The core of mankind is always searching for new experiences and my search took me to the fifth edition of India's surf festival that happens at Puri, Orissa. Not many people are aware about this vibrant festival and i can't decide whether its a shame or a blessing. This three day festival offers more than you can imagine, its not just surfing, its a party on beach with great music and good people, the most important aspect of the festival is the fundamentals on which the festival is built upon. The crew's vision is to provide exposure and education through a medium of celebration. Each year, they try to surpass their previous years achievement by bringing something new to the table and whatever they implement is not just new to the festival but to themselves and the whole nation.
Puri is a place where nature governs the human life. You have lagoons, lakes, rivers, beaches, forests and the weather is just perfect; warm during the day and chill during the nights. This festival is organised by the surfing community surfing yogis lead by Sanjay Samantary who not only brought the surfing experience to India but also stand up paddling too. He also provides opportunities for creative start ups to exhibit their work, budding artists to showcase their talents and to organize the festival, he brings together volunteers from the whole world around one table providing luxurious food and outdoor accommodation and most importantly treating everyone as family. Give a man food and shelter and he will do the best work in his life for his mind is free from the burdens of everyday struggle.
The crew labors through day and night without the impression of actual working and not for once compromising on quality. Before the festival, the crew members and athletes take time to go to schools conducting clinics on action sports like skateboarding opening up a new world for the children less privileged than we are. Along with these clinics, they try build an awareness of their surrounding by planting trees, cleaning streets, making kids and their teachers understand the importance of health and well being.
Once the festival commences at Ramchandi beach, then there will be no contact with the outside world not because there is no network rather the pace and power of the beach and festival will consume all energy in your body.
The beach is divided into zones where all the activities happen. We have the surf zone, skate zone, SUP zone, slack line zone, zorb zone and the party zone. Once everything is done by midnight the party moves to the surfing village where all campers sit around bonfires bringing music from different zones of our nation.
The music on the shores is surreal. I mean we have bands like Thalavattom who make music from instruments created from scrap both metal and plastic. Then there is Sitarsonic, a fusion of sitar and electronic music, the reasonable hope that tells us stories with a tune.
Once the festival was over, despite the numerous amount of garbage cans, bamboo bins, and continuous notifications to the crowd,humans still remain humans and showcase characteristics similar to dumb beasts so the crew continues to work even after the festival to protect the beach from human ignorance.
After the clean up the crew headed to cool off in their private lagoon where i was not allowed to click photographs but trust me it was crazier than the festival itself.
Hope to see you there next year.