There I was, sitting high on the bright orange bow with my legs dangling off the boat. I sat there with a smile on my face as the lilting swell of the sea carried us on her crests. I held on to the bow with both my hands, it felt like a carousel ride in an amusement park. Each time the boat would gently drop down into the troughs of the swell I felt little whirlpools of joy in my stomach, that tickle that fills you with utmost thrill. I couldn’t help but giggle like a little girl.
The lapuz lazuli waters of the Laccadive sea extended like a sheet of mirrors reflecting and deflecting the sun’s rays. Through the shards of rays on the glassy waters, I stared at the salmon coloured jellyfish drift away in slow motion and hypnotic patterns of the ripples on the water’s surface.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, I saw shimmering blue flying fish glide into the horizon in groups of four or more. What made this all the more soothing was the view I got from the tip of the boat and the tunes of the music I was listening to. I felt like I was the composer at an orchestra directing these intriguing creatures to emerge from the waters in synchrony from either side of the boat. Although, I know they do this to evade their predators underwater.
The games I was playing with the sea made me forget about the other people on the boat. All I could connect with was the big blue sea ahead of me.
I took long breaths and marveled at the beauty of the monotonous sea.
I was suddenly woken from this trance. I heard Muhammed Ali, our boatman call out the magic word – “Dolphins”. I immediately looked in the distance. I saw them, a pod of seven spinner dolphins (Stenella longinostris). They were swimming with their gorgeous grey undulations shining against the sun.
Then the show began. One of the dolphins emerged right out of the water vertically, twirled in the air and then dived right back into the water with all its might. The somersaults were so graceful to look at against the shine of the sun.
The pod got quiet and within a few seconds, I saw their sleek silhouettes disappear.
We waited patiently in the hope of seeing them again. But they were nowhere to be seen. The fishermen on the boat told us they might have swum away. I was really hoping to get another glance of these magical creatures. After all that waiting, I gave up on seeing them.
MY HEART STOPPED BEATING.
They appeared right beneath my feet, like unreal beings in the water, pirouetting in synchrony. There were six of them right beneath my dangling feet. I could feel the splashes of water on my feet, splashes from their gentle whipping tails. They were racing with each other and our boat, appearing and disappearing. It was some sort of game for them, there were six initially and then there were just two swimming, one on either side of my feet. At the end of it, there was one which swam ahead of us and soon disappeared.
It was all a scripted fantasy. For the first time in my life, I knew what it was like to freeze time. I could feel the vibrations ride through my nerves. My facial expressions were changing every second while watching them enjoy. I was squealing in joy.
I closed my eyes and rubbed my palms on the orange bow. I took a mental image of it, those few minutes. It’s weird that I know how all my senses reacted that day. I love that when I close my eyes now I can immediately transport myself to that day, those few minutes and I can experience it the same way.
Etched. It is now a permanent memory.