A visit to one of the beautiful beaches in Kerala
The charm of monsoon can never grow old. The season is endowed with many faces, changing expressions and an ever inviting appeal. In this monsoon, the first thing I felt writing on was about the season itself and the location I chose to catch the magic was Muzhappilangad, a destination in Kannur district in North Kerala which is well known for housing the only drive-in beach in Asia.
The wait for the onset of monsoons in Kerala is in itself an experience. When it is a windy afternoon you can bet that it is time for those pouring showers and on other occasions it would be a cool breeze that dons the role of a messenger. Still you are clueless when nature will bless you with the first rain and that uncertainty is thrilling.
I have heard from many who are in the creative field about monsoon being their haven and source of flowing creativity. Watching the trickling incessant drizzles and darkness spreading in the daytime with clouds gathering up to curious formations are undoubtedly any artist’s inspiration for a masterpiece. The intoxicating scent of earth when rain falls on the ground can transcend you to a world of nostalgia and imagination. My trip to Muzhappilangad gave me the opportunity to have a good, long look at the monsoon at play in Kerala. Needless to say, she was in her best form there.
I was stationed at one of those little houses surrounded by a lot of genuine and loving people, an inherent virtue of the Malabar. While sitting in the veranda, I could see the rain clouds collecting together from the visible ends of the sky and then it happened….the first drop! The joy of letting that drop land on my face, looking up at the open sky was boundless for a hopeless romantic like me. It brought me the memories of the days when I have been a kid running around in my backyard, standing under the tall shrubs and shaking the leaves to soak myself up. Those times, a generous monsoon rain was all what was necessary to make me tremendously happy; the kind of happiness which brings a glitter in your eyes and a spring in your step. I realized, the kick you derive from this season is embracing your childhood by playing mindlessly in the rain with absolutely no shame and guilt. After all, adults are all grown up kids with a secret desire to be kids once again. As for me, I showed no restraint in letting me experiencing the rain in its totality though the view from the tiny veranda of the house itself was exhilarating.
When the rain subsided for a short span of time I walked to the beach for witnessing the next shower. The beach of Muzhappilangad is still virgin with no traces of malice; it is humble in its entirety. It has got the vast blue ocean on one side and a string of coconut palms on the other. Even the approach to the beach is through trees with small houses on roadsides. These houses belonged to the fishermen and the people who had settled there years before.
I awaited the rain, sitting at one of the benches in the pathway created by DTPC (District Tourist Promotion Council) of Kannur. I felt at home. From where I was sitting I could see the sea, the beach and the expanse of the blue sky. Sun was ready to set. It was paradise, hidden behind all the coconut trees .There were tiny birds flying from one tree to the other. An occasional eagle was circling above, may be for grabbing a chance at picking some fish from the fishermen’s lot. A cat, a grey one with black dots came near me as if in search of something. It could have been the dry leaves stirring beside me that attracted its attention. When she realized it wasn't anything living she ran back to a tree and climbed all the way up the trunk. Then she stopped midway and glanced around. It was a quizzical look. Suddenly as for some reason, she cautiously climbed down the tree and ran for another. This peculiar act continued for another ten minutes from one tree to the other till she disappeared across the compound wall. The reason for this behaviour still remains puzzling to me. I leave it for the next time for me to observe and learn.
The foliage around the Muzhappilangad beach area is diverse. I wanted to know more about the trees. It surprised me that the growth of whistling tree (Casuarina) with pine like needles around the pathway looked like any beautiful European setting and on turning behind from my seating position, what I saw were the green palms of Kerala. The scent of the grass was lingering in the air. The breeze was continuous, cool and soothing. It played mischief with my hair and gave me goose bumps when it touched my face.
Daring the overcast sky and the expectant rains, there were people walking on the beach, a few tourists and locals. The breeze was getting cooler and sky was getting darker. I was sure it was already raining in some nearby locality. The reflection of the departing sun in the water was a rainbow of colours. The only ray of light that was shining on me between the trees was giving me a strange sense of warmth in midst of the cool breeze. Dark coloured clouds were collecting above me waiting for nature’s sign to begin their performance. The stage was set for the monsoon rain. Within the next few minutes I heard the intensified wind and the arrival of rain…… It was a downpour!!
I took shelter under the eaves of the small building in the pathway to watch the spectacular ‘monsoon show’ being enacted in front of me. The rain shook the trees on the beach; they were all swaying left and right to nature’s rhythm. The waves were foamy and they were washing over the giant black rocks that were in the sea. The music was heavenly; the sound of the waves, of the wind, of the raindrops falling on the sand and the rustle of trees. I caught my breath in admiration of the brilliance of nature; the miracle it could create. The perfection with which each element of nature played its part in this beautiful occurrence was mesmerizing. I was in awe of this place Muzhappilangad and bowled over by that monsoon rain, reveling in the monsoon magic.
As the rain was slowly making its departure, it was time for me to leave, to tell the world about the magic that I witnessed, in the best possible way I can. I walked back to the house. The path was wet. At some places it was puddles and small pools with water drops still dripping from the branches of trees that were leaning on to the road. I didn't want to leave but my work called for it. On my journey back I made a decision that I was going to return soon to this nature’s lap to see the next monsoon magic.