Friday, November 03, 2006

The secret

A loud cheer went around the gathering on the beach, and I looked up to wonder why… the sun had apparently set, the night was about to dawn, reason enough for the type of people gathered here to cheer. I was busy trying to build a tower of beer and breezer bottles, but gave it up, and decided to go on a walk. At the end of the beach, there were miniature rock formation, steps, and swirls and other shapes as interpretable as clouds. I imagined myself as some large mythological giant rumbling through the desolate lands of an alien continent. The ambience was perfect for that, and the newborn twilight shone on as a perfect backdrop. I jumped across the sea, a small portion of it not bridged by rocks anyway, and walked around till I spotted a path into the hills. I climbed, obviously, laboriously at first, for the slope was steep, and then the going got easier. Bumped into some violet bushes on the way, stuck one above my ear, removed my shirt, tied it around my waist and walked on. The breeze was cool now, enough relief from the scrambling, but I also had a bottle of breezer in one hand, and a stick of Gudang Garam in another, a cigarette with a lot of cloves and a lot of tar, which leaves a sweet taste behind if you lick your lips after you are done with a fag. I walked on, enjoying the mere fact that I was present here, alone, and up ahead, I saw a grave. It was a white marble thing, the cross jutting out well into the sky, and I wish I had more than my mobile camera to photograph this with, because the horizon was still burdened with a fiery orange flash and streaks of red.


I climbed on, came across a plateau, a field of grass, and a lone man sitting at the edge of the cliff, overlooking the beach and the sea, probably meditating, and I had half an impulse to share the rest of the breezer with him, but I walked on, in fact ran through the grass, barefooted, the violet fell out of what I thought was a safe keep, onto the rocks of the top of the hill, where wild thorns tore at my feet, but up there was a rock jutting out, right into the open air, right above the beach and the sea and the grass plateau below, and right where I was running to in a frenzy ignoring everything else.



I was breathless, not because of the view, but because of the exertion. The view was stolen away from me by a swarm of swallows, silently swirling around me… I don’t know what they were upto, but they were circling me… I smoked my cigarette till the filter, the heavy breathing letting me draw in more of the poison, and calmly sipped on my drink while I wondered about the whole exercise.



I do not know what I thought… it would be a lie to claim enlightenment, it would be a lie to claim inner peace, I was frankly in a lot of turmoil, I never wanted to leave that place… it was a sort of exhilaration I guess, godlike, above the rest of the world I could see, having no power to influence it in anyway, but gaining immense pleasure from just watching it for the beauty of it. I stayed there, waiting till the reds and oranges faded to dull pinks and browns through many tiny wings. And then a large bird, I could not identify it, probably an eagle, soared silently through the swarm. It ignored everything around it, and went on purposefully past. Right then, I wondered if evolution had made the right choice for us. Here we were, with brains that can communicate such rich experiences as this through such a diverse a media as only we create… and yet, the bird that went past enjoyed a better view than I could. I wondered what it would be like to be able to fly my way down. Para gliders. Shit.
Anyway, I turn my back to the scene, and walk down… across the field, picking my way slowly, into some private property, down a steep slope of steps, into the kitchen, and out into the pub and then the beach… I rejoin my friends a litter more blessed, and sit down and resume work on my tower, in high spirits and an empty bottle in my hand.


The last vestiges of that day trickle through the bottles as the sky turns dark… there are fire dancers and jugglers on the beach, and the location is a secret I want to keep.



PS: I have pictures! upload them later

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