Saturday, 20 April 2013

Of the first night on holiday in Gokarna

Sunset brings a long shadow across the beach. The 2 hillocks on either side provides Kudle with a feeling of seclusion and in this seclusion a crowd has built up. They seem to be waiting for some show to start. A bunch of foreigners, mostly Israelis, have congregated. Guitars, bongo drums and ganja. Smoke.

Stay off the smoke I am told so A. and I head to find liquid instead. "Guardian published an article a few years back about Kudle being one of the cheapest tourist places on Earth and ever since then only cheap foreigners come here and they don't buy or pay for anything!" He is not selling the UBs we seek but The Spanish Place shack's owner seems to be in the mood to lament. Christmas is the season of joy sir and if you were selling some joy of the liquid kind I am sure you would get more expensive tourists.

We find the ubees elsewhere. The stars are bright. Bonfire has been lit. The smoke smells nice and familiar. Memories of a shopping trip to a pot-pourri shop come rushing but the nostalgia is snapped by this guy  singing a song in the most unfamiliar way. The language is new. The music is new. But the back in front of me finds them all familiar and she moves. She moves in the most alluring way. Her skin glistens from a recent dip in the sea. Shining in the crackling of the bonfire and the light from the stars and the big big moon. The back is so close. The smooth skin entices and for the briefest moment the heart contemplates a touch but the mind instead orders that I tighten hold on the UB bottle for now. The music and the glorious back are one in movement. Not sure who takes the lead. Is it the hip sway or the guitar twang. No first or second here. They are one and with this recognition comes fear. The fear of the back turning around and the fear that music will stop. The former doesn't happen, the beauty of the back remains and its romanticism is not killed by the unraveling of the mystery of the face to whom it belongs to. But the music stops and the back stops its sensual seduction and we are left with the moonlight and the rhythm of the waves.

The lights of the shacks bob in the wind and although Kudle is a smaller beach, I get reminded of a magical night spent walking in Palolem. We start walking and thinking out loud on what tomorrow holds. Christmas eve in a Hindu temple town finds us planning a trip to the local temple and a nice lunch mess selling cheap, honest and tasty fish meals. One by one the lights take turns to bid us good night. The shacks are closing up and in one of them rests the back that made this night worthy.