Beyond the endless horizon of shores . | Milaap

Beyond the endless horizon of shores .

In the dynasty of Bay of Bengal, Odisha has contributed the countless number of beaches that suit the needs of both crowds -hunting masses as well as those who want to hide out in the vastness of the sea. I had one day in hand to discover a bare beach and my hunt took me straight to Beleswar Beach and Balighai Beach. Beleswar beach is easily accessible from Puri via a hired auto that costs no more than INR 50. If one is planning to halt for a night, the beach is perfect because hotels are almost located on the beach. Between a range of two or three hotels, a small lane takes you straight up to the pouring white foam. The day hours are filled with the local people, primarily fishermen which is evident from the array of huge boats lined upon the horizon of the sea. I have seen boats on the sea before many a time but this was a rare occasion where it seemed the boats, all black in color, was just hung from the clouds at perfect alignment. In immediate contrast, the shore looks like a typical carnival of multi-colored boats stationed in one line where fishermen are sieving the better of the fishes caught from the smaller or dead ones. There is a clear feeling of social diversity that this beach emits in terms of livelihood, women, children, men all working in perfect harmony and as a lopsided tourist takes a stroll by the elongated avenue of sand, their lives seem so perfect. I still ponder if this occupational inclusion is one of financial compulsion or of native desire.

My friend and I decided to walk ahead and explore the beach. I had read about turtle breeding as a famous attribute to this beach and was hoping to spot a few even though it was offseason. What I saw was completely contradictory. Turtle corpses were lying all around. Massively sized turtles whose eyes were popping out and bleeding, the limbs were smashed and the most shocking thing was that the shells which are one of the strangest in any species currently existing were having distinct cracks. I gently moved my fingers around of the carcass to see the intensity of the cracks and it was pretty entrenched. This morgue of turtles is the result of excessive navigation of humans on the sea that often hits the turtles and they float to the shores. Sometimes, as a commoner there described, they come in contact with a disease and die thereafter their bodies are returned to earth by the surfs.

After walking for about a mile or two further, we chose a perfect secluded area and rested our feet right beneath the scorching heat of the sun. That’s the thing about beaches, no matter how strong the sun be, the wind from the sea always surpasses it.  I noticed the elements of the sightseers slowly incline from adults to children. They must have come from their morning school to get rid of the day’s exhaustion and play on the coastline, group of boys swimming and howling with every big wave, a bunch of girls collecting shells and ornamenting themselves. The strand soon transformed into imprints of thousands of small feet scattered all over. On my return trail, the kids caught me and we had a broken communication where I could grasp only a few of their names, their demand for a picture with me and lots of goodbyes. Then suddenly, they hollered my name and came running with closed fists, they presented me with shells (mollusks) they had collected. I carefully took them from each, kissed the tykes goodbye and quietly washed the mollusks to the sea. I would have done this anyway but I noticed that the children were just playing with the shells, not taking them home or killing them. This is their titanic knowledge that what comes from nature should go back to nature.

I wanted to visit the Balighai beach the very day so we decided to make that our sunset point. After much bargaining and lot of discourse confusion, we hired an auto for INR 600. I was a little skeptical about the cost incurred but by the time I put the mid touches to our destination I was so rapt by the concourse that money did not matter. I’d rather skip supper to visit such places again and again. Imagine you have a mental construct of tripping on a beach and the road you pass through is actually a dense forest. I was confused if I wanted to go up to the beach or hop down from the auto and camp in the woods itself. I had successive plans which were equally luring so I stuck to the idea of going to the beach plus it is always a dual thought when you have an amateur companion.

Silence is what greets you at Balighai Beach as you let your legs loose and let the Zephyr guide the way through. Not a single human around till your sight can reach and the only voice is the calling of the timeworn perpetual marine. By then the temperature had calmed down and there was a sense of chill tangentially touching your skin just enough to make you realise the presence of water in the aura. I walked from one end to the other in line with the distinct silhouette of waves matching the edges of the skyline. As darkness enclosed we knew it was time to bid our farewell and head back to our pigeon-hole. About 2kms away from the beach, there is a new resort that is being constructed and I will stay there for a night just to experience the conjecture of morning chanting of mantras in the adjacent temple and the augment of the sun.

It is true that the sunrise on Beleswar beach is equally mesmerizing, all the more because you barely have outsiders, only the natives struggling with their chariot to fight the day’s battle. We missed the sunrise on the first day but the day after, we made it a point to witness the aubade as it arouses bursting the chest of the sky. The water turned into flames and I took my moment to be enthralled by the star I see every day.