Friday, June 20, 2014

One Afternoon When it Rained in Kochi

One afternoon in the August of 2009, I was on a jetty in Kochi, waiting for the Chinese fishing nets to arrange themselves around that evening's sunset. Instead, it rained. And this is what I had written in my notebook.

The sea when I sail out is a pale blue. It must have been around 4.30 in the afternoon. A single ray of the late afternoon sun catches a wave that is about to ebb and there is a burst of light that in an instant spills to the next wave and the next. There is then a whole sheet of light around me.

A boat, two fishermen in it. They move away from the jetty I am in, pushed outward gently by the waves of the bigger sailor.

I wish it was all quiet then. But as always, I forget silence has a sound too, a loud one. Specks of green weed float by. And so do miscellaneous other things. A few more fishermen, not too bothered to look up at the aliens.

The jetty slows down, then picks up speed, turns this way a bit. In the distance, darkness approaches. Thick, ugly, a spoil sport. The setting sun reluctantly goes behind the opaque curtain.

Pale blue turns deeper. It is a palish black now. I think I know her nuances by now, she is not menacing. Almost playful, she throws up the jetty a bit, rocking and lulling out the gentleness. The deepening anticipation breaks only slowly. A trickle starts at a distance. By the time it approaches the jetty, it is heavier, the raindrops large and none too cold.

She, sea, seems a little agitated now, dark, with differing shades of grey. Rocking about those who dare disturb her rhythm, testing endurance, testing their stand. Not out seeking vengeance today, all she wills to give, in a glimpse behind a veil, is what she might do in anger.

She must feel benevolent today. The dark ceiling parts a while and the sun, with his last parting fiery rays for the day, breathes out. The light is welcome, though the strips are not strong enough to bring back those sheets of gleaming waves again.

As if to make up for keeping the famed sunset away, there is a burst of aftermath colour and within seconds, the waves take on these hues too.

Reds and pale pinks, a burst of violet. 

Garnished with a faint salty breeze.

The birth of colours, their lifetime of half a dozen minutes splashed across the canvas.

A fishing boat drifts by in the distance. It completes the picture.

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