The day had to come. I knew it even when I was planning the trip three months ago and even when I was packing my bags 15 days ago. This day had to come—the last day of the vacation.
So we survived the night quite peacefully. SKT and Frooti slept early as usual. I, as usual, was up. I saw Ponyo, a movie recommended by Sweater. I will trust Sweater’s choice even more now. Needless to say I loved the film. Then I read a love-story on Twitter. I slept at around 1 am imagining what the holiday would have been like if I had travelled with someone I was in love with. I guess this was just an aftermath of reading a love-story.
There is something about this cottage. The three of us again slept like logs. We woke up at around 8:30 am that too after Frooti warned us that we would miss the sightseeing if we continued to roam about in dreamland. Gokarna is a sleepy town. It is slow and that is the beauty of the place. Life is worth living and every minute becomes worth savoring here. Our tea and breakfast were served at a leisurely pace and we were not in the mood to complain. The dosas were delicious.
A bumpy autorickshaw ride took us to the main temple complex where we offered our prayers to Lord Ganesha , Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The temple complex is located just a short walk away from the Main Beach. When we reached the beach the sand was as hot as burning coal. However, the sight of a blue sea welcomed us and made us forget about our burning feet. I have never before seen such blue waters. We walked quite a bit in the hot sun. Then we rushed to the vendor selling coconut water. I still felt hot so decided to indulge in an ice-cream. We boarded the auto and braved another bumpy ride back to the cottage. We opted for the simple but delicious meal prepared at the cottage. We lazed around in the afternoon. SKT read her book, Frooti wrote, while I read links I had favorited on Twitter since the last week. SKT and I then called Titu and spoke to him after what seemed like ages.
At around 4, when the sun was not too strong, we took the treacherous path that we had abandoned last evening, and went to Kudle Beach. The Kudle Beach is the beautifulest of them all, as Jaspinder put it. It is a shingle beach. I had first read about a shingle beach when I was in class eight. My teacher had explained, ‘A shingle beach is a beach which has several rocks and boulders strewn all over. The waves come and crash against the rocks creating a sound which touches the soul if a listener listens carefully enough.’ I had wanted to go to a shingle beach ever since. The visit to the beach was everything I had imagined and more. I heard the waves crashing. They spoke to me. Had I been alone, I might have spent some more time sitting on the boulders and thinking about life and such. Then would have walked some more in the crystal clear water. Would have spent some more time talking to the couple who had made a beautiful sand sculpture of Lord Ganesha. However, by a unanimous vote it was decided that it was time to walk to Om Beach.
The track that leads to Om Beach is also a very difficult one. People with no weight issues might not find it too difficult but I was ready to give up on the idea of going to the beach after climbing the steep stairs. I decided to take an auto for the rest of the way. SKT and Frooti were keen to walk the entire distance but decided to accompany me in the auto since they were not in favor of me going alone. So we reached Om Beach. Om Beach is named such because the coast of the beach and the boulders on the coast form the shape of Om. Watching the sun set behind the boulders leaving a red hue across the horizon was an experience to cherish for a long, long time. A very thin sliver of moon rose in the sky next to the pole star while we walked on the wet sand and the waves created music. It was a setting perfect for a song written by Gulzar Sa’ab. We sat on a rock for sometime, listening to the crashing waves, looking at the millions of stars that were twinkling just for us.
We went to the famed Namaste Café. Had a scrumptious meal. I topped off the night with a sliver of banoffee pie. The ride back to the cottage was another adventurous one. The road that leads to the cottage is steep and is a mud-road, not a concrete one. The darkness added to the drama. Thankfully, we reached unhurt.
Now that the vacation is almost over, I can confess that every time I think of how wonderful this break has been, I say a thank you to Jaspinder for helping me plan this trip/itinerary; Loofah for encouraging me to go solo; Sangy for ensuring that no fear ever crept my mind; Sweater for well being entertaining; and last but obviously not the least, mom for saying repeatedly, just be happy and enjoy and ensuring that all my reservations and bookings were done. I am glad SKT and Frooti ‘piled on’ (their words not mine!) on the last leg of the holiday so that my transition back to humanity and my world will be relatively easy.
I am now packed and ready to leave for Goa tomorrow morning. A taxi has been booked to take me to Goa station, which is a four-hour drive. I’ll be taking a train to Delhi from Goa. The 40-hour journey back home will be one where I’ll be revisiting each and every moment of my vacation, not necessarily in that order.