D N Singh
Loneliness can be disastrous but not solitude. Come the new year euphoria people think of destinations where solitude & bliss prevail and an environment that can help to detoxify the toxicity of places like towns or cities.
Let’s venture to a similar destination in Odisha coast couched in the lap of nature that is clinically cut from anything of that sort.
It was just pre-dusk when we started our voyage from the Satapada coast of Chilika lake. A motor-driven boat chugged all the way from Satapada to our destination Bharmapura.
A place which is rarely heard and visited even by revelry freaks because of its isolation from the main lands.
Sun was slowly dipping down the Western horizon and we were a little apprehensive about the amenities there. Because we did not know much regarding Brahmapura except that it is an island where there is no human habitation.
Only a Forest rest house at the edge of the island full with forest and some planted casuarinas trees in subsequent times as formidable barrier against the torrent tidal invasions from the sea that laps at Brahmapura’s other end.
As we alighted from the boat we found a deafening silence reigns all over barring the sound of tides lapping at the edge.
The night was slowly maturing and the silence was overwhelming as we walked through a sandy track that led us to the Rest house. We felt slightly consoled when the Range officer welcomed us with a smile that was in a way very reassuring.
Except the crocking of toads coming out of their proverbial hibernation rest was complete silence.
It was a three room rest house with a lovely courtyard and a modest dining space.
The dinner we were served was much more than we expected and cooked by a ‘desi’ precision and flavor creating within us an irresistible appetite.
Dinner was good and we had a sound sleep.
The morning unfolded a fabulous treat of nature. Straight from the courtyard one can see the beguiling beauty Chilika lagoon and at the far ends small fishing boats seemed lost in the morning mist. It is said as the Sun rises, some fishes jump off the water and make it easy for a catch for the fishermen.
At the backyard a 200 mtr walk can lead one to the sea coast. Where we noticed the first traces of species, innumerable red crabs meandering on the shore and suddenly crawling back to their hives with a frenzy when they saw us.
After breakfast we tried to venture into the Northern side of the Island. More we walked, the more isolated except, an occasional glimpse of jackals roaming.
We walked further to the edge and suddenly we heard some noise of fierce breathing of bulls and cows.
They were the feral cows having their presence for many, many years back. They showed a ferocity of self defense through the noises and fierce nod of their heads.
So we had to resist our curiosity to go closer to them.
At some distance we could notice one or two monitor lizards measuring up to two to three feet long, now and then throwing their tongues out. They usually feast on small red crabs and fish.
Not a human in sight except the staff from the Forest department who gave us a memorable lunch in that wild heaven.
When the Sun descended in the West, it appeared like a huge crescendo dancing in the sea water welcoming the footfalls of the New Year.