Text by Patty Simon | Images by Dick Simon
We all know the sun rises and sets. This is why thousands of locals and foreigners come to Kanyakumari to see this natural occurrence at the southern tip of India where the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea all converge.
But it’s what happens in the middle that is so interesting.
– Meeting an Indian couple on the roof at sunrise and the next thing you know she is reading my palm and proselytizing. She has a sister in Dallas, which peaked my interest. She asked for payment to make this prophecy come true so I give her a Love Card in Hindi. She reads it but looks puzzled. She can only read Tamil so I switch to English which she is well versed in but not Hindi. Go figure!
-We head to the beach where Dick is consumed by colorful fishing boats in great morning light. I take my own pilgrimage out on a jetty I saw from our hotel room. I am drawn to water like a bee to honey so I set off. From far away the jetty looked like rock and dirt but it turns out it is a landfill with pieces of ragged plastic fabric, tile, glass, mortar and “things” that are not biodegradable. Typical India… more garbage, though this trash is put to a very good use as it helps make a bay and provides the fisherman a place to cast nets. I walk and walk and finally give into picking up colorful shards to add to my bottle cap collection. I end up at the very end where it is just the tumultuous sea and me. Heaven!
-Dick finding a “Pay and Use” Public Toilet for 5 cents
-The shocking pink cotton candy vendor. The fresh limejuice seller. The roasted peanut and deep fried chili “chefs” in their open air stalls. The Silk Sari merchants. The ice cream carts with bells. The cooks frying dough in all shapes and sizes who have to tolerate two kinds of sweltering heat from the frying pan and the sun.