Road Tales – Quest for The Lost Starfish Pt. 1

Last two weeks has been spent in a whirlwind, starting from suddenly leaving the job to traveling to a new city for attending NH7 weekender, and the best part is I got to meet new people; A thing that I always cherish. And last time I was this happy when I traveled to a small town called Gokarna by the Arabian Sea. Surprisingly for last few days that trip is coming up in different conversations, because that trip changed me a lot. And by this time you must be wandering why the weird name “Quest for the Lost Starfish” and what it has to do with this boring forewords.Well everything doesn’t have a reason but it surely does, and come on! it sounds bit like those adventure trips of Indiana Jones or Sinbad.

So one fine day during my internship I was pretty bored (which I usually am, if life lacks the essential spices.) and looked up nearest beaches from Bangalore. I’ve already been to pondicherry and I needed a new place to unwind. And there was Gokarna, a small town rather a temple town (mehh) with four beaches and intervening hills (yayy). So what else I booked a ticket and hopped onto a overnight bus.

I got down at Gokarna by next morning and within 10 mins I was in the first of the four beach, Kudle beach. I was carrying almost 17kgs on by back including the rented camp and a fixed destination in my mind, Paradise beach, last of the four. First day was bit rough as the paradise beach is locked down thanks to non-restrained carnal desire of some asshole who raped some foreign lady 2 years back and I was supposed to be back to Om beach, (2nd of the four beaches) before nightbreak. But due to miscalculated timing of high tide, which eventually sunk my whole trekking route and a near impenetrable jungle route, I had spend the night there without food, only to be rescued by a group of french backpackers, who dumped me in a shack run by a old Frenchman Named Patrick. The shack was just at the middle of the Om beach (Imagine the figure of Om, now superimpose that on Land, yeah I was staying at the tummy of Om).

Day two started with quiet a contradiction compared to day one, a good English breakfast and two bottles of chilled beer,  and all the while I was watching Patrick doing funny things to someone or the other, from pulling legs of his employees and tourists alike to dancing around. I was readily intrigued, because happy souls are hard to come by. Following the breakfast, I went for a little swim in the sea, swimming with the waves. And while swimming a found a dead starfish in my slack’s little pocket, soon enough I lost it too (You see, good things are temporary). So I decided to take a break and search for it again and by that time my rescue group was back and we all decided to go for swimming together. And that’s when they noticed my search for the lost starfish, which eventually was dubbed by Isabelle, one girl from the group, as quest for the lost starfish and man! we had a good laugh. Soon we all became a big group. I was properly introduced to Patrick during lunch as the group already knew him. The man lost his wife few years back, married off his children and flew to India and now runs a shack in India. Soon enough he joined us with a glass of rum and started talking to all of us, making me realize underneath all the funny deeds lies a man of knowledge. He suddenly looked at me and said “So you’re travelling alone ?”, the answer was an obvious yes! So he started again with his words of wisdom, “Son. Love can’t give answers to your troubles, but the Road ? It surely can. You are young, travel as much as you want to. You will find your answers at one place or another”, truth be spoken, I was dumbstruck for a few seconds, ’cause nobody has ever put things like this on the table (Not in literal sense). I looked at him for a while and he smiled and started singing some tune in his own language and after a little more chitchat he went back to his work. But his words were still echoing in my ears, “Love can’t give answers to all your troubles, But the road ? it surely can”. It was like someone showed me the answer that somewhere deep down inside I always knew, specially when traveling played a key role in my existence. I was born because long time back two young fella decided to travel to the same place and fell in love and got hitched soon, and after a brief pause they took me with them two wherever they went. All those tours shaped me in different ways. But I never bothered to notice, and suddenly today a man who has left his home and takes care of travelers staying at his shack pointed out the answer to all question. The road always has the answer or it shows you where to find it, like I met Patrick while on the road, when I was on the run, from my troubles and worries. And there he was right away proving his statement.

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