An old villa facing the ocean on a summer beach stands still.
Three steps take you into the house through a blue colored two-way door, a string of bells hang above it lightly tingling with the ocean breeze.
A white intricate design of rangoli greets you at the doorstep, you step in and walk on the red floored tiles and enter an authentic South Indian home.
In the open hall area hangs an oonjal wooden swing with iron-link chains anchored to the ceiling. The oonjal is decorated with two maroon bolster pillows on the sides.
The swing directly faces the entrance door, when left open, the door acts as a window to the ocean galore.
Tall pillars standing impressively in the middle of the house holding its weight.
The aroma of ghee from kitchen, freshly prepared vadas, and filter coffee drags you further in. Steamed rice cakes continue to cook in the pressure cooker with the whistle going on and off.
Just by the kitchen is an open area with an open ceiling and right in the center of it is a tulsi plant.
Dressed in a sari with a damp towel wrapped around her wet hair, she waters the tulsi plant and does puja.
Two little girls cheerfully run in the open area holding up their orange-colored lehengas and dropping a few buds of mogra flowers from their hair onto the ground while playing.
There is lively banter and cheerfulness in the air. Grandma talks incessantly with the maid while the maid washes clothes just around the corner of the house on a stone slab.
A stairway leads you to several more rooms, a young fifteen-year old girl walks on the corridor holding a book in her hand and reciting poems in her sing-song voice.
Just when we are about to enter one of the rooms, I wake up with a startle to the sounds of loud impatient honking from vehicles across the street. I look out the window and see streets bustling with people and cars, surrounded by tall blocks of boring concrete buildings. I let out a loud sigh thinking of my heartwarming South Indian dream and get back to living the usual fast-paced city life.
2 thoughts on “By the Ocean”
Takes me back to the long summer days in Gujarat. Will email you a short story too. Thank you for sharing.
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Thank you. Please share! Would love to read your story. ❤️