Thursday, January 05, 2012

Sabbatical report #1: Three glorious hours at Chennai's Marina Beach :)

It has been almost three weeks since I arrived in Chennai, and I hadn't yet visited my favorite Marina Beach.  I am usually there within a couple of days.

Today, the urge was simply unbearable.  At 3:30, as dad woke up from his nap, I told him, "I am going to the beach."  I then looked at mom and said, "I will be back for dinner."

Then, I took off.

What a pleasant afternoon it was!  Just the right temperature, and the Sun from behind me as I walked the length wading in the waters, and often simply standing there to enjoy it all.

Am I not one lucky guy to get time off like this?

I neared the waters, and I saw a family--a kid, parents, and a granny--talk to a young guy who was holding a horse's reins. 

Curiosity being my middle name, I stood there and watched.  It was clear the kid wanted to ride.  The solution was really neat: granny and grandkid on the horse :)

I started the very slow walk/wade from the lighthouse end to the radio tower end. 

It was one of the best afternoons I have ever spent at the Chennai beaches.  The fishermen boats looked so cheerful in their colors:



If one were to merely look at the photo of the fishing boats and the waters, and not read all the text, would one easily guess it is Chennai in India?  I don't think so!

This being India and Chennai, there were men in shorts, dhotis, lungis, formal trousers, jeans, and one in nothing but his briefs, with his undershirt tucked into the briefs.  Women were in saris, churidars, jeans, capris, and even purdahs.

It just shows that you can have fun any which way you want, and what you wear at the beach cannot, and should not, prevent you from enjoying it all.  Look at the group in the photo below:



Even the fishermen seemed to be having fun:



Before I knew it, almost an hour-and-a-half was gone and the Sun was rapidly going down.  Such a contrast to the long twilight hours back in Oregon.

Against a setting Sun, the same fishing boats looked different.


As the light faded, the sky started to turn red and pink and orange. It was awesome.  But, it was way too much for me: I didn't know if I should enjoy the skies or the waves or merely standing in the warm waters, or watch the kids splashing around or the lovers holding hands ... please, please, one thing at a time :)




As my eyes scanned away from the lighthouse, I spotted a plane against the reddish-orange sky.  I suppose nature and humans decided to please poor old sriram with everything :)



Thus it was that I spent nearly three hours at the beach. 

I came home, showered, ate chapatis with dal, a guava, chumchum, and am as content as my dog Congo always seemed to be.

ps: in case any of the administrators or unhappy faculty at my university read this: "sabbatical report" in the title of this post is a joke, and nothing but a joke!  All the content here, however, is for real :)

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