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Forget the Itinerary

A small miracle!

SRI LANKA | Wednesday, 27 May 2015 | Views [169] | Scholarship Entry

A limited patch of reddish sand, coconut palms, scattered boulders and strong roaring greenish waves, these are the typical elements of a Sri Lankan beach. Flying drizzles, wind and vapor invaded my glasses and showed me how wild the ocean could be. Being a big fan of the Mediterranean, the centre of the world, the cradle of civilizations,… I was surprised to be easily hypnotized by the Indian Ocean, in such mighty and thrilling state. Sitting on the sand glancing at the changing bluish grey palette of the water and listening to its thunders was surreal. Beauty comes in different forms, and struck us suddenly.
I had only 18 hours left before flying back, and I was dying to see Galle, described as “ Sri Lanka’s most historically interesting living city”, so let’s enjoy it. The road was squeezed between the ocean and the jungle. Low dense villages and resorts that studded the 115 kilometers between Colombo and Galle interrupted dense clusters of coconut palms.

Although the driver was always pushing me to reach Galle before sunset, he insisted that I take a boat in one of the rivers, I jumped into a small boat. We started by weaving our way through thick mangrove branches, till we reached the broad water, it seemed like a lake more than a river. Scattered huts dotted the banks and a number of fishermen were moving back and forth in wooden boats. After almost 20 minutes we reached a small Buddhist temple in the middle of the lake. The colorful flags and the cartoonish paintings added some color to our endless green scene. The staggering variety of lovely landscapes was what made this island unique; within few meters I moved from one environment to the other, was not it called ‘Serendib’ – by Arab traders- from which comes ‘serendipity’, the faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries.

I reached Galle fort almost by dusk, and was lucky to make the circuit of the Dutch fort walls at the right time. The fort area had a number of recently restored colonial buildings, turned into boutique hotels, galleries and restaurants. The European influence was felt here more than any other part of Sri Lanka, the narrow streets, intimate scale, low Fort walls and the calm waves, gave it a Mediterranean feel. Young couples were enjoying the sunset, as I was fare welling the Ocean.

I fell under the spell of the “ Small miracle”. I spent some of my best days on this island and was obsessed by the idea of leaving everything and living there by the Indian Ocean!!!

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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