I remember the night, sitting on the edge of a dismantled boat, they call it a “Dhow” in Kenya. I was in Diani, beautiful sea shore on Indian Ocean on the coast of Kenya. I was there with two other friends and they had retired for the night, it must have been 11.00 pm in the night. I couldn’t sleep, so went out of the resort. Beach was empty. But here was this boat, ragged as much possible but still discernible of its glorious past. View in front of me was frightening and surreal at the very moment. For some reason I have always imagined sea as a living body, as something with life of its own, with a palpable soul. That night it was in front of me. Just the ocean and me, nothing in between. I could feel the water trying to reach me to say something, waves slowly fading away as they touch the ground, but every hush it made while fading away was a syllable in its own language. With most honest thoughts I know I didn’t feel the rapture that people talk about in front the sea, it was rather a reticent enormousness that engulfedme. I just sat there, trying to understand what I was witnessing.
Oceans are so much similar to dreams to me, all we can do is skim the surface of it, or may be reach a level under, but trying to reach the whole depth is a question of ridiculous nakedness of our own incapabilities and obliviousness. I dived in that very ocean, I was so happy to even touch the things that existed below mean sea level, or was it all even that? I was born in mountains, Himalayan foothills, so land I understand very well, the tougher the better. Land changes shape, in spite of our minuscule life size, we see creations taking shape and perishing on land all together. I wonder how deriding oceans laugh would be, looking at humans who think they have conquered the world. While I was diving and was under the water, most of my focus was at staying alive. What’s left was busy admiring the beauty that ocean chose to show me. I didn’t take pictures, wouldn’t that be wasting beauty? What I could witness from naked eyes could never be explained in pictures or even words.
Every time I see an ocean, it’s impossible for me to turn my eyes away from it. I look in wonder at the indomitable, boisterous persona that the ocean carries . With as little as we have got to offer to ocean in return, I feel like surrendering to it with unpardonable contempt for our own ignorance. Like all our continents, oceans were never claimed to have been discovered, they were always recognised as ever existing reality, to be accepted rather than understood.