Monday, 10 August 2015

A Svaneke Moment

 "Why would you want to go to Denmark for your honeymoon?" 

For a couple of weeks I had grown accustomed to answering that question from friends and family. The answer began with my insistence on a 'first-visit destination' for the both of us and continued to explain my soon to be wife's previous European vacation disguised as a student exchange program and ended with justifiable meteorological reasons for visiting Denmark in July. But when the question comes from a rather puzzled officer at the Denmark Consulate, I start doubting the 'brilliance' of my decision to book cheaper non-refundable flights.

Fast forward a couple of months and I find myself sitting on the ledge that serves as the wall of Svaneke Kirken. A rather small building that would be lost in many other settings but stands tall in the small town of Svaneke in the Danish island of Bornholm. Svaneke had just been voted as the most beautiful market town in Denmark and from what little I had seen so far, it certainly had my vote

The church on its own is not much of a building. The red color of the church reminds me of the Writer's Building in Kolkata or Chennai Central station. I take a step back and I see the grey Baltic sea in the near distance blending with the brilliant blue sky at the far distant horizon. The red Kirken makes for a pretty picture against the azure blue sky. The church, the sky and I sit in rapt admiration of the rhythmic movement of the green stalks of barley, in the adjacent field, dancing to the tunes of the gentle breeze. The gravel paths neatly demarcate those resting peacefully and adds to the beauty of the meditative wholeness of the moment. 

The marriage between the Svaneke church and its natural consorts is most harmonious during the Svaneke summer but just like any union it does have its periods of gloom and sadness during the long, cold and dark winter.  The winter has passed this year like any other but unlike any other year the summer sees me sitting on this ledge contemplating my newly married moment. A hand adorned with ritual decoration gently taps me on the shoulder and a voice accompanies the hand asking if a camera can do justice to the moment.

Fast forward two years and I find myself sitting on a sofa typing this post and wondering how I can get hold of that officer from the Danish consulate in New Delhi and tell her that her country is not such a bad place for a honeymoon after all.

Image courtesy: Photo by aconcagua (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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