A Tale Of My Dream
A Tale Of My Dream6 mins 364 6 mins 364
Saranya got down from the train and started to walk toward the exit. Though the railway station looked brightly lit, the place outside the station looked dark. The dimly lit street lights unknowingly made her feel scared. With umpteen numbers of promises that she will be safe once she landed on that town, Saranya took that assignment. Waiting at the entrance of the railway station, she searched for her friend who promised her that he will take care of her accommodation at that small town. Not like in Chennai, the evening still doused in heat waves made her feel tired and dehydrated. As she could not reach her friend’s mobile, she decided to wait there for some more time. After waiting for more than twenty minutes, she decided to find her way to the place of accommodation. Though he failed to turn around for her, he was kind enough to book her accommodation and send the details well in advance through email.
Reluctantly Saranya walked to the auto stand and enquired about the ride to her place of accommodation. Much to her surprise, every one of them came forward to help her. Relieved by their helping attitude, Saranya took the first auto to reach the place of accommodation.
Saranya reached the place of accommodation safely and it took another thirty minutes to complete the check-in procedures. When she started to roll her trolley-bag, a young man approached her with a smile.
“Hello, Saranya, How are you?” Saranya turned around to look who called her. ‘Hi, I am fine.’ At the first instance it did not strike Saranya that it is her e-mail friend Arun who helped her to book her accommodation.
“Sorry, I am Arun. Sorry for not coming to the station.”
“No problem, I am not a little kid. Anyway, thanks for reserving my accommodation.”
Saranya started to walk toward the stairs to reach her room. “Will you be there tomorrow to take me,” without turning around, she posed the question to him. “Or should I go on my own?”
Arun looked at her with a sheepish grin. “You need not worry. I will be here by 7 am tomorrow. I have made all the arrangements for you.”
“Will you join me for dinner?.”
“No, thanks. See you tomorrow, Good night.” Without expecting him to reply, Saranya walked up stairs and disappeared in a moment. Arun felt snubbed for a while and regretted for not going to the station to receive her. Their first meeting has started with a friction and he wondered how it will be tomorrow.
The next day when Arun reached her place of accommodation, Saranya received him with a broad smile.
“Hi, Good morning.”
“Good morning. How are you?” Arun felt relieved as Saranya sounded normal. To impress Saranya in their first meeting itself, Arun decided to arrange for a local taxi service that will help them to travel in comfort. Having arranged for a car saved their back from a bumpy ride on the worn out road. Saranya who got used to smooth rides on well laid roads found it difficult for a while to get adjusted. But, as she expected an adventurous trip to drift along the backwater ways of Pitchavaram, she kept quiet. Though Arun wanted to talk a lot to her, he also kept quiet. They reached the place in silence.
The breathtaking beauty of Pitchavaram mesmerized Saranya. The long stretch of greens and the crystal clear water looked as a welcome relief for the monotonous life that she has been running for a while. Well in advance, Arun decided to hire a boat for their two hour boat ride. As he wanted to spend more time with Saranya, he opted for a row boat. As the boat ride will pass through dark channels and overhanging branches, Arun preferred a row boat. For short rides, people preferred motor boats. But people who really wanted to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Pitchavaram chose row boats.
Arun first took her to Chinna Vaikkal Island from Pitchavaram. Fortunately, their visit coincided with the onset of an Eco tourism festival ‘Dawn Fest’ organized by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation. When they reached the island, the whole island decorated nicely vibrated with festive mood. Sometime after they reached the island, international and national delegates reached the place in decorated boats. Usually the island will be so calm, and one can hear only the songs of birds. As Arun was planning for a romantic retreat with Saranya on the lonely island, it did not attract him much. But Saranya enjoyed every second of stay over there. Earlier, she was wondering what she will write and fill her travel column. This sudden surprise gave her much output than she expected. All through the day she kept herself busy by talking to all people over there. Arun has to be a silent spectator and accompany her wherever she wanted to go.
In the evening, there were folk and traditional music performances on a floating stage from boats. Though the place is deprived of proper current facilities, the organizers lit the whole place with light using generators. The sudden bustle of activity in the island did not disturb the migratory birds and they went with their routine chores as usual. The sea food served at the festival tasted delicious and Saranya enjoyed her food much to the disappointment of Arun.
Around 5 pm, everyone started to return. Though the festival extended to one more day, Saranya could not stay there as she has to be there at Chennai the next day. While they were returning back to Pitchavaram from the Chinna Vaikkal Island, the boat man shouted suddenly. ‘We need to return to the nearest island immediately.’ Saranya and Arun could sense the alarm in his words and asked him the reason. “I can feel a sudden change in the flow of water. The same way I felt when tsunami hit here.”
Saranya could see many birds flying here and there. The songs of those birds sounded different as if a warning to move away from danger. Watersnips, Cormorants, Egrets, Storks, Herons, Spoonbills and Pelicans flew and occupied the tallest spot on the trees. It was really a delight to see so many birds together at the same time. Saranya did not miss the chance to catch those moments in her camera. The boat man started to row the boat faster and he wanted to reach a safer place as soon as possible. Arun guided him to the nearest island where he usually came to do his research work. People who stayed there knew him well. So, when they reached that island, they felt relieved and happy.
The night started to set in. In the darkness, Saranya could see the twinkling stars in the sky. This is the first time she got stranded like this in a lonely place. They could not get the signal for their mobiles and it deprived them of contacting the outer world also. Saranya though felt scared in the beginning, she started to feel excited with this sudden change of her trip into an adventurous one.
Quite a few families stayed there in that island and there was no electricity or any other facility. The woman in the hut served their food on mud plates. Saranya took some candles from her bag and lit them. “Welcome to the candle lit dinner.” When Saranya requested Arun to join her in the dinner, he felt excited and happy. He silently looked at the waving curls of her hair in the sea breeze. Without much hesitation, he asked looking into her eyes, ‘Will you marry me?” Saranya could not help laughing aloud.