It is actually amusing how the mind wanders and how memories deeply stowed away in the recesses of mind tumble out at the slightest provocation. An article in TOI triggered the memory of a beautiful surreal vacation that I took as a young girl in class XII with my parents and brother. Papa was posted in Barrackpore Cantt near Kolkatta and we all decided to take a small break and venture out to Chandipur-on-sea in Odisha near Balasore. He planned it because he wanted to show us DRDO’s testing range It is from here that many a missiles have been launched. We were booked to stay in the DRDO’s guest house right by the shore. Little did we know that we were in for a surprise when the sea, yes the sea, did a disappearing act.
At that time, this is more than 2 decades back, now now don’t start calculating my age this was a very quaint little town and I remember I had run out of my camera roll and couldn’t even find any around the shops here. That explains the lack of pics in the post scanned or otherwise.
At night we went strolling on the well kept and manicured lawn terrace that overlooked the sea and watched the sea lapping up its waves till the shore. We chatted and heard the sounds of the sea and generally soaked up in the peaceful environment before calling it a night.
In the morning post breakfast we decided to walk to the terrace again to greet the morning sea and we were in for a shock. Where is the sea? Yes we were sure we saw it last night and left it right there before retiring. But surprises of surprises there wasn’t a drop on the sea bed and me and bro were out of our wits since we hadnt heard any of this and were absolutely unprepared for the sight. On asking the guard “bhaiya” there we got to know that this is normal, huh, the sea here recedes each day almost upto 5 kms and then comes back again. Yes we had heard about high and low tides but this was amazing and absolutely unbelievable had we not seen it our selves. The guard told us maybe we could take a walk into the horizon and go look for the sea. To that suggestion we jumped and as excited kids started our walk, a walk that was almost a km long and no trace of the sea. Mom sat on the terrace and watched us through binoculars, and after a point starting waving at us frantically since she was scared. All we could spot was the endless horizon spreading in front of us with no sight and sound of the sea.
It was a beautiful place, a lovely vacation and an amazing experience…all of it deeply entrenched as fond memories of a carefree childhood. Ahh I hope I had a digi camera in those days to capture it for posterity but all I have is stories unlimited for my grandchildren. Thank you papa and mommy for providing us with an abundant beautiful childhood filled with love and joy.