Eager to Meet

If you ask me, Sunset and Beach is a divine match beyond any comparison and for argument’s sake, even beyond my own singularly-biased illusion. If you still need any better assurance, well!! My complexion vouches for my intolerable partiality for the deep blue sea and light golden, roasted sandy beach.

So one such beach visit was, Marari. Marari is a small fishermen village about some 14 kilometers away from the very popular Alleppey, in  Kerala. Quite preferred by the western tourists, even now-a-days gaining demand within the nation, this village is absolutely just-do-nothing-but-relax. No activity, hardly any sightseeing barring one or two church visits that too in the city, this small village though doesn’t look drowsy but spreads all the vibes of slumbery mornings, slumbery afternoons, do nothing, stretch and get lazy again, lie by the beach, walk bare foot on the sand or bathe in the water, gorge on whatever is available by that one or two beach shacks and continue this till evening. That’s the general itinerary while in Marari.

So the first evening, I was looking forward to a gaudy sundown and my eyes were only fixed at the horizon. But sunset of a fishermen’s village is lot different than our general concept. If the sky is clear, if there is no grey cloud floating across posing any threat, it’s time for the Fishermen to go to work. Work is, to dive into the ocean with their small canoe boat and fish-nets and go fishing. When would the come back? I didn’t know. The local fishermen families start gathering around the beach by late afternoon, while the ladies keep themselves busy in chatting, the men only look at the skyline and the children only know to have fun.

As I was trying to keep a mental note of all these, I could see two cute sugar candies were running here and there and if found any tourists they would run to them and would try talking to them. While many tourists were enjoying their company for a while, these little niñas were running to some others the next. It would be a lie if I say I didn’t want to eavesdrop at those conversations, but as the sun was going down, I wanted to capture some good rainbow moments.

‘Hii!!’ Oh they spotted me and it’s my turn. Let the curiosity die now!!

Their voice was as sugary as they looked, and I loved their smile, because one was missing the two upper central incisor teeth, and the other had already the new incisors come but the left lateral incisor was missing.

‘Hello!’

‘What is your name?’ They asked me.

While I answered and asked theirs, and later I forget their names! They go to the near-by village school, they have a difference of 2 years in between and they are best of friends. The next set of questions for me were as below:

‘Where are you from?’

‘You go to school?’

‘What do you do?’

‘Do you have pen?’ This question made me thinking for a bit, but I couldn’t reason then.

‘I am sorry; I don’t.’

‘Ok no problem. Our house is there. You play with us?’

‘May be you play, I will take pictures?’

‘Ok, bye bye!’

I waved back at them, but where they were to go? They were playing around me, both their fathers were seating together and close to where I was standing, they showed me to their fathers and as my complexion does confuse people from South, they also thought I was a local. So they started asking me questions in Malayalam. My gesture explained that I am a local from other corner of the country!!

‘Ok, bye bye!’

I waved back at them, but where they were to go? They were playing around me, both their fathers were seating together and close to where I was standing, they showed me to their fathers and as my complexion does confuse people from South, they also thought I was a local. So they started asking me questions in Malayalam. My gesture explained that I am a local from other corner of the country!!

While heading to the home-stay, more fishermen were curious about this so-southern-looking-but-so-shortly-dressed, now-turned-chocolaty girl.

I had only one answer to all their questions; “Anna, Malayalam Illai!!”

The next evening the scene was the same; but that day number of fishermen was lot more on the beach. The weather was slightly clouded and by 4 pm people were moving with their boats to the water. While some were still waiting at the beach, the ladies were busy chatting, and I spotted those cute candies running towards me with their gummy smile.

‘Hiiii!!’

‘Hi, how are you today?’

The smallest: ‘I didn’t go to school today. I am not good.’

The little elder one: ‘I went to school, did home work. Now play.’

‘Good, why didn’t you go to school? You were not well?’

The Smallest: ‘Yes, Yes, I had .. (After looking for the right word) vomit.’

‘Ooo, how come?’ which they couldn’t explain to me.

‘Do you have pen?’

‘Oh! I forgot, I am sorry.’

‘Do you have chocolate?’

I have stopped carrying chocolate for some time now, though I searched my bag looking for some banana chips’ packet, but no hope.

‘ok, come see our mother.. come come?’

I had to go and meet their moms, who were quite happy to meet me, but their happiness could only be gestured.

‘Tomorrow you bring chocolate?’

‘Sorry my dear, I am leaving tomorrow.’

‘Tomorrow? Where? You come back??’

While it was almost getting dark, I bid them good bye with a happy heart and on my way I saw another kid asking for pen or chocolate to other tourists walking ahead of me. Then it struck me, these were poor village kids, and no way as privileged as we are. So if any tourists have presented good chocolates or pen or anything similar to them, they ask for it from other tourists as that is their only available source to enjoy a tiny bit of luxury.

The mellow spring late-afternoons always remind me of those toothless gummy smiles, the bare-foot run on the sand, the loud giggling after not understanding anything, I’m sure they have grown up a bit now…

For Post D: Click here

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