The Story of a Sunrise !
Out of the blue, an idea popped out of a conversation with my friend; to see the sunrise at Eliots beach, Chennai. Two of her cousins joined the bandwagon to see the sun rising above the horizons of Chennai shores.
I woke up at around 3 o clock and put on my trousers. Silence all around was clouted by the occasional barking of the dog. I walked a few steps through the alleys clothed in darkness inviting louder and scaring barks of the street dogs. I walked with all my bravery filled inside my shoes ready to take a long flight at any second. I walked and reached Tambaram Station to board the Suburban train to Guindy. It was morning 4’o clock and the train was teeming with hundreds engaged in their day to day activities.
Early hours of a town has an element of beauty in it. The beauty of the ordinary life of its ordinary people. With a basket filled with guava, fruit selling woman began her day. Smile of early hours, Smile with freshness, hope and energy gleamed from her beautiful face. The smell of ripe guava scathed past me. These are something only early hours can offer. I got down at Guindy and walked past the flower sellers. The pathway scented by jasmine flowers had the chillness of early hours, unlike the hotter and unbearable Chennai summer. I caught an autorickshaw to IIT Madras. Time clicked 4:30. Sun was yet to rise, but the darkness filling the clouds had their borders lined by the early rays.
Plan was to cycle all the way to the beach from her hostel. But unlike me, sun had no plans to wait for the three ladies. From the cloud borders, light began oozing into the air beneath the clouds. The three young ladies marched towards me. The blackness in the streets began sliding into bluish tinted early rays. The blueness in the air kept bouncing onto the roads, vehicles and trees. With hardly half an hour left for the sun to rise, we dropped the cycling part of the journey.
We caught an autorickshaw for the beach. The blue earth continued to brighten itself into the lights of day. Then I smelled the brine scented breeze. It was all around me , wrapping a web of chillness around my trousers, hands and hair. It was the beach, The Great Elliots Beach. Beach opened up before me like a rushing shower of bluish tinted icicles.
The beach was in its waking up session. Some dogs were still curled up in corners, yet some were on their morning stroll. Buried deep beneath clouds, Sun was in no mood to rise above the horizons. Waking up early morning, braving the packs of barking dogs and all the early morning brouhaha were shredding into nothingness on the sands of Elliots Beach. I continued to gaze at the blurred sun veiled in the cloud flocks.
On the shores, lungi clad men began pushing their boats through the sand. They continued to push beyond the sand and into the waves and sea. Along with the lungi clad men, blue painted boat also put her feet into the waters. It was either the sea or the boat, someone was so unwilling to take forward the movement. Then came the first wave, lifting the front portion of the boat. Wave moved under the boat lifting the boat in each progression. It felt like wave tickling the boat, making it laugh and jump toe to head in a momentary pleasure. As the men jumped into the boats, wave tickled the boat again, with the boat balancing on its back portion with the front portion in the air. As wave ran her fingers through the boat, front portion touched the waters with back portion in the air. Sometime later, waves stopped tickling and men steered the boat into the sea.
Boat moved closer to horizon and clouds began dissipating. As I ran my hands over the sunlit horizon, crimson red sprouted all over the sky. Somewhere in the invisible boundaries of sea and horizon, the intense “crimsonness” of sun raised its head. It took less than a minute for the sun to show its all-mighty-torso to the mankind on the shores. There were more than a hundred people on the beach. All the people gathered had all their eyes on the crimson fireball finding its way above the horizon. The moment was a feast of limitless beauty in its entirety. Waking up early morning and all the allied adventures finally paid off. It was all for this one minute long wonder.
As the sun rose, people began playing with waves. I took one final walk through the beach past the fighting dogs, chilly wind and the waves. And I began my hunt to find the best breakfast around. I was hungry, of course.