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“The sea is all about us” Unnikrishnan Atiyodi The sea posed as a frenemy because it is both a treasure house and a destroyer. “All rivers can run into the sea; yet the sea is not full” (Ecclesiastes) From time immemorial thinkers used to interpret the sea philosophically and the divergence of ideas embarrass every one of us. Sun rise and sun set provide vigor while we stand on the sea shore, may be because the sea represents collective unconscious. Occasionally the fury of the sea threatens us forcing us to remember the devastating tsunami. Even now we would like to imagine that the sun comes out of the sea and goes into the depth of the sea. Waves coming one after another make us think about a playful wacky repetition. Nobody will feel bored looking at the vastness of the sea with its vicissitudes of habits. Santiago’s fruitless fishing trip for eighty-four days makes the sea a conundrum. Hemingway tells us that his novel is “a fiction based on many actual occurrences.” Readers feel ‘the horror of the unimaginable vastness of nature.’ The old man is aware that the fish will kill him, yet he regards it as noble. “Come on and kill me, I do not care who kills who.” Sometimes the sea is most dangerous capable of entrapping anything with a knee-jerk reaction. The skilful mastery of the fishermen who row small boats enables them to bridle the ferocious sea with ease and comfort. Catamarans float along with the waves, and tatter the waves skillfully. The Ezhimala Naval Academy near Payyanur gets the constant support of the Arabian Sea though the long enjoyed privilege of the local people to view its vastness at leisure has become an event of the past. People in those days used to swim in this sea without bothering much about the risk involved. “Vavubali” or offering to the departed souls on the shore used to be a routine which created a festive mood among the people who came from the nearby villages. Calabash filled with toddy prepared from coconut trees used to be an attraction. This was the only drink available after prolonged sporting on the beach and the sea. The lore elucidates how a princess reached Ettikkulam from the Narmada area and got settled in Ettikkulam, the land where a large number of “mooshika trees” (Nenmenivaka) grew in large quantities. This is the story of Kolathiri Dynasty which is also known as ‘Mooshika Vamsa” Ezhimala was the capital at first which was later shifted to Karippam and then to Chirakkal (near Kannur) The eminent traveler Marco Polo had described the condition prevalent in thirteenth-century Malabar. “White pepper” cultivated here was the main attraction of the foreigners. Later the St Angelos Fort at Kannur was constructed by the Portuguese invaders in 1505. The Dutch, the French and the British business men came here and tried to occupy the land. So we say that all the seas including the shores attracted high-voltage entrepreneurs in the past. Marine history gives no clues about the life of people in the past. The great deluge and the reappearance of life too have religious connotations. Noah’s arch was built to save the life of the patriarch according to the Old Testament. Lord Vishnu too witnessed the deluge sitting in ‘yoga nidra’ Again he started the creation process. Junkies also like the sea. Hallucinogenic drugs induce poets to write. They enjoy the strong wind and the waves after a dose of magic mushroom or LSD. Formerly plants like ‘bhang’ helped the yogis to see the God. In hallucination some people see strange things in and around .


Matthew Arnold sang about the melancholy and long withdrawing roar of the sea. Waves come in great force and retreat repeatedly in a feeble manner. The bottom of the deep blue sea too fascinated thinkers. It is the burial ground of innumerable historical events which nobody could regain so far. Sea remains a real mystery that nobody can unravel easily. Those who commanded the sea had absolute control of the earth. “The river is within us, the sea is all about us.� (TS Eliot: Four Quartets) Unnikrishnan Atiyodi Kandangali Payyanur, Kannur Dt Kerala State Pin:670307


The sea is all about us  
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