A canopy of coconut and palm trees on the way to the beach The path to the beach was interesting. There were huge sprawling mansions, guest houses and a banana and coconut plantation on the other, resulting in a nice canopy over our head. The farm was blocked from the road but there were a few holes through which we could scurry in and wander about, soaking in the neatly spaced trees, the irrigation system and the sudden colour from flowers. The entrance to the beach was to put it kindly, scary. It looked like someone had set the trees on fire, and with their burn out spindly branches, they looked like burned out corpses. The beach was worth it. Barring certain spots which were filled with weird assortment of horses, camels, dogs, coconut vendors and small motorised cars, the rest was empty. All life- people and animals- seemed to converge at one spot. The lack of people proved to be a blessing. We could roam around undisturbed. It was low tide when we reached; the water was cool and the waves gently lapped around our ankles. We sat and watched the sun go down, scaring away little crabs that had covered the beach with millions of holes.
By 7pm, remembering our hostess’ warning to be back early, we headed back. The roads were empty, we had just our shadows for company and all that we could hear were crickets and stray dogs howling. In old films this would have been the time some unwanted creature would make a sudden appearance. We were, however, more afraid of being stopped and questioned for being out ‘late’. At that hour, most of the home-stays appeared closed for dinner. A few polite inquiries were made standing at the gates of a couple of places. It was only after stressing that we were indeed there to eat, were we allowed in. The food luckily made up for the slightly hostile reception. It was delicious in a way that all home-cooked food is, made with generous helpings of coconut and kokum and simple spices. My friend had a vegetarian thali; it consisted of beans in gravy, potatoes and capsicum sabji, dal, fluffy rotis and white rice.