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The Secrets of the Seashore: A Photo Story

beach photos
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As you stand on the enigmatic shores of the inscrutable sea, your ego, vanity, affectation, and such other shenanigans of the mind are subdued by the primeval roar of the restless waves that “begin, and cease, and then again begin.” You are lost in the mysteries of the perplexing, and yet, enchanting dimensions of nature around you. 

You acquire a whole new existential perspective as you walk along the waterline. The parent, the husband, the wife, the lover, the professional and the homemaker in you seems to merge with the grains of sand on the beach that forms the background of the intangible canvas of the invisible and ultimate artist. As you behold the grey-blue firmament spread across the horizon meeting the deep blue sea, your soul breaks free of what Shelley calls the “heavy weight of hours,” and what Coleridge calls “the lethargy of custom.” You experience an unnameable lightness of being.

As if in an epiphany, you suddenly realize who you are. You realize that you are no more important than the inconsequential crab scuttling on the beach to dig a temporary safe home for itself; or the unlucky jellyfish washed ashore and stuck in the sand, its semi-transparent mesoglea heaped helplessly on its lifeless tentacles; or the unwitting starfish waiting for yet another wave to sweep it back to the sea, where it belongs.  

As a child, you explored the seashore in search of the exotic seashells that told you the secrets of the sea, filling your hungry heart with delight and wonder. As an adult, you stand and stare at the shells lying in the sands and perceive the drama of life and death unfolding secretly on the shore. Nonetheless, you, the adult you, pick some of them up, perhaps as mementos of your existential moment; perhaps as mementos of your encounter with the secrets of the sea and the shore.

You return to the familiar lanes and by-lanes of your daily life having strengthened your much-weakened ties with mother nature to whose eternal embrace all shall inevitably return. You return much humbled, and made a better human than before, thanks to the secrets of the seashore.

Photos and text: Sacaria Joseph & Anuradha Mazumder

Sacaria Joseph is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. Having pursued his undergraduate studies at St. Xavier’s College, he furthered his academic journey by obtaining a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from Pune University, a Master of Philosophy from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and a PhD from Visva-Bharati University, West Bengal. In addition to his academic pursuits, he writes on a wide array of subjects encompassing literature, philosophy, religion, culture, cinema, politics, and the environment.

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