Friday, May 18, 2012

Beach memories

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


The most beautiful sunset I have ever seen.

So, when do you want to backpack?

PS. This post is being submitted as an entry for the Indiblogger Lakme Diva Blogger Contest.


  1. Great post . It always happens. You remember places where you gravitated naturally because they were so part of your life. The minute you bring in rules like skin color/heat/ladkilog etc etc, everything changes. No fancy beach can really match your childhood memories.

    Good luck for the Indiblogger contest!

  2. Some wonderful beach memories you have had!!
    Thanks to the effective sun blocks, going out in the sun is no more a worry!
    All the very best for the contest!

  3. Neha,

    Memories told so well. Hope and pray that you win.

    Take care

  4. These are some lovely pictures.
    I have some good memories of Juhu as I lived there in a sea facing flat.
    Those were the days.

  5. Nice one as always. We are beach bums. Will certainly visit Umbargaon on our next visit to India. We have spent a lot of money to be in beaches all over the world and had a great time (Santa Cruz, CA, Miami, Marina Beach in Chennai, Lankavi and Penang in Malaysia, Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, Venice). Enjoyed all of them. The best so far? During our last trip to India, we visited Muttom Beach in Tamilnadu. Between Nagarcoil and Kanyakumari. Virgin Beach. No publicity yet. No crowd. Were there alone. Had a great time.

    Will send you pictures to your email address. Take care.

    Thanks for this post.

  6. Lovely post and lvoelier pictures!!! I have always loved beaches but never really stayed in a beach town!

  7. is this the umergaon that I understand that comes enroute from gujarat to mumbai or some other umbergaon ?

    I am confused if I spell it wrong or you.. but since you stayed there for 15 years... I guess you must be right

  8. A lovable post and beautifully describes the days of innocence of childhood spent in the nature's lap of a beautiful beach! Wishing you the very best for the contest, Neha:)

  9. Its a unique experience to grow up on the coast with light houses around. Thats one reason I like Nicolas Cage novels :) The light house is enticing

  10. Child memories are best, right?? We never concerned about anything but always doing what keeps us happy. When it involves a beach it increases the happiness :) :)
    Lovely post Neha :)

  11. This is a lovely post :). Best to you. These days arent we all nostalgic about childhood :P

    Do read mine too. Maybe you would love to join us :D

  12. All the memories of unspoiled small towns and cities are so sweet.

  13. Nice one...Looks like you forget to add their facebook link which was mandatory to participate...

    Pl edit and paste it there!

  14. i read some of your posts in the past including the one which got more votes than the total number of active bloggers we have on indiblogger. good to see a post from you after a long time and all the best for the contest. lovely pictures, i like the second one the most.

  15. My first time here and I am mesmerized :))V V creative work !
    Reminiscing is always sweet...