Maldives

Starry nights. The most clear skies that one can imagine. Uncountable stars, so densely scattered across the sky as to render any sense of a constellation impossible. Eid ka chand – the rare, perfectly shaped crescent moon of ramadan shines bright.

Walking alone alongside the beach. A lonely walk. The soft rumblings of the gentle sea. The murmurs of the coconut palms. A faint light from the distant villas lighting my meandering path. And the most beautiful sight of all. Unknown, unnamed sea creatures lining up the edge of the sea in an unexpected dance of neon blue lights. Creating an illusion of reflection of the stars overhead on the sea. Stars fallen from the skies. Little sea stars that twinkle and make me wonder who they are.

The stars in the sea perfectly capture the magic of maldives. The flour white sand, the sea mimicing the natural colours of a bhutanese turquoise, the friendly people and the now” must-have” luxuries of a beach resort. Maldives has it all.

A perfect sunset cruise. The wind blowing through my hair, a glass of italian white wine, bollywood tunes with dhiwehi lyrics being sung by a young maldivian who is a self professed sonu nigam fan and is waiting for his chance to train and make it to bollywood some day. The background thumping of bodu beru drums. Over 50 dolphins swimming alongside my dhoni, some somersaulting, some playfully jumping in tandem.

Matching steps with a young maldivian dancer on a traditional maldivian song. Feeling too conscious. Am I being fooled? Is this truly traditional? Movements too unstructured. Expressions too wild to imitate. Not being able go let go and feel the moment. City life makes you wary.

A boat ride to jehunhura. A small islet a short motor boat ride away. A poetic name, brings to my mind the mughal queen. Noor jehan. Light Of the world. Emerald green waters, a beautiful cove with a cosy beach restaurant. Running on the beach collecting shells. Perfectly formed, pristine white, honey combed, bright yellow – my eyes shine with excitement. Am young again. A sand pumping machine hard at work, depositing sand on the beach. Lengthening the shore it seems. Inappropriate in the context of global warming which has, as its most famous potential victim – Maldives. The machine pumps up water, sand and shells. Competing with two very sharp ladies and a child on finding the best shells. A battle lost. Though I had an able soldier on my side. Walking alongside the sea debris heaped by the machine. Eggs disturbed, pumped up and pumped out. Nests destroyed. Shell crabs crawling frantically. I would rather hunt my shells from the beach, rather than pay this price for an easy find.

The hammock on the sea. My adda. My place to pen my thoughts. Get lost in my thoughts. Question my decisions. Force decisions. Watch the sunset. Spot dolphins on the horizon. Spot a shooting star….with my love…praying for eternal happiness in love. The hammock on the sea shall follow me to my dream house on a beach.

Maldives deserves a long life. Maldives deserves more time.

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