one of the beers. Then decided there was no money to be paid. So two just sat there, doing nothing. Only laughing. We had left the straw mat in a tiny room, as the sun and the rain, both were gone. The cows that had tormented me all day were still there, but could not be seen so well at night.

The juice bar man noticed our plight. He was closing his tiny green hut. His four white customers had reached happiness, talking in high voices with lots of laughter. They stopped at us, sitting there ashamed with the one opened beer and the one unopened beer. 

“We saw you girls walking at a beach carrying a mat over your heads. Do you sell them?” 

My dry open mouth could not say anything. The other one answered something about students and poverty and films and the sun. 

“You two are actors!” 

And, the juice bar man announced with ancient authority. 

“Money … no problem! 
 Party… no problem!” 

We were walking down thin winding roads with two warm beers in each hand, trying to follow the zipping two wheelers’ in the direction of the huge shaft of light zipping across the black sky. Some years ago one local man had stood astounded outside his house staring at the sky, where a sheet of reflected light was zooming across the open sky. He had no idea where it came from. I decided not to tell him. I had no idea he had no idea. 

He must have watched that serpentine queue come from across seas, canals, continents and cities carrying their big lights and dilated pupils. 

Earlier in the day, under the scorching sun, the two had sat on a sandy beach, infested with bodies and beers, with the straw mat now under their tired backsides, and lay there with the satisfaction the two had sought. After ten minutes the two had once again started the trek down this red coastline, searching for another hit, another excuse, another wave, another sky, and another tsunami, which never came that night.

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