When you think of Chennai, what is the first thing that strikes you? Beaches of course. Often, we forget that so many lives, apart from that of fishermen are connected with beaches. There is a whole ecosystem that surrounds livelihood on a beach – the food stalls, the game stalls, the restroom, parking lots, lighthouses, and many more. As much as there are lives that entwined with beaches, there are also stories that surround that place. Stories that are whispered by the waves to the sands and which are safely stored inside. The beach stories. If you put your ears to the sands, give yourself in, you will re-discover yourself. Perhaps that is why beaches have an ability to make us calm and creative.
I’ve had a few hushed-up tales with the beach myself. So naturally I cannot tell anyone that my friends and I bunked college for a gala evening by the beach, and I also cannot share the fact that our photos came in the Tamil Daily newspaper the next day. It remains a tale that was never told and I’m not planning to tell it to anyone either.
It was one such time, the seas whispered two stories to me, two different stories which at a later date, interconnected.
I’ll narrate the first story – a story of romance.
Ocean was mumbling with low tide. Her hair got messy blowing on her face and mine. As I turned to tuck them in, she in one quick motion bundled it on her head. I looked at her wide-eyed, she nodded her head with a half-smile. The smile that made my heart jump leaps and bounds. I took her hand in mine, entwined them. She had long fingers, and her fingernails painted rose and French manicured to perfection. She put her head on my shoulder, and the sun was just setting. Her face was so calm, her long eye-lashes stayed closed, she was enjoying that moment. I wanted that moment to stay forever. On an impulse, I lifted her head by her chin, looked into those brown eyes, and said those words
“Let’s get married”.
It was her turn to go wide-eyed; then we hugged. In years to come, I will remember that moment. Ocean gurgled.
As she hugged me, I thought she could heart sirens that were wailing inside me.
She said ‘yes’. My baby girl just said yes.