Every story needs a twist and it happened when I missed my flight back to India. A Bolt-like sprint wasn’t enough to get me past Air India’s check in counter at the Colombo Airport.
Only a few hours ago, I sat in a youth hostel and made fun of Air India’s perpetually delayed flights. Fast fwd a few hours and here I was hoping that one such flight delay would allow me to board the flight. Someone up there must have had a good laugh at my expense.
Between a climate conference and social dos, I slipped out and spend time next to the oceanfront- enjoying all that Sri Lanka had to offer and writing stories.A young man sat on a bench, lost in thought, eager, waiting. Alas, the nights brings expectations, sometimes heartbreaks.
The last time I was close to the ocean in Vietnam, the waves came and washed away my slippers. I kept my belongings close this time. All things beautiful are occasionally dangerous.
Itis early evening and my pen is already stuttering. I hope it doesn’t betray me tonight. I have miles to write before I sleep.Pen, pencil, rubber, light, sound. What do you need to be creative? The answer is simple. You need the ocean.
A lonely bird flew away into the distance. I followed its flight with interest. It carried dreams and ideas on its wings. So do I.
I am not the most privileged young man there is. But it doesn’t matter. I can make each day count with my thoughts, with my deeds and most of all with my words.
I skipped dinner and drinks on tonight and came to the ocean. Sometimes humans should leave humans alone.
I wish the girl I like is just like the ocean. I will go to her every evening and pour my heart out.
Some people like to see what no one else has seen and boast about it. I like to express what everyone sees and no one notices.
I feel this pull towards her. I keep coming back to her just like I come back to the ocean. Wonder if I will stay afloat or sink.
The adventures of Hakuna Matata
This is what my distinguished Pakistani colleague called Unawatuna (our weekend holiday destination). We had a gem of a time sharing stories while our American friend planned the getaway. It almost came undone when a local protest cancelled trains and our taxi didn’t show up for hours. Finally, an eccentric driver took us to this coastal paradise a.k.a. hakuna matata.
We lived inside a mangrove forest, in a thatched hut and spend hours at the beach . If an Indian, a Pakistani and an American can get along then there is hope for the world.I want to describe the moment when the waves hit the rock. Both are relentless. Neither gives way. But the moment they come together, both lose their identity and become more than the sum of its parts. A lot like love, I think.
That combination was heady. The salty ocean, the strong sun, the fierce wind. By itself, they would have been unbearable, but together they were magic.
Sometimes while swimming in the ocean you swallow salt. Not everything about a relationship is sweet either. The ocean may leave you with a bitter taste in the mouth but the joy of just floating wave after wave is priceless.
A Twist in the tale
“Where is the arc? Who is the villain?” I asked my more learned colleagues during a discussion about using stories to identify impact. Well, the turns and twists came right at the end for me. I felt suspense, anxiety, and fear counting every minute of the way to the airport and then the sprint all the way to the check in counter. Finally, the laughter concealing the disappointment of having missed my flight.The end? I sat in an airport canteen, took a sip of tea and wrote an ocean full of stories.