We have been married over 30 years now. But while being together we never had an opportunity to express our deep love and affection or to say words of love in peace and in serenity. Human life today is so occupied and complex – you live together but you often do not intersect with each other with your emotions that you want to cherish.
I tried to say my special feelings to my wife many times – but always found so difficult, artificial and sometimes irrelevant to say after our three decades of happy living together.
After my brief illness recently, we decided to take a break and spend holidays at a place that is quiet – just to relax and unwind. We decided to go to the beaches of Guhagar in Konkan – – a place to be with nature, stroll on the beaches and watch the birds that harbor, especially the Kingfisher.
Guhagar is situated on west coast of India between Sahyadri mountain range and Arabian Sea. Guhagar means cave house in local language. It’s a scenic town and a perfect tropical paradise. Long lonely beach with silky white sand is Guhagars major attraction. Guhagar is also known for bird watching.
We chose a cottage on a hillock overlooking the white sandy beaches. The cottage was an old bungalow with two rooms and a verandah with iron grill overlooking the beach. A place with no hustle bustle and rather discrete.
Cottage and beaches of Guhagar
We reached the cottage from Mumbai after some six hours of road journey. It was already dark. We checked in after a 5 min of steep climb on the hillock as no cars were allowed to the cottage.
The caretaker had organized a great Konkani dinner with fish fried especially for my wife (mori masala) and a sol kadhi for me with ambol (Generally called as Poli)
I had carried a bottle of red wine and we had a glass of wine with cashew nuts along with the dinner siting in the verandah. A large antique lantern hanging from the ceiling, a whiff of parijatak flowers in the air and sound of the waves of the sea at a distance made a perfect dinner setting. We hit the bed early as we were too tired
I woke up feeling fresh. It was around 4 in the morning. I didn’t want to disturb my wife and so I decided go to down to the beach and take a walk. There was a sound of chirping of the birds slicing the silence occasionally.
The beach was deserted until I noticed two tall figures floating on the waves. I noticed a kind of hallow around them. When I reached closer, I realized that they were the Lords of Wind and the Seas.
Lord of the Seas
Lord of the Winds
The Lords smiled at me.
They listened to my problem of expression of love – and rather compassionately
“Why don’t you become a kingfisher for a while?” – They said. “We can make you one”
The Oriental dwarf kingfisher also known as the black-backed kingfisher is found in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. This is a small, red and yellow kingfisher, averaging 13 cm in length, yellow underparts with glowing bluish-black upperparts. A widespread resident of lowland forest, it is endemic across much of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
Apparently, the winds and sea have a role in naming kingfishers in taxonomy after a classical Greek myth. The first pair of the mythical-bird kingfishers was created from a marriage of Alcyone and Ceyx. The story goes that Aeolus, the ruler of the winds, had a daughter named Alcyone, who was married to Ceyx, the king of Thessaly. Ceyx was drowned at sea and Alcyone threw herself into the waves in a fit of grief. The other gods, in an act of compassion, made them into birds, thus restoring them to their original seaside habitat. Thus, instead of drowning, Ceyx was transformed into a kingfisher bird and was carried to her husband by the wind. It is believed that the birds have power to calm the sea.
The Lords said – “Once we transform you to a Kingfisher, just fly into the cottage and give your wife a magic kiss on her lips and flutter your wings for a while. And with your power of love, she will be transformed into a kingfisher too. Fly then together on this beach and you will discover how to express your love. In this process, both of you will be blessed. But don’t forget to return to the cottage before sunrise to get back to the form of human being”
I did what the Lords told me to do and transformed my wife into a Kingfisher. We then flew together towards the beach – floating in the still air and flying close to the waves. We made the chirping sounds to share our feelings – pure and simple – direct but subtle – in the silence of the morning. These sounds communicated more than thousands of words of emotions– that I was holding suppressed for years. This experience of releasing emotions was so blissful.
On our way, we saw some trees on the mountain side of the beach where there were many kingfishers like us perching. We decided to rest there for a while and be a part of them.
Now the sun was about to rise and I remembered that the Lords had warned me to return to the cottage in time to become human beings once again.
But after some thought, we decided not to return – and continue to remain as the kingfishers on the beaches of Guhagar. The Lords smiled.
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