Long ago, Raja and I stood on the sands of the picturesque Kovalam Beach in Kerala. That’s when he taught me a nice game. We would write our names in the sand close to the waves. Then we would go near the waves and shout – “Kadal Amma Kalli” – a taunt to the mother of the ocean. After we did this for some time, the ocean having had enough of being provoked by two semi-naked guys shouting profanities, would come and wipe our names out of existence. No sooner did she do that, we would back up, right our names in the sand again and resume shouting.
I stepped out of my restaurant at 2:30 p.m. and I was surprised. The skies were overcast, the wind was mellow and sweet. There was only one place to go – Ajman Beach.
Ajman beach is famous for a lot of reasons. None of those reasons are tremendously honorable ones. The biggest draw is the supposed availability of alcohol on the beach, something which I suspect to be more of a myth, as every one I knew had heard about it from someone else. Also, the beach supposedly had some easy to access pubs, discs and the like.
I wasn’t expecting any of these to be happening at a little past mid-day. I took the winding road from Sharjah that put be in company with the shore-line. After driving all the way to the Kempinski, Ajman, I realized that it was where the beach ended. I U-turned back and parked near the far end of the beach, so that I could take in every aspect of it.
The first thing, I noticed was a nice place where a couple of women had backed up their SUV to the edge of a plateau that fell into the water. They had seated themselves in the trunk and had a splendid panoramic view of the sea. I must try to do that next time. While I walked around the beach, I realized that something was not right, something was making this more painful that it should have been. That something was that fact that the part of the beach that I was exploring was scattered with sharp pebbles and I was walking around barefoot. I think it is safe to say that my passionate Swamiye Aiyoppo was completely lost on my Pakistani and Arab audience. After that I reached a place where I found a lot of people fishing, some with proper fishing rods and tackle and the others with wooden sticks with some wire tied at one end. It was nice to watch them, as they tossed their lines into water, sat down like they were going to poop and happily chit-chatted with the competition nearby. When I came to the other end of this place, I marveled at the beauty of the sight. The water came into a mini-backwater space, where one get would lost in counting the number of hues of blue/green.
After that grand sight, I caught sight of an Arab riding a camel around on the beach. He was probably “taking her for a spin around the block”. With some persuasion and generous display of my dental structure, I managed to convince him and his shy camel to give me some poses.
After that, I headed out further up the beach. I felt as if I walking through some video-game as each new area I discovered had a new distinct feel to it. They may as well have hung a sign over each part saying “You have reached Level 4”. This new part of the beach found me and an Arab guy hunting for aquatic life in still waters. We weren’t very lucky for while, but then we spotted a crab, quickly followed buy something that looked very “fishy”. It lay patiently in the water, with some tentacles and when something swum close enough, it would grab it and hold on to it for dear life.
Edit: figured that this was a sea anemone
The final portion of the beach was were the junta camped. I was content to soak my weary feet in the cool waters, but for some reason, a kid on the beach decided to run from far on the shore to where I was standing in the water, screaming deliriously. Needless to say, I wasn’t very popular with the kid’s mother on the beach today.
When I reached the half-way point, I had to turn back. The beach had overwhelmed, my senses were giddied but more importantly, my parking meter was running out. Something was missing. Ah! I spied a Hardees outlet nearby, walked in barefoot (and thereby ensured that the eyebrows of the patrons set long jump records), grabbed a diet Pepsi and walked back onto the beach.
Beautiful weather – check
Water running through toes, as they dragged through sand – check
Cool wind through hair – check
Latika’s theme (SDG) on the headphones – check
A bottle of Heineken’s finest OR a Diet Pepsi in hand – check … for the latter
Supreme contentment on a Saturday afternoon – what do you think? 🙂
And Raja’s Kadal Amma Kalli did come to use after all- for some free advertisement on the beach 🙂
They say imitation is the best of form of flattery. Flattery or otherwise, this post draws inspiration from this blog, whose pictures and sheer enthusiasm I admire.