Wednesday, March 21, 2007
No Red Sails in the Sunset
After shifting from Kerala to Chennai, whenever possible, in the evenings I stroll down to the beach, which is about a hundred meters from the house. After walking for half an hour or so on the road parallel to the sea, I sit on the curb, watching the scene around.
It’s almost the same every day – the Bay of Bengal stretching out to the horizon, an occasional fishing boat, ships waiting at the outer for their turn to berth, their lights switched on at dusk, the grim, colorless sky, strong breeze blowing in over the waves with the smell of salt. It’s depressing. There is some thing missing.
Occasionally I wonder whether Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Nat ‘King’ Cole and all those other great singers who have recorded the beautiful piece ‘Red sails in the sunset, way out on the sea’ could have rendered the song with the same involvement if they were looking at a gloomy scene like this one when they sang.
Today I realized what was wrong. There is no sun dipping into the ‘kala pani’ (black waters). People from the West Coast are used to that sight. Take out the fireball from the following frame of sunset over Olavipe Lake and what do you have?
Watching dusk fall on the East Coast can be unnerving. Try sunrise for a change? Well, I get up too late for that. It's not the same anyway.