Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lessons from Palolem

This is Palolem. It is a crescent shaped beach and so pretty that it could be a pearl that got loose from an angel's embroidered wing. This time in Goa, my friends and I decided to take a day off to go to a different beach from the close to our hotel. Somewhere distant. So, we woke up early, ate a quick brekker and set off. Then we walked through little strips of road that knitted paddy fields, hailed a bus and set off for Palolem.

Palolem is deep in the south of Goa. From where we were (Benaulim), we had to change two buses to get to the beach (one to Madgaon and another to Palolem from the bus depot there). It was a long sheery ride. We went up a road that swirled around a green, green mountain. It was like tracing along the ribbon of candy color that rolls about a lollipop. On the way, the bus would be hailed by large crowds of school-children. They'd hop off somewhere between a purple house with yellow windows and a red hut with blue walls. There were all these souvenir-type things that made us chuckle. (Beauty can crack you up too. Not everything is poetry.)

We saw mountain streams dribbling over little ponds, rain come and go, the bus get full and empty, yet the world staying calm and grey.

Then we reached Palolem and the waves there were bigger and had quite a roar. The sea wastempting as sin. I, however, had decided to skip wearing a costume that day because I'd woken up feeling feverish and thought I'd done enough frollicking in the water the previous 2 days. (Or so I thought.)

But 12: 15 I spotted the sea. 12:16 I was deep in it. Walking as far as I could go in, turn my back to a huge wave and then, as it lifted me up, start swimming. Sometimes, two or three waves would come in quick succession. That's when I would quickly start floating on my back.

Now, floating on one's back is exquisite to begin with. But when you feel the heft of a wave rising under you and you are upturned looking at dark clouds gather atop a faraway island and feel the tickle of raindrops on your salty lips - it is exceptional to the point of heartburst.

Since I was swimming in my tee and shorts, I got soaked to a degree that hasn't happened since childhood. And I can't imagine how right that felt. It felt correct to be this joyous, wet, and free.

In yoga, we are taught to visualize ourselves as a drop of water that merges with the ocean. In the ocean, we learn what a cakewalk that is.

I think we are meant for this kind of surrender and this kind of freedom.

Nothing less and nothing else.

1 comment:

Vinita said...

I cant imagine what it feels like to surrender to the sea.