Whenever someone mentions a beach, the first visual that comes to our minds is that of lying on a beach under some shade, sipping a cooler, relaxing in the beach wear, and our skin becoming tan-resistant automatically. If wishes were horses and those horses were for real.. We all have at least one favourite beach destination - Goa, Pattaya, Bali, Male - and so many other places in India and abroad. And all of us have at least one memory attached to those beaches, the water and the shore, the sunset that could make the whole beach look like a paradise..
But if you are born in a town surrounded by beaches, the definition of a beach and fun changes drastically. Just going there and running anywhere and everywhere without a reason and without bothering about anything or anyone is priceless. Don't I wish to go back to those days?
I spent my childhood in a small town called Umbergaon. I lived there for 15 years before shifting to Mumbai. Umbergaon is surrounded by beaches. My school was right on the beach. Whenever I used to get bored in a class, I used to look out and stare at the sea, the waves, the trees, the lighthouse, birds and people. During vacations, it was a ritual to go to the beach everyday to play. Mom always stopped me from going there in the afternoon, for I would fall sick in the summer heat, but I never listened to her. The moment she used to go for her afternoon nap, a few friends and I used to go straight to the beach to play cricket or any other game which could have been played even in our gully.
Slowly and sadly, I grew up, and started bothering about things like complexion and tan and skin tone. I started noticing the difference in my skin tone of hands and legs, and I freaked out. My hands were dark, almost black. Thanks to the Indian mentality of "fair girls are pretty ones", I stopped going to the beach during afternoon. I spent my vacations indoors playing boring games or watching tv.
In a small town, your knowledge is limited to cold cream for all seasons. And I am talking about late 80s and early 90s. Then came the stage when I became wise. I got to know about sun-screens and sun-protection lotions after I shifted to Mumbai.But by that time, I was far away from the beaches I loved and abandoned them for the love of self.
It's been 15 years since I left Umbergaon. It's been around 18 odd years since I went to the beach there in the broad sunlight. I have been to many beach places in the last few years, but this one remains the closest to my heart. It's a beach with huge heart and it will welcome Kyra too with open arms. Visiting the beach you grew up at, running there without a reason, sitting there without worrying about a tan thanks to Lakme Sun Expert - now isn't that an ideal way to have fun?
Here are some pictures of what's in store for you if you visit Umbergaon this summers:
The lighthouse on the beach
So, when do you want to backpack?