Sunday, October 14, 2007
The Pacific Beckons
The highway one runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean all the way up to Mexico. The thought of it was exciting. India is a peninsula; covered by the Indian Ocean on three sides. I have seen a lot of ocean in my life. But you can never tire of water. Right? I started one morning to see a new water of a new land.
There are so many beaches and so well maintained. But a very few people. The pacific is VAST. It’s enormous. So enormous that it overwhelms you. It humbles you. The blue beautiful water is so enticing, so tempting. You move towards it, bend down and touch the water. You suddenly stop. The water is sooooo COLD! The sea breeze is cold too….. It hurts like a 100 needles poking your body. I simply stood there helplessly, wanting to indulge in the waves but unable to do so. What a waste of beauty! It was like standing before a wicked man with a sadistic sense of humour.
I was also told that there are sharks not very far from the shores. Many a dangers lurk beneath a beguiling, inviting ocean. It allures you and eludes you at the same time. That is what you call “Dangerous Innocence”.
I cannot help comparing the Pacific with the Indian Ocean. The water is warm. The breeze is not too cold. The atmosphere is so pleasant. The Indian Ocean is a lot more welcoming, a lot more hospitable. You can find so many people indulging in the waves. There is harmony between man and nature; a cohesion between the people and the waters. Just like the cohesive spirit that defines the Indian society. In one of his essays Tagore observes that in the west, man and nature are always in conflict and seldom in harmony unlike in the east. I can understand what he was trying to say.
As I think of the cold waters of the pacific and the man on the shores who is just a bystander battling with the cold breeze, I can feel the hostility between the two. I can feel the distance which is more than just physical. The divide is obvious. I can feel that lack of a cohesive spirit that binds man with man and man with nature.
I always thought the western society was so segmented, so fractured, lacking that cohesive spirit. Everything in the west is well DEFINED. The boundaries are always clear and never obscure. There are as many territories as the number of people. They call it personal space!
Perhaps the ocean has it's space too which it does not want to share with the people!
Did the waters learn from the men it engulfed or did man learn from the nature that surrounded him?
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The Pacific Beckons