Lighthouse Days


When I was 14 years old, we were posted in Visakhapatnam. I had a great group of friends and we would get burnt having spent all our time cycling, running around and walking in the hot sun. I remember how early in the morning, we would haphazardly grab some jam and cheese sandwiches, pump air into our cycle tires and cycle to the nearest lighthouse. To the LightHouse! I had these really comfortable denim shorts, the bottoms of which I had trimmed with a pair of scissors. Anyway, we would all meet at 5 am and cycle up-hill. The lighthouse was tucked away on this hill called Dolphin Point. We would battle the rather tough climb, passing along a landscape that I still can see. There were heavy bushes on either side the road and the edges of the road fell away to reveal the ocean. It was a magnificent ocean and I can still taste the salty spray, still see DN’s hair blown into his eyes. The clouds were always a burnt orange and the waters a purple-blue. And the greenery could almost drive you to an act of madness. Maybe nature drives man. And not the other way around.

I am still waiting to find a place in Hyderabad where nature overwhelms, drives you mad. If you visit, maybe we shall search together. These discoveries are always so much more interesting when you can share them with someone. For once, when we were all lounging at the lighthouse on Dolphin Point, D picked up my discarded sneaker and ran. As you said, I can never pass up a challenge so I chased him. The next thing I know, D is running through some tall grass and I shout Not so far. Not so far. But he is running now and I am running behind him. I have washed my hair the night before and the smell of Sunsilk wafts in the air. He turns around, flashes a grin and falls. I scream his name and run to him. He is now lying on his stomach, but his eyes are riveted on something. I look past him, see some steps cut into the rocks. They wind down to the sea. He gets up and we wordlessly climb down. I see the purple-blue waters, the green tall blades of the grass whisper past, the pink hopeless shoe dangling from his hand. We continue walking until we reach the waves. The steps fall away behind us like some unnatural stream of rock. He looks at me and says I am sorry. I want to say Don’t be. But I am all of 14. And I am entitled to some petulance so I only say okay. And we wait.

D is now 24, works at a huge MNC. Has met a Kingfisher flying model called Dana. I tease him these days, saying his children will be called Drusila and Dollie. He always takes it like a sport. But some times, when he is drunk, he sends me a message asking me if I ever remembered Paradise? I always reply saying No.

I like Dana. No matter how much she doesn’t like reading.

Note – I wrote this in 2007. D and Dana are no longer together but I still remember the boy I loved, teenage style.

One Response to “Lighthouse Days”

  1. 1 Soumya

    this is soooo beautifully written! and sooo touching.. brought tears to my eyes… seriously!

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