One very fond memory I carry is getting on to my old motor bike and riding to the sea. Any guesses who my pillion was? No, not some pretty lass but an old uncle. We drove to the beach and then sat on the sand and gazed into the distance. “Do you feel relaxed Bob?” he would ask.

“Yes,” I would say.

“Do you know why?”

“I guess it’s the sound of the breakers in the distance?”

“It’s the fact that your eyes don’t have to focus on any object,” he used to say, “the sea is one large expanse, so they relax.”

Well, I don’t know whether his was the correct reason, but it was enough for me. My uncle soon passed to the world beyond, but my love for the sea always drew me to different beaches all over India and across the world.

I remember the Marina in Madras. A long beach that stretched for nearly half a kilometre from the road. Peddlers sold their wares and created a path with their gas lamps right up to the sea. I was never sure whether it was the sea that charmed me more or the cheap things fold. I played the bamboo flute those days and there were plenty sold along the way and by the time I reached the sea, I played a tune and whoever it was who was with me, shivered with the melancholic tune. But soon the roar of the waves stilled my senses and I was overpowered by a sense of calm.

And as a young salesman in the land of Mumbai, then Bombay, with briefcase in hand, I walked mid afternoon towards the sea. Coconut seller and ice cream vendor preparing for the evening crowd looked with hidden curiosity as I sat in the scorching sun and watched the sea.

Then once visiting Goa as a teenager, I walked along the golden sands and thought I was in paradise. The trees along the shore bent towards the sea, seemed to be offering homage to the Divine. I felt such peace along those beaches that later for my honeymoon I dragged my young bride to the same beach at Colva and we stayed in a beach house along the shore. We watched the sunrise and sunset and spoke our dreams to each other. It was a wonderful time.

I want to walk those beaches again, to laugh with the waves and chase them back into the sea and allow them to touch my feet and tickle my toes, then walk back to the shore and thank a God above for oceans that roar sometimes or gently lap themselves around us, offering His message of peace and love.

Thank you God for all you offer through nature, especially the calming sea..!

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