Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The days when you dared to dream : Anecdotes
When the freshening breeze struck our brows with a cooling hand, we knew the river was approaching. The mangrove forest on the river bank, an impenetrable screen of foliage, was filled with the melodies of birds and bees. Cranes fished in the shallow waters of the canal flowing into the river. We stepped into the black inky waters of the canal, the floor was sticky with moss and decaying remains of water lilies and coconut leaves. The water in the canal was knee-high. Something moved beneath my feet, leaving a delicious throng of strange sensations of some thing alien and intrusive. It could be a fish, a tiger prawn, a water snake or a crab. We reached the bank where our canoe was fastened to a mangrove tree. Freddie united the canoe, as I was lost in the inexpressible fervor of serenity that surrounded the river.
The sun waned below the horizon, and the random gleam of moon light illuminated the river. We pushed the canoe into the high waters. I was not an experienced hand in setting nets, so I took the oar. Freddie broke into a folk song which I joined with the rhythm of the splashing oars. The tide was high from the west to the east, practically from the sea (Arabian) to the river. During high tide the river water becomes saliferous. The salt crystals dissolved in the water makes it glitter against the moonlight, and with the splashing of the oar you see water droplets become a thousand diamonds pouring out or a thousand pieces of burning coal.
“To the shore” pointing at the other bank Freddy told “what” I quipped “May be we should get something to eat” he replied. I looked into the direction that Freddy pointed at, there was a lantern dangled against the wall. “That is a tavern kind of a thing, you will get everything there” he elaborated for my information. We paddled across the river, the river that was absorbed in the scent and murmur of the night.
The tavern was run by a lady named Anna. She provided food; liquor and sometimes even girls for the fisher men who respectfully called her aunty’ for most of them owed her money. We sat on the wooden benches and ordered for boiled Tapioca and fish fry. When Anna arrived with our delicacies, Freddy whispered something to her. “For something to drink” he explained when I looked at him. Anna brought a bottle of crystal clear liquid and stood against the wall and looked at us approvingly as we were the youngest of her customers. ………………...to be continued in the next post soon.