The expansive inviting air that the sea and sand bring is frequently marred by interruptions of commerce of the ‘wants and desires’ fame. Commerce that comes in the form of the ice cream seller who peddles the rosy syrupy ladles of crushed ice and the photographer chap who has the charming nerve to tell me that my camera is no good and that his camera is best suited for Juhu! We walk. Actually, we run. Me and the missus. Chasing the daughter. It must have been very funny to look at from a distance.
Imagine this. An ice cream seller, and a couple of professional photographers on a beach are chasing a couple, trying to sell them wares and skills. The couple themselves look completely haggled and freshly hassled, as they run to keep pace with their daughter. Leading them is their daughter. Running in myriad random directions that could give new meaning to what random is. With tender legs landing on shifting beach sand, a cackle for no reason and a cry at the drop of a hat. She is chasing crows today.
Ahead of the daughter are a bunch of crows. A murder of crows, if you will. The crows are in a playful mood today. They have wings that could take them to the end of the beach. But they make inept use of them today, as they respond to the daughters chase by hoping a few feet and then, a few more feet.
It must have been quite a sight. The ice cream seller chasing two overgrown couple, who are chasing a daughter at her playful best, who is chasing crows!
Today I sit by the table lamp and recall all of this happening as I read the story of the crow to the daughter. The crows were at their most playful bit.
The ice-cream seller and the photographer were the first bogeys in that silly Sunday beach train to disengage. Fairer weather beckoned the ice-cream seller in the form of a couple behind an umbrella, who certainly were talking about the policies of the International Monetary Fund & the antecedents of global warming. In some time, the photographers and their pleas for a picture in return for an exorbitant sum of money, vanished perhaps realising the futility of the chase.
It fills me with warmth and oodles of delight to recall that day.
The daughter’s relentless energy kept the crows on their toes. Or maybe it was the other way round. After what seemed like three hundred and thirty nine years, the crows had enough of this nonsense and just took off on a whim. The daughter clapped and cheered. She after all had driven the crows off the beach. Mommy-daddy slopped on to the sand. Like a marathoner who used the last ounce of his energy to cross the finish line and collapse.
And that was that. A morning at the beach. That fills us to the brim with happiness and brings a smile on my face every time we think of that time or just happen to look at snaps from there.
There are other mornings that have seen us take trips to the mall and such other places that thrive with throbbing consumers. Buying labels to super size smaller persona. Indulgences that gladden the senses, careening past truck sized egos and slick people. These stay remarkably distant in the memory while the soul searches for many such lost morning and the wallet sheds silent tears.
In contrast, the mornings that stay are the ones when we randomly went shooting the breeze and lunging at crows, with commerce making futile attempts to reach our pockets. Or the time when we spent curled up with a book or drawing pencil sketches on the magic slate. I wonder if its just me, or that is the way with the world.
Heres to a happy week people. Do shoot the breeze and stay friendly to crows. They give you new wings even while they are on their toes.