8 pm by the watch when after a day’s work I head towards the beach in search of my solitude, far from the maddening crowd, far from the trivial thoughts for survival. As I walk down the sand towards the waters, beckoning me, leaving behind trails of my feet. I wonder do these footprints mean anything at all.
And then I find someone pulling my hand; I turn around to find Viginesh who tries to sell cotton candies to me. Barely did I comprehend the language in which he spoke to me, but he was a good salesperson and sold me packets of candies for 10 rupees. Moving ahead I thought how much does he earn each day selling candies?
I turned around once again and found Vigi at a distance, gestured towards him and he came running to me. Yes we sat down and by some means managed to strike a conversation, and he very gladly informed me that I could call him Vigi. In an extremely short duration he narrated to me that he was eight years old and did not go to school because his parents could not afford the expenses for his schooling. He had two younger siblings and that his parents were somewhere along the stretch of the beach selling roasted maize.
I got the idea, that they had a difficult life to lead, but Vigi’s face seemed unruffled, his big brown eyes conveyed to me that “I am at peace”. He even explained that on many occasions his family slept on the seashore as the heat would be too much to bear inside their small unkempt dwelling.
Our conversation got interrupted when Raghu called out to Viginesh, the young lad almost the age of Vigi came around and persisted on me to buy a cup of tea that was priced at rupees four. After I bought the tea and geared up to continue the tête-à-tête, both the boys disappeared, I am sure to make a few more rupees for the day before the crowd washed out.
Bizarre thoughts wrapped my mind when I looked around at the numerous other vendors of balloons, ice- cream and so on, conjecturing do they all have the similar kind of life to live, that is so very different from the typical metropolis life.
It was almost 10 pm by the watch, the splash of waves reaching the shore and away. At a far distance I could see a girl approaching, as she came at a visible distance I saw her in a gauzy outfit with an over made face and a coy expression. She went past me giving a flirtatious smile; I knew she meant no harm. But alas! It was time for yet another dark aspect of life at the beach to set in motion. Even that girl’s eye gave the impression that she had a message to convey that I failed to grasp.
I got up to walk back home, thinking to myself- how many thousands of people each day come to the beach leaving behind shadows and stories, which the shore and sand bears testimony to.
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