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Taking in a Sunset at Kanya Kumari, the Southernmost Point in India
I am here, at the very tip of the Indian subcontinent, watching three large bodies of water blend and churn into an expanse of wavy nothingness. This is Kanya Kumari, a word in Tamil that means “Young girl” or “virgin." Gandhi's ashes were scattered here. It is also one of those places in the world that serves as both a brilliant sunset and sunrise vantage point. There are no interruptions between here and Antarctica. At night, bazaars pulse with activity; vendors sell pearl necklaces draped neatly on rusty hooks in blue carts with peeling paint; soothing voices of conch shells float in the background. This is an area famous for pearls, les pecheurs de la mer, after all. Throngs of devotees rush to the nearby Baghavathy Amman temple before its gilded doors shut at dusk. The famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial and the statue dedicated to the wise Tamil saint-poet, Thiruvalluvar, is splashed with crimson. It is hard to imagine a more elemental place where, despite the man-made structures, there is a feeling of truly being off-the-grid. Perhaps Kerouc said it best: “Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields” but of course he was referring to Spanish groves, and not these stretch of Indian seas. Sunset at the tip of India is a vermillion affair in the end, with tones of saffron, gold and everything in between dancing over the waves and a rocky shore. Clouds veil everything occasionally like a fine organza saree; a truly “Ohm” moment.
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