Sea Shells are a reminder that nothing is permanent in the fury of the sea. The sea engulfs everything in its tornado. I sat on the sea shore and watched with delight the absolute nothingness of its surface calm gentle waves. It had a calming effect to soothe my over stressed city nerves. The sound I wake up to is the burring sound of the water pumps around my home where the morning begins with the constant struggle to catch the tedious day ahead. From my window I see another harried face struggling to surge ahead to those unpaid bills and screaming school children.
I share a camaraderie with the women opposite my home. Her kitchen window I can look into and find myself drawn into her everyday struggles. Packing tiffin for her kids and husband. Her over worked hands never a moment when they are resting one on top of the other. And in this jumbled up thoughts of what is to be of her and her life, I see a boatman sailing far away into the horizon. His chiselled dark sinewy body juxtaposed against the bright sun and away and away he bobs into oblivion.
The sea is mysterious with so many creatures inside it. I feel minuscule in my presence around the vastness of its dark blue. I have been ashamed of my thoughts many times; I look over my shoulder to see if anyone can hear my thoughts. I have often contemplated what it would be like to walk into the ocean and just eventually surrender to its darkness and into its abyss.
We all have an abyss that we are frightened to face. That abyss is and was my space where it’s covered with shame like the moss growing on the sea bed.
I met Miranda from Germany and she was tired of expectations from life itself and decided to take this journey on her own into India and the most recognisable state Goa.
Goa had a vibe of art, music, the constant sound of the waves crashing against the shores. The abandon that this place gives you is almost contagious. I am so regimented in my routine in the city. Here I don’t even realise when and how I just allowed myself into its abandon of social norms. Here you meet couples but you are just trained by the ocean to not even think if they married or into a relationship. You just accept that it’s alright to just be happy.
I unlearn that I shouldn’t be guilty of feeling happiness bathe over me like the sea salt that mixes into my tears and into my unresolved hurt and pain.
Miranda took me to another friend she had made in India who created the most exquisite jewellery with sea shells. I was astonished with so much that one could do with sea shells. I saw this beautiful shell finger ring that she had created & I politely asked her if I could try it on. Goa has worked on her too. She said you can wear the sea memory on your finger and point toward the horizon. I wore it and it looked every part of the tumultuous sea and the calming waves of the morning.
I met women who bid adieu to their men folk who risk everyday of their lives to catch fish and return in the evenings with the promise of a cooked meal. They collect shells and sell it to the artists who have found another way to create the sea memorabilia with aesthetics that only another creative soul could be enamoured with.
I bought the ring to wear on my finger and hold the conch that came out of that abyss. I realised that the sea is a part of each of us. I sat transfixed watching the waves rush towards the shore like an ardent lover towards the ever-shifting sands of time. It got moist with this constant back and forth of its union of foaming waves and it left little reminders of sea shells.
The sea is as mysterious as a woman who toils in her kitchen, office or the sea shores or the village market. Like the unending abyss you too can’t find her depth, even if you try to.