I reached Pondicherry at the end of a day which was just a long and tiresome bus journey through the villages of the Indian South. I remember a distinct smell in the air a few hundred kilometers even before I had reached the town and realized that this must be the smell sailors and adventurers talked of in their books and journals (or maybe my mind was making things up in excitement).
Despite reaching way late into the day I decided to do first what I was there for and head out to the beach. It was night and the beach lights dissolved right where the rocks broke the waves. The roar of the foam and the steady humid wind had some kind of a silence hidden in them. In front of me was a palette of black and dark blues, dotted in a few places by distant boats crawling across the horizon. I wanted to say something to myself but there was a lump in my throat. I had never felt this small yet happy and probably never will. Everything I had read about the sea came to my mind and at that moment I stood there and wept like a little girl. It was so beautiful.