I have inquisitive eyes that twinkle at the slightest joy. That’s what people tell me at least. And rightly so; my eyes do a lot of talking. And they specially become chatty when I go on a holiday. While on road, they are mostly anxious about what’s going to happen next and perpetually hop from Google Maps to TripAdvisor to the road. When the driver pulls the car over, they get edgy & impatient until they discover that it’s probably nothing; the driver just wanted to take a short break. As soon as the car starts and the tires start rolling, the eyes go back to looking nervous again.
On a fine Tuesday evening of October, they were particularly feeling fidgety. It wasn’t the best day of a 10 day long road trip to northern Karnataka. We were driving on NH 66 from Udupi to Karwar.
Within exactly 10 mins and breathing in tons of fresh air, we were on Kanyakumari-Panvel Highway (NH 66), facing the entrance of what looked like a park. My husband looked at me and said, “What are you looking at with such a dumb face? This is it. Let’s go to the beach.”
As I reached the beach, I realised that I was no longer hungry for snacks. I sat on the beach near a family who came prepared with a picnic basket and were exchanging jokes – probably about an aunt who wouldn’t stop praising her daughter’s culinary skills or an uncle who has recently discovered the health benefits of quinoa & won’t stop blabbering about it. They were speaking in Kannada but their tone and laughter amused me.
I shifted my glance sideways and spotted a pair of boys digging the sand. They were trying to build castles in sand and were looking at me from the corner of their eyes. When I looked at them, they returned my admiration with half-smiles.
The beach was arousing my curiosity. So, I ran a quick Google search on Tagore beach, Karwar and a few articles later, I came to know why they named it, ‘Tagore beach’. When gurudev (Rabindranath Tagore) was a young, 22 year old boy in the year 1882, his brother Satyendranath Tagore was the district judge of Karwar. This was reason enough for Rabindranath to spend some time in Karwar where he composed his poem, ‘Prakritir Pratisodh (1884)’.
In his book, ‘My Reminiscences (1912)’, he mentioned the influence of Karwar on his work:
“Here in Karwar I wrote the Prakritir Pratishodh (The Ascetic), a dramatic poem. The hero was a Sanyasi (hermit) who had been striving to gain victory over Nature by cutting away the bonds of all desires and affections and thus to arrive at a true and profound knowledge of self. A little girl, however, brought him back from his communion with the infinite to the world and into the bondage of human affection. On so coming back, the Sanyasi realised that the great is to be found in the small, the infinite within the bounds of form, and the eternal freedom of the soul in love. It is only in the light of love that all limits are merged in the limitless.”
“The great is to be found in the small”. What a beautiful line?! Isn’t this the reason why we wish to travel to far flung places – to experience the great – in our short trips. Probably, this is the reason why destiny brought us to this little, beautiful Tagore beach of Karwar. I couldn’t help but smile. I wanted to soak in as much as I could. After all, this was the place that inspired one of the finest poets of all times and found a mention in his books.
I wanted to sit in silence for some more time. I closed my eyes & sat there peacefully, without a care in the world.
Karwar is a city in Uttara Kannada district in the South Indian state of Karnataka and the administrative centre of Uttara Kannada district.
It lies between the popular route from Gokarna to Goa. You could always include Karwar the next time you are visiting Gokarna or Goa:
Distance of Gokarna from Karwar – 60.7 Kms. (NH 66), 1 hour 21 mins.
Distance of Goa from Karwar – 85.4 Kms. (NH 66), 2 hour 8 mins.