Friday, October 4, 2013

Stories from the sea

She is magnificent but elegant, she is violent yet tranquil, she is attractive but mysterious, she is calm but holds a lot of might in its bosom, she is the grandeur of the sea that hides and unfolds the most complex and interesting human emotions and sentiments and I call her 'she' because like a woman she is desirable, beautiful and nobody can ever understand her.

The beach in Puri is no exception. Located on the banks on Bay of Bengal, it is a tourist attraction as well as a sacred place for Hindu devotees. The beach is a site of various art works, camel rides, Puri Beach Annual Festival and the world famous sand art by Sudarshan Patnaik.

The waves have been touching the coastline since time and thus have witnessed Puri grow from a religious place to a commercialized city. While there are many who came there to have a share of the sanctity of the place, there are some who visit it to enjoy the tranquility.

Kanta Javeri, a 78 year old lady who had come to Puri from Ahemdabad just to see Lord Jagannath and take a holy dip20130928_155047[1] in the ‘Panch Tirhta’ (Five Holy places). As her son Suresh Javeri said, “My mother wanted to visit Jagannath once before she dies. She had not been keeping well and insisted that she wanted to visit the temple and take a holy dip in the sea.” Although she could not take the dip owing to the security issues she did wash her hands and touched the holy waters. “I was born in Puri but after my father shifted to Gujarat and I got married. I could never come back. Although I always wanted to and missed this place,” said Kanta.

The devotion of Kanta was visible in the way she looked at the sea and touched the waves every time they came on the shore. She could not stop thanking Lord Jagannath for calling her to his land.

Hindu devotees say that there are ‘Pancha Tirtha’ in Puri and among which the sea is the most sacred. The other four are Indradyumma Tank, Markendya Tank, Swetaganga Tank and Rohini Kunda.

Kanta is not the only one. The beauty of the sea and the sky has attracted people from all walks of life and around the world. A young couple from Delhi, Dinesh Kapoor and Smita Kapoor had come to the Puri beach to celebrate their first wedding Anniversary. When asked why Puri, Dinesh laughed and said, “My wife is very religious and wanted to visit a holy place and I wanted to go to Goa for I have a fascination for the sea. We had an intense discussion and then I thought Puri is the only place which can serve both the purposes.” He added that he loved the place and its tranquility especially the radiant sky at the dawn and the dusk.

Although the footprints, the names and the sand castles have been washed off from the beach yet it seems that a lot can be read on the golden coast. The stories and the sentiments are all the more the same, only the names change. The mysterious sea calls us towards it and our greed to unravel the secret draws us towards it but nobody knows what really defines this magnificent creation of God. Is it really the sanctity of the waters or the beauty that the place is gifted with?

Being my first visit to a abeach, here are a few lines that I wrote

Kuch to khaas hai in lehro me

Jo mujhse yun takrati hai,

Shor me khamoshi jaisi,

Subah ki pheli angadayi jaisi,

Jaise ho koi tamanna adhuri si,

Na jaane kisko chuna chahti hai.

Koi baat chupaye hai shayad apne seene mein,

Kuch to kehna chahti hai,

Kayi ankahi kahaniya dabi hai andar,

Awaaz lagakr mujhko bulati hai,

Samajh ni paati me inki jubaan,

To shayad ruth jaati hai,

Ufaan ki tarah aati hai,

Or maati k mehel ki tarah mujhko baha le jaati hai.

Rokna ni chahti me bhi khudko

Bas saath chalti jaati hu,

Thoda sa laut aati hu

Or thoda sa beh jaati hu.

1 comment:

  1. […] week my visit to Jagannath Puri made me realize that the whole hullabaloo around Modi being a secular or not is a waste of time […]