Sunday, 24 March 2013

Of the first day on holiday in Gokarna

A.'s having his moment. The last 20 odd hours saw him go through 3 bus journeys and one moonlit auto ride and now he is all alone with darkness as company. And dogs. Dogs are howling. Dark night. Dogs have sight at night and A. has fright. He calls me and abuses. We are still waiting for the bus some 14 hours away from A.'s plight. Only aural solace can be provided. A torch light in the distance puts A. at ease and he is shown the way to Paradise where he spends the rest of the night in the company of Englishmen, beer and mosquitoes.

14 hours or so later, Gokarna bus stop has been reached. Auto to Kudle goes through narrow streets leading to the narrowest street which leads to a hill top. The right side is all of a sudden filled with a horizon. The Arabian sea in all its morning glory. A new age hippie has set up shop in front of a yoga 'resort'. Lighters, cards and some nick nacks... knick knacks. Walk down the path leading to Kudle wondering what A.would have made out in the night without light and dog fright. But A. had come another route. Which meant that he didn't know where the beach was. We on the other hand descend at one end of one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in India. Ladies from lands far away stretch out and unfold their yoga mats. Dogs walk around. Shacks open up lazily to the sounds of morning waves. 

A. is giving us directions to come from the forest and all we can see is sand. A foreign couple turn up out of nowhere to enquire about the mobile connection. The answer seems to make no difference. I wonder if A. is in another beach or another state. But he is just a few hundred steps away from the beach and we find him brushing next to a couple of huts which will serve us well over the next couple of days. Welcome to Paradise. Brush. Sunscreen. Swim trunks. Om beach beckons.

Stones, stoners, dholaks. A neatly marked out path leads to a rickshaw stand next to Om beach. Enter Om through a park or garden and then the Namaste is seen next to a shop that on this day makes 3 idiots successfully purchase white colour hats. Clint Eastwood cowboy wearing bright fire engine red swim shorts fantasy done with. The water is cold but Om in the afternoon isn't quite what Kudle was earlier in the day. Swimming is done with and the cow is shooed away from the clothes bag. Omelette and toast at the Namaste beckons. Couple of UBs appear out of nowhere  to quench thirst and kick start the vacation.

Kudle feels home. Kudle feels better. Kudle it is. Evening comes and with it blooms romance. Ms. Bikini and Mr. Lucky So-and-so hold hands and enter the sea and provide the picture postcard couple moment. A. isn't sure of his footing. V.,S.& I walk into the sea after a rather unnecessary water scooter ride. We choose to be envious of Mr. So-and-so and nothing more. The sunset provides the beach a golden glow, the waves rhythmically bob me up and down. From the corner of my gaze the couple become one and I become one with Kudle.