Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Encounter with The Ocean...

Nothing can humble you more than the enormity of the ocean. Staying and originating from the land locked country, oceans are seldom seen. It was my second encounter with the big water body; on one shore I was standing filled with awe and the other shore was out of sight. It was beyond the straight line made of bulging water like a skyline made by the mountains back home.

As we approached the ocean, there was a roaring sound of water similar to the sound of a rapid - a very big rapid. I told my friend who had never seen ocean, that it must be a big river instead of a ocean. He checked the map mentally and said that the sound was that of an ocean. I forgot the sound of an ocean at the other end of the same Indian ocean, on the beaches of Perth, Australia. After few minutes of walking on a yellowish sandy ground, we were presented with the first sight of the great ocean. The water body so huge that it rose gently towards the far end but not coming crashing down towards where we were standing, except for a white waves echelon after echelon lapped at the sandy shore in an almost regular motion of fluttering horizontal prayer flags.

It was pitched dark and we did not dare to go near the ocean that night. The next morning, my friends were sound asleep. I was drawn by the sound of the ocean and went alone to the beach. That was the time I realized why: writers go to the beaches for inspirations, lovers go there to be oblivious of the surrounding and lovelorn roam around on the sandy beach to forget the past. If you listen to inner voice you would know.

'Thaye Jamtsho' – Ocean, as mentioned in the stories and the religious texts struck me. The vivid description of the ocean, its vastness, its magnitude, its extensiveness and the availability of immense treasures in the ocean and how a legendary businessman Norbu Zangpo went to hunt for jewels/gems (norbu) from there. Whoever may be the author, had he been here? Had he seen the ocean? Had he been as mesmerized as me – awestricken? Thaye Jamtsho it is. It is amazing how a man from land locked countries came near the ocean and exactly felt how I was feeling.

Feeling piddly and subdued by the vastitude of the water body before me, with various life forms it might be holding within it, I sat there wondering drifting between reality and imaginations with the occasional touched of the cold water coming to the shore, waves after waves. In the mean time, the life guards puts the red flags to signal no-crossing-beyond-this-line. The life forms on the land slowly coming back to business with beach side restaurant preparing the sitting arrangements, the joggers here and a couple there. It was time for me to join my friends back in the hotel, to come back and get some tan on the already tanned skin. For me actually, it would be to prevent further tanning.

Loaded with vitamin D, through the exposed skin and failing to prevent tanning, we moved back to the security of the land beyond the reach of the lapping waves, beyond the reach of the swishing sound, beyond the reach of the tsunami and also beyond the reach of the great things both tangible and intangible things that the ocean had to offer. It took some time for my darkened shoulders and face to regain its colour. However, the lines of the sleeve less shirt remains as remembrance of the sun, ocean and the beaches....