We sat side by side. My fingers touching her. It was dark, very dark, the darkness of the deep blue shade with no star in it. An occasional lightening flashed its branches across the sky followed by a low purr of the gathering clouds. They seemed to answer the humble growl of the sea below. There was a chill in the wind that threatened to grow in will and power with every passing minute. My dog frogged out beside me with his head on my lap.
And then we kissed.
Not those long lusty kisses. But the short fleeting ones that happen in unsuspecting moments of perfection assuring that we would be there for each other forever. The white of the frothy waves was the only thing in motion as it slowly increased its pace and started to reach out for our toes. Netai called out, from the shack that was at quite a distance, “Dada joar asche chole asun bhitore.” (Its high tide, sir come back).
I looked back to see him holding out an emergency lamp over his head trying to understand where exactly we were sitting on the beach. Nemo barked back. Visibly displeased at his lazy slumber being so awkwardly broken. We got up reluctantly, brushed the sand off our clothes and body, Nemo gave a vigorous shake to his floppy ears that moved in ripples from his head to the tip of his tail.
Seeing us walking back Netai went in, while his wife came out with two glasses of hot tea and an aluminium bowl of water for Nemo. As we sipped on to the tea and looked out into the darkness for a moment I thought this was paradise.
We went back to the sea at the break of dawn. The sea was barely a five minute stroll from our resort. Nemo looked the most excited. Once on the seaboard he kept chasing red crabs that scurried in and out of their burrows. He in fact made friends with two three pariah dogs that joined him in their game of hide and seek. We walked towards the sea and it greeted us with giant waves that crashed and broke before us with the delight of a friend meeting after an age. I too embraced the moment.
The coastline looked like a painting with its long virgin beach, yellow sand and undisrupted view. The line of deodars beyond the shacks and the foliage of giant spider creepers and dwarf bamboos added to its beauty. The only sign of civilization was the line of four shacks that sold sundries to the tourists.
Dolon, my wife, meanwhile took a few steps into the water and called out for Nemo to join her. And the beagle dashed as if he had picked up the scent of a catch. The two played in the water, chasing each other, splashing about, collecting sea shells. I walked along the outer edges with water just about washing my feet and sand slowly waning away below. I could feel the grains as they slipped away with each receding wave. And then the sky turned red.
A red that I had never seen before. It had the passion of a rose in spring and calmness of a maple leaf in autumn. It spread across the horizon like a beautiful fragrance and then the sun came up like a giant orange that just bubbled up on to the surface. A pod of birds flew above my head towards the ruddy bulge. I looked back and saw Dolon and Nemo trotting towards me. I sat on my haunches and opened my arms for Nemo. The three of us walked back to the shack and had coconut water. It was refreshing—the sun, the sand, the quiet @ Tajpur at sea.