The beaches beckon. I ache to go there as I look at the mark on my calf. It is now a shade darker than my skin colour, its shape blurred.
I had fallen off a bike, riding pillion (Goa has motorcycle taxis) and as it skid on the road and fell, the steel had stuck to the skin on my right leg. This was at the height of the April summer heat. The bike had been parked in the sun and the flesh must have been enticing.
I still remember how I had to ‘peel’ my calf away, leaving a bit of me on the metal. Soon enough the bruise had begun to look like an embossment. I had applied some ointment and was back at the beach. Saline and sand covered it within minutes and I wanted to cry out in pain. Was the sea too crying for me?
But there is something languorous about the water. So, I’d sit for hours, read, write, listen to music and then lovingly watch as the shade of my wound changed colour with the changing light in the sky. At dark it looked particularly pretty, like a small carved terracotta figurine on my skin. I would run my fingers over it in a loving caress.
It took its time to heal, but it became my beach trophy.
“What do you do there?” I am asked by people who prefer to climb mountains.
To them it is placid and boring. Just long strips of sand and lots of water.
That is all I really want. To dig my feet deep and to let the sea envelope me in its voluptuous waves.
There is nothing that comes closer to sensuality. I experience it best when I lie close to the shore on my stomach, my chest and arms hugging the sand and the rest of me submerged in the shallow part of the water. Then, as the waves come over my back and I am jolted out of my reverie, there is a tug at every pore of my being. As though someone wants me.
I resist. The game goes on as the pink hues darken before my eyes. Seduction. Resistance. And then I give in. I rest my head on the sand, leaving my arms akimbo and wait to be taken.
That is when an amazing thing happens. The tides have receded and the sprays from the sea gently splash over me, teasingly. Small waves rock me to sleep.
The sun has given way to a moon that is not yet clear enough in a sky still waiting for night. I drag myself towards the shore and turn around to look at the now-silver sea.
I am bathed in its light.