As I sat down, after an hour-long stroll at the beach, with a book to read and the sound of waves and the fading heat of the sun gave me company. Solitude is best at the farewell hours of the sun. At a beach. Sunsets are beautiful!
The Gokarna beach isn’t the most crowded. Or perhaps our timing couldn’t have been better to plan a trip to the coastal slash temple town at the borders of Karnataka and a little before Goa.
The beach had families offering puja at one of the corners and just around the time of sunset, something very interesting happened.
This old man, aged around 80, stripped down to his langot to offer the Surya Namaskar. The devotion he had in offering it was amazing. After a few dips and when the sun was almost about to exit from the frame, he went back to put on his briefs and brought with him two empty bottles. At first it looked as if he was draining out something from the bottles but he was actually filling them out to carry it back. I was more intrigued by the process that this old man as. At one point in time when a priest standing nearby tried to help him, his reaction of ‘let me do it my way’ was enough for him to stop. Old people don’t like interference. They know their ‘process’.
When he was finally done, he cleaned himself up, dressed up and walked back towards the road with two bags on his shoulder.
I don’t know whether that was part of a religious custom or not, but the dedication of the feeble old man was amazing. The look on his face was speaking something. As if he’s finishing a duty. For a second, I thought I’ll ask him or even help him pick his bag, but it didn’t felt right. He wanted to do it himself.
As I sit with my laptop after a tiring day of trekking (sort of) and travelling in the humidity, I’m reminded of the old man. Maybe, it gives me a window of ‘what-ifs’ of my own old age or just remembering the old ones who really mattered. And still, do.