Today is the last day of examination, the ever boring subject of Psychology. Four hours from now at 9am will ring a bell after which the theory of relativity will be proven right. How I wish, can those slowly ticking two and a half hours be skipped and I am set free to spread my wings and enjoy the summer vacation. I just hope that the paper isn’t tough coz I haven’t studied anything. After watching the entire T-20 cricket match final and playing on the Xbox all night long, I had hardly anytime left to mug up a few questions.
I started reading the questions in the paper and I thought this must be some kind of a joke. These were the same questions I had ratto’ed in the morning. HAHAHA, it was my day and I wrote the exam in a flash, all waiting to dash out of the examination hall. I rushed back home and stuffed a few T-shirts, a couple of shorts, my favourite NY cap and a tent into the haversack. I tanked up my Pulsar and set the trip meter to zero. This trip meter was to measure the most exciting kms of the days to come.
As my Pulsar wheeled outside the Pune city limits, it knew where it had to go. I was heading towards Kolthare, a small virgin beach that I had discovered on my last trip to Konkan. My lean machine was roaring on the rough hilly roads from Mulshi to Tamhini, on the beautiful NH-17 stretch Mangaon to Lonere, before I took a small pee break. After munching on a sandwich, I started riding again, but this time I took the helmet off and put the NY cap. We passed through the quiet roads of Konkan and finally reached the destination after making way through Lalthan, Dapoli, Kolthare.
It was around 6pm when I parked my bike in ‘Srushti’ waada, owned by Mr. Purshottam Pandit. As soon as I entered the waada, the feeling of coming to Konkan imbibed in me. The entire courtyard was freshly plastered with cow-dung with a nice rangoli at the door entrance. As I stepped in, Mr. Pandit greeted me who was till now sitting in the jhoola in the open living room. The wooden pillars and jhoola added their own charm to the rustic waada. I told Mr. Pandit about my plans of tenting on the beach who happily gave his consent. I came out of the house and started walking towards the backside. As I walked through the backyard, the air was much cooler, thanks to a thick blanket of tall coconut, betel nut and mango trees. I closed my eyes and started following the sound of the waves coming from ahead. I did not care if I would fall down as the excitement of seeing the panorama of the sea, beach and sun was far stronger. As the steps increased, so did the intensity and loudness of the waves. Suddenly the ground below me felt soft. I knew this transition meant that I had reached the beach.
I opened my eyes to witness the ball of fire giving itself into the hands of the sea. I sat down on the beach to see the sun go down and the sky change its clothes with shades every few minutes from yellow to orange to pink to crimson to navy blue. I setup the tent at the edge of the backyard for I knew, the beach would be engulfed by the waters of the high tide. I went back to the waada for an early dinner. It was treat for the taste buds as I savoured on chapatti, aloo sabji, rice, amti and the Konkan speciality….Solkadi. Mr Pandit had asked his servant to setup a bonfire in the meanwhile.
So when I returned back, the tent was glowing against a dark background, as the cover reflected the yellowish-orange light from the bonfire flames. I sat outside the tent for a while watching the distant lights of the fisherman boats. The beam of the tireless light-house on top of a hill was the only companion for the entire night. I lay down thinking how peaceful this was. Away from the hustle-bustle of the city life, away from the pressure of examination, career, away from Dad’s yelling, away from the caring motherly touch. Around 2am, I witnessed a spectacular sight of moon setting into the sea. This is something I had never seen in my life. As the moon was dipping into the sea, the landscape appeared completely unreal, like a weird wallpaper from digital-arts. The grey clouds gave the feel of a dry stretch of land. On the horizon, the glittering sea had transformed into an endless wet beach and the stretch of sea towards the shore appeared like dark black sky.
I don’t know when I fell asleep that magical night. TRRRRRIIIIIIIIIINGGGGGGGGG$$$$.....Shoot, the alarm in my cellphone is rining, I thought. Why the hell did I not turn it off?? Wait a minute, I had never put an alarm in my cellphone, so where is this ring coming from? I made an effort to open the eye-lids. I got up and scratched my eyes to find myself in the examination hall. The bell that I heard signaled the end of time. I looked into my paper to find it completely blank. I had just written my name and roll number. WTH, I had slept off the entire time, I was surely going to fail. I had made a fool out of myself. But I didn’t care much, cost it came at the cost of a virtual holiday….a holiday, I will cherish all my life.