Monday, July 12, 2010

Besant Nagar Bond-age

I am a small-time adventurer. My favourite pastime may be making destination lists with my college benchmates (who squint at me for adding Mongolia to the list). I collect pictures of Tunisia's blue and white architecture. I dwell in Oran/Marseille through my ears. I envision Thai beaches ever so often, especially after viewing and listening to Laya Project.
But since I AS OF NOW bound by time, space, resource and societal constrictions, I make a break for it whenever and however I can. Owing to limited travel opportunities, I tended to crave for a more accessible utopia. I found this in the form of Besant Nagar and its beach.
For non-Chennaiites, Besant Nagar is a posh, sea-bordering area in the South of Chennai. Its beach is clean (thanks to several initiatives such as ROB-Reclaim Our Beaches), it has restaurants a plenty and it is somehow so much more tempting and happening and inviting than dear old Marina. Sorry, Marina. Maybe it's just 'cause you're too familiar.
During the week, I had begun this ruse of scaring my mother by threatening to drive off to Besant Nagar while in the midst of errands. I was in desperate need of a long drive, now that I have reconciled to the fact that if I want my long drive I must do it myself. I was so in the mood and this less-explored destination was calling out to me. Little did I know how these teasing words of mine would cause life itself to play a little trick on me...
Saturday was declared Besant Nagar day. A friend was to perform in a concert at hip venue known as Spaces, bang opposite the beach. Benchmates designated me as the driver of the evening and a plan was quickly formed. A plan surprisingly long overdue seeing as we've never hung out besides going straight somewhere before or after college.
Friday came. Bored and restless, I kidnapped Jhinks and Mum and we set off somewhere, anywhere. Guess where we headed? Down the Marina beach road, past the fishermen's nets, random goats (so many goats), annoying number of speedbreakers and numerous rowdy drivers. And we ended up guess where? We also ate at this pirate-themed restaurant.
Saturday. Long drive. First time to Besant Nagar in the daytime. We waited till our friend finished performing and ran across to the beach, me literally running like the world was after me, sand sinking under my black Converse style shoes, legs leaping, feeling so free, while 'Free fallin' by John Mayer played on my phone in my pocket.
Sunday. Mothers' cool friends, Jhinks and I. Total ladies evening. We went shopping to Madras Terrace House, this uber-cool kitschy Madras culture type boutique/cafe/art exhibition centre. We're a philosophical bunch, ever ready to toast to newness and rebirth and we were high on that feeling. Guess where I took us? This time we actually sat on the beach wall. They ate kulfi, Jhinks and I talked about boys and girls and unbeachy, unliberating things so much in contrast to the salt-soaked air. The crowd was immense but somehow I didn't mind. But I felt restless. Tired. Feet aching though all I'd been doing was alternating foot from pedal to pedal. I wanted to close my eyes. I guess my saturation had taken place.Getting back to the North was all I wanted to do.
I will go back. I will run more on the beach and I will play frisbee or shoot balloons or fly a kite (oh wait that's no longer allowed). But I will no longer yearn to do so.
And for that freedom from yearning that I am eternally grateful to the universal forces that conspire around me.


Saubhagyini said...

I agree, your piece is surreal. Besant Nagar beach is such a nice place to chill and reflect by the gentle waves of the ocean. And, if one's buddies are there, it is uber-fun!

Prez of Es said...

Thank you, Saubie :)