Sometimes unexpected moments in life give out the best pictures. When I took this shot I never really thought it’ll create such a sudden fan following for it. But, it has hardly been a week since I uploaded this on Flickr, the image seems to have been selected as favorite by at least seven people as of now. And none of them are people who I personally know.
There’s this little known beach in Udupi district (Udupi taluk of erstwhile undivided South Canara district). It is called Kaipunjal. It’s adjacent to the more popular Kaup(also spelt as Kapu) beach. Kaup beach is swarmed by visitors throughout the day. They come there to climb up to the lighthouse to get a bird’s-eye view of the coast line, the view of the distant Kunjaragiri hill shrine, the concrete buildings of Manipal and the greenery all over in the landscape which begins just as the blue sea and the shoreline end. I shall write about Kaup beach in a later post and will not hijack the essence of the photograph I am talking of.
Kaipunjal was never in the map of beach holidays and I hope this Status Quo persists. It was just us, the kids – me, my cousins and my sister – who made this a holiday destination every time we visited our grandpa’s place near Pangala, which is another town close to Kaup. Kaipunjal is just 2 miles away from grandpa’s house. We have to cut across the highway (NH 17) and then take a narrow tarred road, which leads us to this beach. The reason I want this to remain so secluded is because of that feeling I get being here. You will hardly find anybody strolling there. Few fishing boats – some of which are anchored at the shore line while others are trawling in the vicinity, couple of young fishermen trying to make a catch using primitive ways and some city-bred people like me who would have possibly come down to their hometown to experience that tranquil calmness which their city lacks in. Nobody here seems to be in a hurry except for the crabs which crawl around in fast speeds and look like aimless foot soldiers running for cover.
It is always exciting here during the evenings, when you have the beach all for yourself while you watch the color of the sky and sea change from shades of blue, to the shades of orange and pink, as the sun goes down the distant horizon. Truly an inspiring sight in any beach, ain’t it? But it feels the best only when you are in a beach as lonely as Kaipunjal. Evenings at the beach had been savored by us many a times. This time we decided to get a taste of the beach during the morning hours. One fine morning during the last month, I along with my dad and a cousin of mine walked down through those familiar roads again. As we strolled by, we passed by a group fisher women who were off to the market . They were amused by seeing me, a stranger who took their photograph. I sometimes feel that the dwellers in the countryside find it funny to know that I get easily amused by the sights of nature and countryside. I believe that it is always a place which spins a tale in the mind of an inspired author and not the author who spins a tale about a mystic place. It must be a usual sight for them but for me its a pilgrimage every time I am here.
A stroll for twenty minutes and we were there at the beach come fishing village of Kaipunjal. We walked into the morning calmness of the beach. The only noises were of the weak waves. We were greeted by those familiar sights of anchored boats, trawlers and tiny crabs. There was this young boy who looked barely out of school and was trying to see if he had made any catch through the fishing net he had put over night. Dad loved to converse with him in the local dialect (Tulu). He spoke to him for a considerable amount of time while me and my cousin listened to their conversation. It was sad to know that the boy had dropped out of school. His daily routine involved waking up early and walking down to see if there were any catches in the two nets he would’ve set up previous night. If there were any, he would save some for his family’s lunch and dinner and sell the remaining in the local market. He seemed to be content with the life he was leading. I am not sure if he ever regretted leaving school mid-way. But this content life of his amazed us a lot.
This chap didn’t seem to have any of those worries we city people have. No credit card payments, no EMI, no loans, no daily commuting through chaotic traffic to reach his workplace. My dad has this additional thing which he worries about a lot these days. He is upset with his son(me) having quit his software job in pursuit of photojournalism dreams. Dad is not in terms with me and my decision. I have moved on, but he still stands there pondering over the question if I have made a wrong decision in life. This sent three of us into an introspection as we looked far ahead into the sea. When we were done, we walked on slowly away from the waters. At some point of time I realised that dad wasn’t walking with us. This was when I turned back and saw this sight, which I instantly decided to capture in my camera.
Once again I had walked on, while Dad stood his ground somewhere far behind in time……..