Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Kudle Beach,Gokarna, Karnataka,India

Hippie Heaven
Maybe it was the three hour conversation last night. 
The electricity out for an hour I asked to sit opposite the man reading under the single, energy-saver lightbulb fueled by a small generator.  He graciously motioned for me to share the light.
His hair cascaded down past his shoulders.  Shirtless, his well-muscled body gleamed like well-polished mahogany.  The scent of coconut oil wafted off his skin.
Italian, from Northern Italy, he told me he's been coming to India for thirty years.  "Every year learning more lessons.".
"Nobody taught me," he said leaning forward across the table, brushing his hair off his face with his fingers,"I was carrying a stone.  And it was only me that could remove it so I could be free."
Without even knowing one another's names we launched into communication without barriers.  Intimate, deep, passionate.

Maybe it's the place: a cove in the Arabian Sea.  Blue sea.  Clean, silky sand.  A beach fringed by palms and jungle.  Not a single beach chair or umbrella in sight.  Only a couple handful of people strolling along or lying on Indian sarongs.

Maybe it's the people: hippies--old, young, neo-hippies, rasta hippies.  Bare-naked babies.  Bare-chested men in Ali Baba pants or with saffron sarongs draped around their waists.  Hair in top knots.  Old men with white beards and flowing white hair.  Girls and women in long flowing Indian fabric skirts, tank tops, amulates, beads, shawls wrapped around their shoulders or hips or turban-like around their heads.  Bangles and ankle bracelets and bells.

Maybe it's getting up, sipping masala chai while gazing at the sea.  Listening to the waves breaking on the shore.  Doing my exercsies and yoga on the beach.  (All along the beach people do yoga or tai chi or mediate.)

But whatever the reason--I am electrified.

I traveled here - to Gokarna - by four local buses and one rickshaw.  My taveling companions a young neo-hippy couple from Amsterdam. Squatters.  Yop - a part-time social worker involved with incarcerated prisoners.  Wies - an after-school art teacher who wants to write a children's book.  She could easily grace the cover of any beauty magazine.  Yop is blue-eyed with a mane of twisting writhing curls. Both sweet gentle spirits who invited me to join them.

We were the only non-Indians on all four buses.  Yop shared his bag of cookies with all the passengers and everyone smiled with delight.

I sit at the "Look Sea Cafe" next to my room.  A small stream separates us from the rest of the beach.  I sip ginger honey lemon tea.  Watch the slow procession of people walk the beach - each one a testament to individuality and originality in dress and hair design.  All of them happy, relaxed, beaming good health and joy.

From the far side of the beach comes a procession of nine India women carrying cardboard boxes on their heads.  As they get closer I can see that the cartons contain bottles of drinking water.

This beach exists out of time.  Out of place.  This is not India.  This is not 2012.  It's a spot on earth filled with smiling people with radiant eyes saying "Hello," or "Nameste." Co-existing like people from a utopian fantasy.  From Italy, Amsterdam, Germany, France, Spain, Turkey, Israel, England, and America.  At sunset they gather on the beach.  Watch the sun turn into a glowing crimson globe.  The sky streaked with yellow,  gold,         vermillion, scarlet, purple.  And when the sun finally sinks into the sea they all cheer and clap.  Here none of life's daily miracles is taken for granted. Then we form a circle.  Dig a hole in the middle.  Place a candle and light it.  Musicians play drums and flutes and guitars and violins while I dance before the dancing sea.   


1 comment:

  1. good to be here, isn't it?
    wherever this "here" is.
    wonder where we will meet next time...