The island of Bemair


Three of us were browsing around in Walden – a local Hyderabad book store. The stacks of books kept us from seeing each other. The common need for adventure made us climb up that steep cliff.  The two strangers seemed to be at ease, gauging the best way to to dive in while I shivered at the thought of the steep fall, and the freezing water. The first man dove right in – his victorious scream, music and encouragement. It took me exactly 10 seconds to take the plunge.

The cliff, the waves, birds and distant traffic all lost for one glorious tremendous moment. Washed away I sat on the clear sands of a wide beach. A reel played and flashback showed me the troubled times that this region had faced. Men, women and children tormented by the rulers. Timings for everything and a bulldozer that killed at sight. But that was in the past, now a tiny mermaid is calling out to me from the beautiful waters. No more strangers, everyone a friend for life. I get introduced to ten more people.

We swim underwater for miles (the sea huge and clear), and when our heads pop out the warm sun brightens everything. “We have reached the secret island” the lady tells me. The sand is caressing my feet and magic is everywhere. I decide on another swim, this time I turn to see mermaids catching up with me. They want to tell me a story.

This island has a twin on the other side of the road, far apart, and barely 10 K.m wide. Each time a new person comes the beach widens-eating away the water. Each time any person talks of this experience a sound of the island dies.

I swim back, time for me to go home, return to the book store. We all swim back accompanied this time by singing dolphins. We swim, underneath the clear water and crash into solid road – a motorcar waiting. As we zoom through I see great big bubbles rising up. The sea takes over me and washes us ashore. In the tangled mess of weed lies a baby mermaid telling me I will live a 100 more years if I tell no one about the Island of Bemair.

Already the shores seems wider and what is that? The twin who was so far apart slowly creeping in. People everywhere and one lonely road in sight. I know that this trip will never happen again, nor will the mermaids talk.

The water is being eaten , each time I say Bemair.

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