The First Time I Saw An Ocean.

This is The Edward Elliots Beach in Chennai with the Karl Schmidt memorial. This is the Southern end of the Chennai Marina Beach.

Although I was born in Mumbai, I don’t recall ever seeing the ocean there during my early years. Mumbai is an island and the Western side of the island faces the Arabian Sea and I have lived in places in Mumbai from where the ocean can be seen though much later in life.

By the time I was about three or four years old, my parents moved from Mumbai to Chennai and my first memories of the ocean are seeing the Bay of Bengal both at the Marina Beach as well as at the Edward Elliots Beach but, the latter most vividly as my uncle and aunt lived in The Theosophical Society in Adayar which was frequented by my family often as my father too was connected with the society and I lived there with my uncle and aunt for a whole year.

My father taught me to bathe in the ocean at Elliot’s beach and that is a memory that is not easily forgotten. Perhaps that is why my memory of the Elliots Beach is so vivid. There are many photographs of our times on the beach when we were children but, they are all in various collections with my siblings and so I am unable to reproduce some of them here. What my memory tells me of those visits to the beach is the sense of awe one felt at the immensity of the ocean and the miracle of the water coming to the shore and retreating.

If there is another memory that surpasses that of the childhood one of the Madras beaches that is the one of my first visit to Kanya Kumari in 1974 where the Indian ocean, The Bay of Bengal and The Arabian Sea meet. A sight that simply blows one away.  A re-visit there is very much part of my bucket list.

This week’s 2 on 1 topic was chosen by Shackman. Please do go over to his blog to see what he has to say.

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