“One summer evening (led by her) I found
A little boat” – anchored by the sandy shore, “its usual home”. It was a dark night with a clear sky and its twinkling starry lights. The pitch-dark sea below and the sparkling sky above. The stillness of the surrounding broken by the roaring and crashing sound of the waves. Tip toed we cautiously came closer to the boat and silently stepped into it.
“It was an act of stealth
And troubled pleasure”. It was a vast lonely beach with the two creatures sitting in the dark and gazing at the stars. The strong winds blowing in our faces and tangling our hairs. The periodic light from the lighthouse somewhere at a distance marked the horizon of the otherwise black surrounding. Trying to spot all the known constellations we were soon into the game. Who can spot more?
But with our limited knowledge, we did not take long to retire with a draw in the score. Then we spoke of many supernatural incidents and stories. When suddenly there was a flash of white light on our faces. It came from a distance and waved to and fro. The light was approaching nearer. The feeling of fear sowed its seed. We got anxious. And we thought of every possible explanation in the case of any question coming our way for our act of stealth.
The light came even closer and then passed by leaving us behind. It was the light from a torch carried by an elderly couple who probably came for a stroll by sea after dinner. As they moved further the light vanished into the engulfing darkness. Again we two were left with our supernatural stories and the ghostly darkness. I recollected the memory of my recent trip to Little Andaman by ship. (Read my experience in Little Andaman.)
I was all alone on the deck of the ship with the harrowing darkness of the sea and the sky. Little to realise till the morning that the ship was carrying a dead body on the deck, back to the island to the family for the last rites. A spine-chilling gust of wind brushed us. We soon felt the goosebumps on our body. We did not continue with such stories anymore and rather brought back our focus on the constellations again.
The cool wind from the sea lulled us asleep. The boat was rocking in the strong gust of wind. It was twisting and turning almost ready to flip. The waters were rough and so was the threatening sky. The high tide did the trick and we were carried into the deep waters. We were in big trouble and within the sea. Water all around us, no light and no direction. Huge waves were crashing on our boat. We were holding the boat tight and tried hard to remain glued to it.
Our boat then entered a whirlpool and we were moving fast towards the centre. And then met our ultimate fate. We were pulled into the centre and then thrashed back onto the shore. This is when my senses awakened and so did I. I was panting and sweating after this dreadful nightmare. My sweet slumber turned out rough.
Before much time to overcome this nightmarish shock, there was a strong light from a distance on our face. It was the headlight of some beach vehicle approaching us. We did not find it safe sitting on our stolen boat anymore. We acted fast and jumped off the boat and ran towards our stay at a little distance from the beach.
The morning was calm and soothing. The soft light and the cool breeze melted all our anxious memories and turned them into an adventurous funny story to be remembered and shared for a long long time. The pristine long beach by the blue water seemed ever beautiful. Soon we were back into the waters enjoying the huge waves at Tarkarli beach.
Tarkarli has the confluence of river Karli and the Arabian sea. We could not manage to reach the confluence and it was already the dusk. The long stretch of beach near our stay was the ideal spot for all sorts of beach activities. Even in this sultry heat, we stuck to the beach throughout the day. The Sindhudurg fort, another island fort is located very close to here.
With the shortage of time, we could not manage to visit the stunning fort. In the back of my mind, I was sceptical to visit Sindhudurg. All blame to my previous experience in Suvarnadurg in Harnai. (Read my experience in Harnai.) So I did not try hard to make it happen this time which is always a general characteristic of mine.
The white sandy beach here is much different from that of the other beaches on the Konkan coast. So is the water which is very clear and blue. The beach is unspoilt with very less crowd. There was a fishermen village at a short distance from our stay. We took a long walk by the shore to reach the other end where a couple of fishermen were evaluating their catch of the day. At a little distance, there were people busy in parasailing.
The eagles and kites too were engaged to grab a fresh catch. While there were flocks of gulls by the island of Sindhudurg. On reaching the other end of the beach I realised that I came a long distance and it was time to return. It was a few kilometres that I walked passed. I started on my way back and kept walking, till I reached the happening spot.
Yes, the spot of our stolen boat. The boat was still in its place but a hand cart came along from somewhere to accompany it. It has not moved an inch but took us to the surreal world and gave us an adventure of a lifetime. A beautiful experience, a story of fun and fear, a feeling of pride and pain, a mixture of all emotions. It was the gift of our stolen boat (not the one from Wordsworth’s The Stolen Boat but little close to it 🙂 ) – a memory which will stay fresh in my heart for the rest of my life.