The mind-blowing geographical setting of Shaka Surf Club, sea out front and backwaters at the back. A tiny village on this little strip of land. Drone photo by Nishq Talwar
Can you believe it. Finally, it is time for a holiday! Unreal. The brain gets so used to routine and pattern. Up until you are all packed and finally slam your door shut, turn the key in your door and head for the airport, it still is sinking in. Hop skip flights and city lights, take off and land, the weight of the smog lifts from your chest and winter has changed to a pleasant 23 degrees.
Coconut trees everywhere and people pulling in fishing nets. Dump bags in a tent and park yourself on a hammock.
You introduce yourself, you try to remember all the names, but then you remember who does what for a living and which city they come from and if they can stand up yet while surfing and soon you are all glowing under the white shade where you eat the fish curry, rice and papad staple with changing vegetables everyday. At night the breeze is stronger and the round lamps light up and everything is somehow more beautiful. The stars are all visible, there is no smog. The tents are just zipped shut there is no one to steal your stuff. The people are just here, there's no places to rush to for holiday variety in dinner or lunch, we sit on this nice big wooden table and by the end of the trip we've shared eighteen meals together.
So many days spent alone, one forgets what it feels like to be new, to be reintroduced to the world. Quietly watching the sun set over the sea and watch the colours change from blue to yellow to orange to purple pink red and then navy blue into black. I'm no islander or tropical native but I imagine it takes distance to appreciate this beauty as well. Would one get caught in the same patterns if one lived here?
People are essentially the same, we all feel the same feelings of love, belonging, loneliness, fear and there is goodness in all of us. It is oversimplifying but a good anti anxiety strategy when meeting people in a community setting. A good place to be at, relaxed and easy speaking under the stars.
Thank you for the lessons 2017. Full moon on the Arabian Sea.
It's all about the mind
Learning anything new is a great way to get to know yourself.
When learning in a group, you meet new people and because they are built on different experiences, their reactions to the same situation are different. Some run from a wave, some go straight into it and battle it, some watch from way back over there where the waves cant touch you, others glide and ride it effortlessly.
Just from this one can learn so much. There isn't even a need to speak and days have gone by without a sentence being uttered.
It's also about the body
One can do as much visualisation and meditation but when you have that one second to switch from lying on the board to paddling like hell while timing yourself to the wave and then another few microseconds to get up stand up it is the body and the mind - and a few scratches await you if you hug the board for dear life.
It's going to be a while to be able to be effortless and elegant like the home team Ishita and Tushar.
The only picture I could get of the bioluminescent algae rich backwaters on my phone. So sad that I decided to not carry my camera 🙁 But Sid was taking some nice pictures with long exposure and loads of patience and a tripod and I have asked him if I can post some here and here they are!
Sid/Sidharth is a part of the Shaka Surf club team and we had a lovely afternoon seeing what he is upto in his free time. He volunteers at the local school teaching all these kids BREAK DANCE. We got to see the final showdown. The girls won.
Meeting new people and singing into the night around the bonfire surrounded by the sound of water.
It's the same old songs and it's also some new songs with people you have just met. Such a great way to connect and hang out. I have somehow been afraid to practise guitar (!) I know, the narrative in my head was that I will never be good enough at it so might as well not try (!) It's ridiculous when I think about it now. I think surfing helped. It's almost as, if you do something more scary then the other things seem less scary - for e.g. singing high notes vs drowning in the ocean. What is more scary?
Met a gifted musician: Bombay born, LA based Farrokh Shroff , is a full time musician who is in fact teaching music classes online, thank you heavens above, I have been looking for someone to teach me how to play instruments all my life.