After a long time, probably after a whole year, visiting the Cherai beach was an exciting experience. During my childhood, I can’t imagine one year without visiting the beach with my cousins or other relatives. My father would proudly call it the “Parur Beach”. That’s one place he would happily take every relative visiting us on a weekend or during the evenings in the car. The Car is another story altogether!!!
So the beach is where we went and I have a lot of memories related to that place. Cramping into the grey Ambassador car is all it would usually start with! Appa would invariably offer to take the guests to the Parur Beach which would have them all totally surprised as they cannot imagine a small town like Parur having a beach bearing its name! But Appa would say it’s Parur City and Parur beach is the best ever. Indeed, I would agree to the beach part but never on the ‘City’ part 😀
So we would all deck up on over the other’s lap, at least three layers squeezed into the car. It would be anywhere between 8 of my cousins, 3 of my mom’s cousins who stayed nearby and 6 to 7 elders all inside the car at one go! Appa would be driving the car as no one else knew how to drive this particular version of Ambassador. It would have been at least 20+ years old 20 years back 😀
On the way, he would invariably point at the huge campus of century old Boy’s High School that came first on the way, the Samooham High School that came next and then his office route which we don’t have to take! Then over a bridge, we would see a lot of Chinese fishing nets which definitely look enticing. The route is beautiful with paddy fields (back then!), backwaters and trees that come on both sides of the straight road.
Now the tricky part is that we all had to get down just before we reached the beach as there was an old wooden bridge that we had to cross. I still can’t figure out whether it was because the bridge was wooden and old, or because the car was old and heavy or because the old car with so many people didn’t have the pickup to climb the creaking bridge and cross it that my dad would ensure we all get down first. He would take his car across that small bridge and let us all in once he was on the other side of the bridge! 😀 We could as well walk to the beach which was another 2-minutes from there.
This beach was never crowded. We would enjoy the waves, the breeze, the walks, the sunset and some more waves before we would return. I remember, when we were kids, we used to pick shells from the ones piled up on the shore. We would write names and wait for the waves to see which one gets erased first. We would stand in one place till our feet would be totally immersed in sand. We would make small hills out of sand near the shore and wait for the waves to destroy them. So many beautiful memories flood my mind!!! And I miss those beautiful days 😦
If at all the beach would have some crowd, Appa would take us to the interior areas where no one else would reach. We sometimes go to Munambam Pulimuttu or the end of the Cherai Beach where concrete boulders and stones have been piled into the sea. On the other side of the sea, we can see the Azhikode Beach. He would take us to his friends’ Ice Factory where it would be stinking badly and freezing cold! That’s where I have seen how ice blocks are made and how small octopus are cleaned and packed. Being strict vegetarians, the place would be stinking strongly of fish – fresh and frozen! But still, it was a part of the holidays and our Cherai Beach trip.
On our way back, we would invariably drop in at a small yet popular ice-cream parlor in the town. For the next one hour, it would be totally ours!!! We would order all sorts of ice creams and eat until we got satisfied. 😀 That’s tought right, children satisfied of ice-creams? But within an hour, we would be exhausted and then head home where my grandma would eagerly be waiting to scold the elders for having gotten late!!! Plus no one would be allowed in without washing the sands off our feet and dresses.
Our dresses would be ready hung in the bathrooms outside where we had to get a bath after which only we would be allowed inside the house! 😀 What memories they were!!! They are still so fresh because I would be the lucky one to visit the beach everytime someone visits us and that would happen every other month!
Today when I went, it had changed a lot! There were no stones where we would stand and enjoy the breeze and sunset while our wet dresses would dry up a little! It was so crowded that there was nowhere to enjoy some privacy with our family group. But the beach is still enticing! It was high tide and the waves were a little threatening. Or were they excited to see us cousins back together there once again, with our spouses and children? One wave even tried to pull my son along but my husband didn’t let his charming boy away as he caught him by the collar!
This time we were a dozen and took 2 cars to reach the beach. The kids were too excited to get drenched. I guess the waves are the most enticing part of the beach for all generations. There was no place where they could play with the sand though! And I didn’t see them missing that part of the Beach fun which we used to enjoy the most.
I missed the sunset too! It was way too crowded so there was no place for us to sit and enjoy it! And I missed my Grandma who would have made sure we all washed away the sand and took bath before we got into the house. I sneaked in along with my son and got him inside the bathroom upstairs before anyone could occupy it! He was totally drenched in sea water and sand!!! 😀
So many waves of my childhood memories are flooding in so fast! I had to share it and let it overflow.