Journey to the Lands End
One summer Sunday morning in 1974, I woke up from a deep sleep as my friend hollered, "Come on, get up!" "I have big plans for today.” “Just five more minutes" I yell back and shift myself to the other side. “No time! Get ready! Bus leaves in 30 minutes!” he says and pulls on his left sock. “Okay! I’m coming!” I reluctantly roll out of bed. I get a cup of coffee and make my way out the door. While we anxiously wait for the bus, I start to enquire my friend “Why were you up all night? Are you finding a place to tour? Where are we going?” “Oh, we’re going to the-“ my friend responds. Honk! Honk! Honk! The bus pulls in.
We seat ourselves on the bus. I ask my friend again. "Where are we going?" “To the end of the land". "It's not far from here, only three hours bus ride” he answers in excitement. “What? Three hours!” Three hours seemed like a million years. There were ten passengers on the bus, and surprisingly we were the only two heading towards the lands end. After three-hour bus ride, we finally made it to our destination. The bus driver advised us to be back before 3:30 PM because it’s the last bus trip back home. We had to walk around 4 miles to reach the lands end. “What is so special about this place, other than being called the lands end?” I ask my friend. “Long ago, a town used to be here. And in 1964 a cyclone destroyed the town. He pointed towards the sea ravaged buildings. We explored the thin strip of land surrounded by seawater on three sides. We discovered a railway station with all rail tracks intact but covered with dunes of sand. We also saw an ancient church and a post office. The whole place was serene and breathtaking. Although it does have a gloomy past with many sad emotions.
There was not a single soul in sight! I guess we are the only ones who dared to visit this spot. The sun was warm and, the water looked splendid blue. We decided to swim for a while and head back to the bus stop. I dipped my legs into the warm, crystal clear water. Water was just perfect for the summer heat. As we made our way into the water, we heard a growl. At first, I thought it was a ghost. I turned over and looked!
It wasn't a ghost instead we saw wolf-like creatures ready to pounce on us. I suggested to my friend that we go deeper into the water for safety. As we went deeper into the water, the pack of wolf-like creatures just kept staring deep into our eyes. Fear and chills ran down my spine. The wolf pack followed us till the end of the shoreline. Hours went by like minutes as we stood in knee-deep water. My thoughts raced the last bus of the day must have left. And we were only 500 yards from the bus stop. Something fortunate happened. I guess the alpha of the pack started to walk away as others followed. We got out of the water after making sure that the wolf pack was gone. I looked at the clock on the crumbling railway station tower. It showed 3.30 PM. I hoped the time is right and the clock still works. We ran towards the bus stop as fast as we could on the sandy beach.
It was 3:45 PM! When we made it to the bus stop. To our surprise, the bus was still waiting for us! We sat on the bus and asked the driver why he did not leave? He responded that the other driver who drove us here told him that we were only two tourists at the lands end. As we traveled on the bus back home, some of the locals informed us that the wolf-like creatures were man-eating wolves. They were happy that we were the lucky few who survived these carnivores.
Most of you will be wondering who were these visitors? and where is this lands end? I was serving as a government-appointed engineer for fisheries and my friend was an engineer at highways. We decided to take this trip to the lands end in our mid 20's. Well, the lands end is a small strip of a peninsula called Dhanushkodi in South India. Forty-five years have passed and this tourist place still holds the serenity of the blue water and a splashy shoreline. Not to worry about wolves, this tourist spot is now well connected to the mainland and is a great place to spend an afternoon. Surprise, I never visited lands end, but still, I am narrating this based on the true events that happened on a sunny Sunday afternoon. How? I retold the events that occurred in my grand dad's life. I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed narrating to you.