Diary entry 1: The Marina

The first thing I feel after arriving at the beach is boredom. There is no breeze. There is an old lady selling cigarettes. I light up. People are lying on the warm sand; many of them have already slept. Some are trying to. Four people are squatting on the sand laughing in drunken stupor. Luckily for them, there are no cops close by.

I have been here before at night. It’s quite in here. Today, there is a cruise liner docked near the port. Otherwise nothing much has changed. I can feel the sand between my toes. They are ruining my new pair of sandals. I wonder if one day I will have the money to go on a cruise liner. Now, I am not sure at all if the ship docked is, indeed, a cruise liner. It may not be.

For no good reason, I feel sad. I want to turn around. But there is nothing waiting for me back at home. Same old movies to watch; or on the TV, same old newscasters reading news that could be old as well. You hear them once; you have heard them a thousand times.

I walk a little on the sand. Last time I was here, there was a couple with me. They were telling jokes and constantly laughing. I remembered the story I told them. How I had sold a mobile phone on a train trip to a guy who wanted to kill me. That story, only half true, is no longer funny. Today, the couple has broken up. She is married to someone else. I think of them and the good and bad times they had.

I wonder if it’s true that more the things change, the more they remain the same.

My cigarette is burning out. Everyone is telling me to quit. I probably should, except that I can’t.

I am standing halfway between the waves and the beach road. I turn around and look at the city. It’s quite a view. Both familiar and ever changing at the same time. As always there is a hue over the wonderfully built buildings. Lights glimmer. I wonder how the view would be from the docked ship. Would it be similar or different?

I remember being here in ’99. There were five of us – two girls and three guys. Everyone was in love with everyone else. I myself had a crush of no minor proportion on one of them. I remember she had bad teeth. She too is married and reasonably happy.

One time I was here with my techie cousin. He was showing me how to drive a car. The car belonged to an MLA friend of his dad’s. There was no danger of us being stopped. We laughed a lot that day too.

What is it about the sea that brings these memories flooding back? We don’t choose our memories, do we now? Does the sea choose them for us? I suppose it doesn’t but it’s cute nevertheless to imagine that it does. Poetic, eh, lad? I shake myself to normality.

My home is hardly a kilometre from the beach. Opposite home, there is a small eatery. I know the guy. His wife is standing in the local body elections in Captain’s party. She was driving around in open jeep when I saw her last showing the thumbs up sign. I wonder if she would win tomorrow.

Now those are regular journalist thoughts. When I get back from the beach I notice that I am more in the present. Here and now, as Osho said. I reach for the TV remote. Movies or news?

20 Comments so far

  1. dlfbbgkng (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 12:02 am

    Why do you post it here?

  2. santhosh (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 7:18 am

    Nice post!!! Nostalgia is good at times, but depressing sometimes.

  3. Ganesh (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 9:12 am

    Nice post!

  4. Navneeth (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 12:19 pm

    Seriously, shouldn’t this post be part of a personal blog?

  5. Regularreader (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 2:02 pm

    What relevance does this post have to do with Chennai? Since I reside in Chennai, can I write stuff involving me in a metroblog?

  6. nandhu (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 4:17 pm

    this is not a regular metblogs kinda post. and yes, it’s a personal post. i am allowed to do this, so i did.

  7. kaatss (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 5:32 pm

    It bought back good old memories I had in the beach….

    Good one….

  8. nandhu (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 7:16 pm

    thank you!

  9. Siva (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 8:53 pm

    lovely! more!

  10. Lavanya (unregistered) on February 20th, 2007 @ 8:49 am

    Nandhu – really enjoyed reading this. Looking forward to more such here.

  11. nandhu (unregistered) on February 20th, 2007 @ 10:49 am

    siva, lavanya,

    thanks. will try to write more like this. but some comments are discouraging. wonder if i shuld worry about them.

  12. Diwakar (unregistered) on February 20th, 2007 @ 8:56 pm

    I think some commenters lack taste. This is a well written piece, like a nice, evocative short film.

  13. Navneeth (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 12:32 am

    For my part, I don’t have anything against this post per se. It’s nice and introspective, but as I said, it would better suit a personal blog rather than one that represents a whole city.

    I’m sorry, if I sounded discouraging.

  14. Narayan (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 11:58 am

    ” He was showing me how to drive a car. The car was an MLA friend of his dad’s. ”

    Where did u learn to write like this ?

  15. nandhu (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 3:07 pm

    navneeth, i understand and appreciate ur point. metblogs, if understand correctly, is also for the “personal blog”. to me the term blog, automatically means that it’s personal. hence, the post.


    i dont know. is there anything wrong with the sentence?

  16. nandhu (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 7:54 pm

    thanks for those who send in the corrections. they and some more have been made. hope it reads better now.

  17. Ravi (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 9:09 pm

    A very good post – no doubt. Infact, I would love to read such snippets. But I remember sometime back somebody had written a similar post here on North Chennai and everyone were up in arms and the post was also removed. Why this double standard?

  18. nandhu (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 12:02 pm

    i dont recall the removed post, ravi. but there arent any double standards, as far as i know. and thanks for the compliment.

  19. Ravi (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 12:25 pm

    Hey Nandhu, the “double standards” comment was never intended at you but only those who had opposed the earlier post and also had it removed.
    Infact, most times, I love reading such personal notes since they give a good insight of the past (or the present).

  20. nandhu (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

    may be those commentators arent around anymore!

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