Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 May 2018 10:59:50


A Befitting Place For Self-Retreat,

By DR SWAPNA KHANZODE T here comes a phase in life where you just flow, flow... with the flow of life. Life takes shape on its own. The shape that God has destined and not the one which you have designed for yourself. This has been one of those phases in my life, where I am emptying myself of everything, all baggage. It is like letting go off those threads in the life, which don’t want me to be intertwined anymore.

All the threads have formed a beautiful embroidery of experience , which is definitely for keeps. I firmly believe that, if you find it difficult to answer certain questions in life, turn to travelling. Yes, it is the best way to know yourself better. Travel unveils hidden persona with ease. While exploring a new place, one starts exploring the alleys within too.Iallowed wanderlust to empower me. This was truly a God designed sojourn.

The destination wasasubtle, solemn and humble country of Sri Lanka. The itinerary consisted of three prominent places in the country, Colombo, Kandy and Bentota. After a candid encounter with Kandy and its picturesque beauty, we drove to this beautiful location which had sea as the friendly neighbour,,Bentota. Peace emanated from every nook and corner of this cosy coastal town.

Our room was merely few feet away from the beach and whenever I sat in the balcony, sipping my cup of coffee, I literally felt the waves talking to me and believe me, they did. The weather was capricious, matching my mood swings, sunny till the afternoon and sudden drizzles in the evening. The equanimity was so ethereal that the much needed clouding in my mind had started seeing the dawn of hope.Iwas on a path of self exploration and this place showed me the light. Bentota is one place where there is a perfect ensemble of spirituality and quietude.

The best part is, the couture is suited for people from all walks of life. The down to earth feel, the sweet and sour savoury cuisine, compliment the place so well. My early mornings and late evenings were all taken !! Early morning breeze on the beach literally worked likeamagic wand and facilitated the make over of inner me.The water was sparkling blue and so was the beach clean.

I am emphasizing this because it make s alot of difference to walk barefoot uninterrupted, undistracted, where only focus is the amazing vistas around. Hats off to Sri Lankan people for respecting their beaches, like their own homes. One seldom sees such discipline elsewhere. That probably added to my purpose of recovering sangfroid too. Rains as I always say, are soul cleansers. The walk on the beach amidst drizzle was no less than heaven, with every drop echoing empyrean elegance of the existing place.

On second day, canoe safari, through river Maduganga, a part of the lagoon, added the much needed ‘spice’ in the trip. This river again depicted spic and span nature of Sri Lanka very well, definitely note worthy. We saw prawn traps laid in certain corners, fish spas along the riverside and not to forget the mangrove caves. This natural web of mangroves interwoven, created few amazing tunnels in various parts of the river.

It reminded me of the cocoon and after emerging out of them, I actually felt like a colourful butterfly! I realised, the plain canvas of my heart had started getting filled with different hues again!! Then was the unique stop over at Cinnamon island. As the name signifies, this place is full of cinnamon plantations and one can actually see and understand the making of various cinnamon products here, while sipping the freshly made cinnamon tea.

The aroma and the taste of the tea is refreshing enough to forget all the harsh flavours of life. This afternoon ride really gave us good glimpses of unexplored facets of life here. Believe me, knowing local inhabitants and their rituals always adds on to one’s persona. There is always something new out there to learn. After we returned, I again walked to the beach. Late evening date with the moon was full of unique dialogues of love and affection between me and the nature.

The moon decorated the sea with purest of the silver while subtle breeze played the perfect background score. It was one of the most romantic sights that I could have witnessed!! Enraptured by this mesmerisingly beautiful play of waves, the poet inside me kindled the light of words inside me once again.Ipenned,, after a long time.. Left the trails of uncertainties far behind Trampled the sand castles long ago Feet slowly moving ahead towards the unwind Time to see through mirages, time to let go Sea held me close, soaked my feet with love Like an unassuming and affable amigo The effervescent vistas smiled at me, And waves kept singing, girl! Just go with flow As I settled on the golden sand Felt a caress on my face withamagical wand It was the moon which had just shone in the sky Emptying me off the lows n filling me with highs Sitting on the beach, I slept in the arms of waves When the soul was losing sight, ocean made the saves Tranquil and serenity became my harness Heart started resonatingameaningful silence After a while,Iwalked back treasuring the moments forever. It was time to pack my bags and my pieces, time to embrace the world with a better me..