Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Memories.....from the sea!

Last weekend was a nostalgic one, spent reminiscing about our days in Portland while relaxing on a beach resort at Karwar with close friends from Portland. When you live abroad for some time, your friends are your family and when you meet them here in India, it indeed feels like a family reunion! Just like there is no awkwardness when catching up with our extended family after a while, we were at ease picking up where we left off……even after over eight months! We met them in Kumta, a small town in North Kanara from where we drove to Devbagh Beach Resort in Karwar. Well….what can I say…it was truly one of the most memorable weekends in recent years! Thank you Shwetha and Srini for making the time to meet us during your hectic two week visit to India! Cheers… good times with friends!

Abhay has always been fond of Shwetha aunty and Srinimas uncle who always had a pack of cookies up their sleeves, wherever he met them, be at home or outside. Abhay was thrilled to meet them in Kumta and had a whale of a time playing in the Karwar beach. Since we just returned from a trip to the beach, last night I read “A gift from the Beach” a bilingual book from Tulika publications by Melanie Kunz and illustrations by Srivi. Rani is heading to the city next week and she excited to learn that the city situated by the sea as she can play in sand the whole day (Just like Abhay!). Rani plans to pick out a gift for her grandmother who is not able to join her on her jaunt. On the beach she first spots a feather and wonders which bird is it from? She then sights a green slipper and wonders where the other slipper is and if it belongs to a boy or a girl! Throughout the beach, she finds odd little things - strings of flowers, coconuts, dried star fish, a cloth bag and a smooth bottle all of which intrigues her but none of them seem good enough to be a gift for her grandma. Finally, she stumbles upon a large conch shaped shell as the waves retreat, and she knows what do to do. She picks up the bottle and fills it with sea water and fills the cloth bag with sand and drops the shell into it. When she returns home, her grandma opens the bag to feel grains of sand, wets her lips with sea water stored in the bottle and holds her ears close to the sea shell to listen to sound of the sea waves ….she experiences the sea like no one does as Rani’s grandma is blind! As touching as the story is for adults, it was not an ending I expected Abhay to comprehend fully and he was bursting with more questions on the grandma’s condition, rather than Rani’s experience on the beach. But besides a beautiful montage of photographs of the seashore, this book carries an important message – even the most common things in nature can be special, provided you have a mindset to enjoy it! Having enjoyed the pristine shores of Devbagh with the company of great friends, we take back our gift from the sea – memories forever with friends forever!!


  1. you should take him to a not-very-high water fall next... therés one near kanyakumari that i took kabir to, last year... one of hte few safe waterfalls i've seen -- and oh, did he love it!