The Old Big Man and The Sea


A large bald man was sitting in front of us, facing us but stoically staring at the sand. He was not facing the sea where everyone was facing. He scratched his shoulder and continued staring at the sand. His pot belly was red and tanned. His hands and shoulders were freckled.

20d1e40d-7adc-4620-a28c-7add39e383bb.jpgThe white hair on his chest told a lot about his age. Maybe 60 , maybe 65. Maybe he was peeping into his past. The many many years which went by. And here he was all of 250 pounds on the beach. Looking bored and pensive. Or maybe he was thinking of just heading back to the hotel and having a shower. Maybe some sleep.

The sun was high up, glowing like a ball of fire in pristine blue sky. I wish the water were that blue. But the Arabian is somehow not blessed to be blue. It is some shade of green but not blue. On our right was a middle-aged lady. Quietly sleeping on her recliner. A open book that she was reading was pressed to her belly by her right hand. Her left hand was protecting her purse. Her mouth was wide open, as if she were dead. But I could hear her mild snoring.

Our Man suddenly got up and started walking towards the sea. His tall and heavy frame slowly entered the water. Soon he was dealing with the waves hitting his lower body. I could see his hairy back slowing lowering down in the green water. He spread his fat arms to splash the water in a playful manner. He looked like a sea monster , a leviathan lowering his torso in rough waters. In the next moment he just started floating. Perhaps all that excess fat was helping him to float. Maybe his thick legs were doing all the work beneath the water. We could only see his bald head floating like a volleyball.

He was now very far from where we sat, floating towards the deep sea.His head still visible. He slowly disappeared from our sight. I tried to trace his head, I jumped from my recliner ran towards the sea. Stood there scanning the horizon.The old big man was nowhere to be seen. I slowly walked towards my recliner, my friend convinced me that they (foreigners) are good swimmers , don’t you worry.

At a distance a speaker wailed : strong undercurrents , we repeat strong undercurrents not a good day to swim. Few hours later we packed and started walking towards our parked vehicle. On both sides there were Tattoo shops , artifacts and souvenir  shops  buzzing with activity.  Then there were bars with tourists conversing. They were mostly of Russian or east European ethnicity. I could make that out since menu boards on display outside the shacks were also translated in Russian.


Tourists were just relaxing having their beers. There were hardly any youngsters. These Russians were old. Mostly retired people traveled all the way to explore the poor mans paradise, Goa. And out of nowhere my eyes caught a familiar face amongst all the unfamiliar old faces. Our big old man was happily drinking his beer.

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