The Financial Express

Both sunrise and sunset elude us at Kanyakumari

Both sunrise and sunset elude us at Kanyakumari

Early at dawn next day, the first must-do routine was to reach the sea front where a rough quay of stones and boulders reaches some distance into water. It is from there the sunrise can be viewed. I was fortunate to see how the sun suddenly jumps out of the sea at Chandarabhaga Beach in Orissa years ago. I was also lucky to take a snap of the most serene spectacle of a mellow sun with its reflection in the water of distant horizon. So the prospect of seeing it once again prompted me to rush.

Already about a hundred visitors were there. But the sky was cloudy and it was not until the sun had risen up well above the sea level, it could be spotted. We missed the sunrise. However, so tranquil was the morning that even the few children gathered there perhaps thought it inappropriate to make noise before the vastness of the calm sea. Cameras flashed all around but how well-behaved everyone was there! Can it be that the sea had cast a spell over everyone present there? This morning the sea was calm but two days later when we went there once again, surging waves pounded the quay sending water up to its highest level. Through the boulders, the water even splashed the handful of visitors there.

Here we met an amateur photographer from Kolkata, who, realising that we spoke Bangla, volunteered to get acquainted and take a few snaps of us. He related later that he has made it a point to visit Kanyakumari every year because here he gets what he looks for -mental peace. A passionate photographer, he often finds himself in the family court's dock for forgetting duty to members of his family. Luckily he is employed with a highly paying job.

On our way back to the Vivekananda Kendra, we came across a flock of peacock crossing the metalled road bisecting the woodland behind the centre. They are used to staying close by people. A little while afterwards, we found a peacock spreading its plume in full glory. No, it was not raining nor the peacock was in a mood to dance but its majestic display was a rare sight to be a witness to. But lo! there was yet another that followed the first one. In fact this second flock of peacocks were only five to six metres away from us. They were in the bushes, creepers and under trees though.

Later on, when I alone took a short-cut I found some peacocks were walking the school field. I now found that a man was throwing rice there and peacocks came there to eat rice. This is how the birds have become accustomed to the presence of human beings there.

In the afternoon, it was time for paying a visit to the sunset view point of Kanyakumari Beach. Here is a beach from where the sunset is observed. It is about 40 minutes' drive from Vivekananda Kendra. Again, we were unlucky to have a glimpse of the setting sun. Clouds even restricted the spread of sun rays. But the evening was well spent on boulders that allowed us to touch water circling round them. In that fading dusk, Rabindranath's last poem where the same question of the day one is repeated after years on the shore of the western sea and in the evening silence, "who are you?', there was no answer" unrolled like a celluloid in my mind's eye.

However, ordinary mortals like me are delivered rude awakening when they are reminded of our gastronomic demand. I too was reminded that sea fish are available here and there is a spot near the beach like our Cox's Bazar where you can choose from the fresh catch for the open culinary facility to fry it for you. Indeed, there were many such facilities displaying sea fish but with hardly any variety. Mostly there were two types. But the place was untidy and noxious smell came from nearby. So we preferred a hotel instead where we also found fish of the same categories only at a higher price.

We have already spent three days here and would like to take a full-day package tour of Kerala tomorrow.

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