In a short time a routine is established. Mornings we carry our chatais onto the beach and spend a good half hour exercising by the sea, watched by one or two fishermen pottering around their boats and various dogs who come by, sniffing at our faces and our feet and checking out to see if we are interested in friendship. (Which of course means food for them). Our training is followed by breakfast, a short walk to the nearest general store from where we pick up a mango drink to enjoy at Max’s place. Then it’s two hours of solid work for me – either translating or planning out future sessions, while Sudha catches up on her notes. Twelve thirty means it's time for beer and lunch after which we pass out for a couple of hours because it is too hot to actually do anything.
The best part I find are the sunsets and our post dinner meditations on the dark moonless beach. We don’t know much about the stars and constellations but it is lovely just sitting there and watching them and once in a while going “Ooooh!” as a shooting star appears from nowhere and curves down in a graceful arc and once again vanishes in the dark.
Often, sitting in the restaurant we watch Max’s two boys playing in the sand. The older one, Preston, who is two and a half, is very shy and even a bit fearful. Max says he once saw a cow bolt in his direction and although she meant him no harm and stopped long before she reached him he has been terrified of animals since then which probably means humans as well. The younger one, Princeton, a year younger than Preston, is more outgoing, curious, and constantly tottering around the place, in his zeal to explore the world. We’ve renamed him “Penguin” because that is exactly what he looks like, especially on the days that he wears his yellow and black T-shirt , or the black and white one, with his arms flailing at his side to help him keep his balance. Fatima, their grandma, Max’s mother, calls them Peshtone and Pinjone.
The worrying thing is not knowing how long it will be before the marauding mobs descend on this more or less isolated beach and turn it into a discotheque with their boom boxes and stalls and what not. There are signs of increasing huts and rooms being built in the village but as yet (thank god!) no luxury hotels. Only hope the old man/woman in the sky thinks fit to protect the place and keep it intact. At least for a million years or so.
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