Monday Morning Musings

Posted on March 13, 2017 under Monday Morning Musings with 3 comments

Sunrise

“ Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Quickly flow the days”

Sunrise, Sunset. Fiddler on the Roof

 

I completed the “ daily double” yesterday.

No, I didn’t go to the race track and pick the winner of two horse races nor was I playing Jeopardy. I wasn’t even referring to the iconic Canadian coffee combo, a Tim Horton’s “ double double.”

Kanyakumari, India is the very last city on the Southern tip of India and is surrounded by three Oceans: The Indian Ocean, The Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Because of its location, it is a very popular tourist stop. The primary reason that most people come is to view the sunrise and sunset. Most of us from the Atlantic Provinces might find this surprising as this is just a way of life for us. But in India, the sun is an important religious symbol and devotees come to worship.

It is quite a spectacle. Long before the sun comes up, the buses start to arrive near Sunrise Point and all along Beach Road. During certain festivals the number of buses can be in the hundreds. And these are not just your garden variety buses. These are touring buses with all the creature comforts. They are small, self-contained micro communities. The buses are resplendent with flashing colored lights and all kinds of decorations. If they are transporting young people, then you can expect loud , thumping music and lots of screaming… especially when they spy people like me!

Once parked, they go through their morning rituals. They bring all of their own food and prepare it right on the spot. The city provides huge tanks of water for washing up and drinking. There are “pay toilets” scattered throughout the area. As the sky brightens, there is a heightened sense of anticipation as people get as close to the water as possible… thousands of them. Many people sit quietly and meditate.

While there are several places to watch the sunset, there is one focal area called Sunset Point. Everyone goes there. There are all kinds of vendors and hawkers… and people handing out religious pamphlets. I am a regular consumer at one of the mobile ice cream vendor carts. Part of the beach is strewn with very large boulders that gradually thin out into a pristine beach suitable for swimming. Many people just sit on the rocks in the hour leading up to sunset while others frolic in the water. For some, it is the first time that they’ve ever dipped their toes in the ocean. As the sun begins to dip, everyone stops what they’re doing and simply watches. It is quite something to watch thousands of people entranced by one of nature’s finest moments.

And then they cheer and clap… and stampede for the exits!

The next 15 minutes is sheer pandemonium as everyone seems to be in a rush to go somewhere. The parking area is filled with buses, taxis and auto rickshaws and the road leading out of Sunset Point is narrow and poorly maintained. Pedestrians travel at their own peril in the waning light.

So yesterday, I completed both ends of the double double. The sunrise and sunset didn’t disappoint but just watching all of these people was every bit as entertaining.

My 14 young “ aspirants” ( girls studying to become nuns ) left on the weekend. I spent a lot of time with them over the past month, helping them with their English. We became very close and I was really sad to see them leave.

If you’re not a Facebook person, you would have missed a letter that I posted the other day. It was written in Tamil by Mariyappam, a recipient of one of the wheelchair tricycles. He presented me with the letter the evening he received his bike. I was very touched by his sentiments. “ I have nothing to give in return to show my gratitude. But all I can do is pray for all blessings to be showered upon you in abundance.” He signed his name and in brackets wrote ( “ The differently abled.” )

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the water taps, the wheelchairs and the wheelchair tricycles. It has made a big difference in the leprosy community. May blessings be showered upon all of you in abundance.

Story time. Coming up this week, I have a shopping story. It is called “ Pothy Training.” Pothy is the name of a large department store. I could just as easily called it “Potty Training.” Stay tuned.

“ Quickly flow the days.” I only have three more weeks in Southern India before flying to Delhi to meet up with brother Don to do some traveling in North India. Before I know it, my six months in India will be over and I’ll be winging my way back to Canada.

Looking forward to coffee and chats will old friends and new.

Have a great week.

 

Sunset

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Comments

3 Responses to Monday Morning Musings

  1. Sharon Pinkohs says:

    Len
    Wow, another stunning column, thanks so much for that, it’s a super way to start my day when I see your musings post!
    The “differently abled” quote really hit a cord with me, what an excellent way to describe it, instead of the sad disabled descriptive word that we’ve heard since we were kids! I love that new connotation!
    The sunset slew of tourists and sundry was also most enlightening!
    Imagine your 6 months coming to fruition shortly, how sweet is that! You are going to cry when you leave, n’est-ce pas?

    Am off, today is a busy day trudging through the cold and not anticipating more snow which is supposed to be on the horizon! My wood stove is devouring the hard wood as if a famine is on its way!

    Sharon

  2. Greg Albert says:

    Another interesting story.I stopped to pick up your third book but the darn place was not open on Sunday.So will have to check it out to day.Have a good day and do not get over heated.

  3. Miriam Gillis says:

    You constantly remind us of the fleeting aspect of time, but you also remind us of the impact of memories and life experiences. We are definitely a part of all that we encounter and all that we meet. Keep the wonder in your world and also in ours.

    MIRIAM

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