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    Posted December 18, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    The written word: Your personal essays

    By the beach

    I was born in the city of Chennai and have lived here for many years. The city has a coast line running across its eastern side and there are many beaches that line up the coast. The beaches attract truck loads of people at around the time the sun sets. There are people walking along or sitting in groups and chatting, while others frolic in the water. Many vendors sell their fares. On the whole, it adorns a festive look almost every evening. For a long time, I have heard that the beaches are crowded at sun rise too but I usually do not have much idea about what happens that early in the morning.

    Personally, I have not been a big fan of the beaches though. As odd as it seemed to many, I hated walking on the sand and wetting myself in the salty water. So whenever I heard the words "let us go to the beach", I try crawling under a bed and hiding.

    Three months back it dawned upon me that I have grown old. So I decided to find out what happens in the early parts of a day. As I stay close to a beach, I walk to it and by it on the pavement (keeping a good distance from the sea and water). It is an exhilarating and depressing experience. Exhilarating due to: the rising sun and the colorful sky, the birds flying overhead, the distant sound of the waves that sneak in through the blaring sounds coming out of my head set and the cool breeze. Depressing due to: so many people running and walking faster than me. Over the days I have picked up speed and now there are moments of pride when I overtake someone only to be beaten by someone much older who seems to be exerting less energy than me. The beach is a wonderful place, I accept now, as long as the sand and the water do not come anywhere close to me. The best thing about the beach are the colors of the sky and shapes floating through it. There are sting rays flying across the sky right above the birds and people.

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