As a part of the Students forum for Indian heritage tours, this time we visited many temples of Tamil Nadu including Madurai, Rameshwaram, Srirangam, Tanjavur , Kumbakonam etc. Danushkodi is an island between India and Srilanka. 31 km from here via sea takes you to Srilanka. It is for the first time in my life that I am visiting a place like this. We visited two places. One is the town of Danushkodi that was totally devastated in the cyclone on 1964. Second is the Sangamam (joining) of Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean.
It took more that twenty minutes to reach the Sangamam. The island is away from the main road. You find only sand on all your four sides. We traveled in a rickety tempo that moved a little faster than a bullock-cart. The tempo/van had two benches nailed to the vehicle. As the vehicle moved, even the bench jumped out of it. There was no road. Only sand. You find flat earth covered with grey sand everywhere. No landmarks (Might be there. but I found everything the same). Occasionally you find water across your way from the sea. But I didnt see the sea too.
The tempo couldn’t bear the weight of the mighty 14 youths of Amrita who were placed inside, that one of the bench broke and got detached from the truck. Some sat down on the truck and we continued the journey. It made the trip a bit adventurous. The strong wind blowed into my face that I felt if I release the hold on the truck, I would fly away. In between, one of the guy lost his mobile down on the sand. He jumped out of the van and ran. The van took a reverse and followed him. After a search of few minutes, he came back with the smile of a warrior who won the war as he got his mobile back. We continued the travel. I imagined if my house was at this place. Completely deserted, away from the mainland, with no one around. No bus, or communication. No shops. I don’t know whether there is some resource for drinking water even. I was amazed to think about the village that was wiped away in the cyclone. I was curious about their lifestyle. There must have been some shops then. But you need to import thing from a distant place in the mainland. I thought about the time when the cyclone came. You find sand surrounded by sea everywhere. Where would you run to for an escape. It was sad to imagine about the helpless people of the village who died in cyclone. Sometimes the mother earth is a bit cruel to us. But anyways not as much as we do to her.
The Sangamam was amazing. You find a narrow piece of land with waters of different characteristic on either side. That was the Sangamam. One side, you find the roaring sea with huge waves. The other side was calm with no waves. I compared this to the two phases of our mind. One which is full of thoughts and disturbed. The other with no waves which is calm and peaceful. The wind was very strong there. I found the sand flying in the air due to the heavy force of the wind. We walked and stood on the narrow land that marked the joining of the sea and the ocean. My legs started trembling in the beginning being afraid of the waves and forceful water. You find water on either side. One of the elders among us showed us the area of the Rama Sethu under the sea. The bridge that Rama build with the help of the monkeys to Srilanka to get his beloved Sita back from the hands of the demon Ravana. I looked at the sea. I could see only deep blue water everywhere. Lanka is nowhere visible. I imagined myself as Lord Rama for a moment. Looking at the endless sea and the mighty waves, where no piece of land on the other side, I doubted whether I can ever take a decision to conquer the sea and build a bridge to get back my wife. I could feel the tremendous courage required to have a will to conquer the sea. I felt like saluting the great legend Lord Rama. I felt really great to stand at the land where Rama once stood facing the sea with no sign of fear in his eyes. I bow to Rama, the hero forever..
We started back after the sun set. While moving in the van, my mind was full of Lord Rama. I though about the large number of monkeys carrying bricks for the bridge. I thought about the squirrel who wanted to help Rama. I wish if I could have been that squirrel so that I could have seen the legend.