The seagulls come calling, and off we go. The sea breeze slowly replaces the aroma of coffee (Read: Coffee and Conversations in Coorg). The soft rustling of the maize fields turns to the fierce roaring of the Arabian Sea. From the bus, we watch the sun set upon palm fringed backwaters. And finally at the entrance of our beach house, we stand mesmerized by the crimson red sky and sea. Far from the beaches of Goa and the backwaters of Kerala, this is coastal Karnataka; picturesque and untouched.
Ram-anna and Sarsu-akka, a couple from the neighboring fishing village and caretakers of our beach house, greet us with broad white smiles. Ram-anna opens the small blue doors and windows of the house to let the sea breeze in, while Sarsu-akka follows meekly behind; a short, thin lady with years of hardwork on her face. When we ask about food, her eyes light up. Aap jitne din baitho, main khana layegi; stay for as long as you like, I’ll get you food. She keeps her end of the promise for all three days, and we devour her every meal; delicious seasonal veggies cooked with spices and much love, served with the local rice.
Late at night, we settle in on lounge chairs on the terrace, and watch a million stars shine above us. In just a few hours, Ram-anna would be up for the day. He would cycle to the far end of the coast, then join a squad of fifty other fisherman to brace the choppy waters and look for fish. If he was lucky, he’d spot a dolphin or two. If he was luckier, he’d catch a big fish. (Read: What a Fisherman Taught Me About Paradise).
The constant roaring of the sea puts me into a slumber so deep that when I wake up, I wonder if I’m still dreaming. I glance out the window to see a golden beach glittering in the sunshine, without a soul in sight. The sea has acquired a tinge of blue under the warm sun. In the distance, a 500-year-old lighthouse stands tall.
We spend our days swimming in the fierce waves, strolling along sleepy villages with colorful houses, and driving along the coastal road with a powdery white beach on one side and backwaters on the other. In the evenings, we settle down with beers on our terrace, witnessing sunsets that could only be described as magical.
Three days slip away as quickly as the sand under our feet. With the sea breeze in our faces and the sound of the waves in our ears, we reluctantly bid adieu to our slice of utopia and hope that the seagulls call us back soon.