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Beachkku jaana, beachukku jaana!

One of the best things about growing up in Chennai, IMHO, is the accessibility to one of the best hangouts in the world, Elliot's Beach. All through my school and college life, this beach was the ultimate cool hangout. There was a hierarchy to the place and one picked up on it pretty soon.

The layout of the beach is such that, there was a low-lying parapet wall, running alongside the bike park area and sat on this would be the sight-seers of various age, shape and size. Where you sit depends on the degree of cooldom of your clique - the closer you are to the Cozee circle, the cooler you become. To be actually sat right at the Circle is the ultimate in cooldom - that normally signals that there are no heights left to scale.

The actual beach, with the sand and the sea, is generally of no importance whatsoever. Unless you happen to be a 'love bird', doing a spot of billing and cooing from behind the catamarans and assorted boats, that is. To the regular folks, Elliot's is the parapet wall and Cozee corner. There is no greater entertainment than watching the odd built bloke and the multitude of wannabe-Salman Khans strut their stuff, atop the latest motorbike.

That was then.

This Summer, when hubby mentioned 'beach', I responded with my normal derision. Coming from Chennai, these excuses of English beaches generally strike me as majorly funny and I never want to patronise them. The sole exception was when we visited the Isle of Wight - this being a tiddly island, one cannot escape the beach and I let the cool waters bathe my feet.

My snort was snuffed out when a shiny key was dangled in front of my eyes. Turned out, a female colleague had generously lent us her beach hut for the day. When I quizzed my work mates about Frinton and its beach huts, the resounding 'wah-wah's that came my way made me rethink my viewpoint of a Brit beach. In my mind’s eye, I envisioned a medium-sized cottage, something along the lines of those in Fisherman’s Cove and in jubilation we set a date.

On a fine summer's day, we set off to Frinton, armed with all the usual paraphernalia. The whole caboodle seemed overkill to me, who had gone to the beach for the sole purpose of viewing some eye candy. As that isn't the tack a responsible mum of a 4 year old is supposed to take, I gamely went along to buy the requisite sun block, Noddy kite, buckets, spade and other assorted gear. With the GPS in situ, we set off on a rare early note.

The miles sped by, as we bowled down the A12, aided by the disembodied voice of the Sat-Nav. After a hour long drive, we finally could see the coast in the distance and I felt an odd feeling of glee. As we neared Clacton, we could see a bit more of the sea and its bluish hue raised my spirits. Buoyed by the vista and A R Rahman, we finally entered the town of Frinton-on-Sea.

The salty air, the brisk breeze and the masses of sand (it was low tide) made me long for Elliot’s and those bygone days. Shaking off the despondent mood even as we drove around the town, I started looking out for cottage #776. To say I was disappointed was putting it mildly. I was expecting designer cottages but what awaited me were itty-bitty plank shanties on stilts!

Grinding my teeth, I looked at the instigator of this plot, who blithely went ‘M promised me there would be deck chairs and things inside so we can drag them out and relax’. Determined to enjoy myself, I started to get our things from the boot, even as hubby proceeded to the ‘beach hut’ to check out our home for the day.

Ten minutes went by, then fifteen and finally, a good half hour. By then, aided by my little man, I hauled out the kite, the hats, towels, spare sets of clothes and enough food to feed those at the beach while there still was no sign of the man. Leaving the thayir sadam to fend for itself, I dragged my son and we went looking for his missing father. To my mounting annoyance, I found him outside the hut, staring at the horizon, with a far-off look in his eye.

Even as I revved myself to come up with a few well-chosen epithets, he turned a curious shade of green. Swallowing the curses, I went with a milder ‘What gives?’

‘Er, Houston, we have a problem,’ he quipped. He finished with a sheepish grin.

‘It seems like I have forgotten to get the keys to the beach hut’.

Posted by DesiGirl 6:23 pm  

4 Comments:

  1. Sowmya said...
    Very very funny...I can imagine your expression on hearing that :)


    Sowmya
    Puneet said...
    :) O Henry eh? ;)

    funny actually!
    ssk said...
    ha ha haaaa .. i guess Elliots still rules right ;-) I grew up in adyar so believe me Elliots is one of my most fav places in chennai.

    Boy I guess your poor hubby wud have had an earful from you .. i still cant stop laughing :-) (even though it is not nice to laugh at another man's misery)
    Anonymous said...
    The Sea! The Sea!

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