During a trip to Goa, I was reveling my time on the beach. The sun and clouds playing hide and seek decided to behave and let us be. It was peaceful. I was enjoying the waves breaking to the rhythmic sea sounds . I was also watching the smattering of people around.
I’ve always thought watching people was harmless. Also because a friend of mine is a cartoonist and all his inspiration comes from people watching. Art imitating life and all that. It also reminded me of Desmond Morris’s book of the same name someone gifted me . The cover says it is the definitive body language bible. Delving deeper into behavioral science I’m guessing. Sounds interesting but I haven’t read it yet.
As I sat on the beach waiting for my family to catch up, I saw a group of college going girls enjoying themselves playing with the waves, screaming, laughing and yes, taking pictures. Making funny faces to the camera, the Charlie’s angels pose off, the friendly hugs and finally the “natural” pose where they looked everywhere else but at the camera. Observing people passively as they go about their stuff, picking up a few idiosyncrasies here and there, is a great way of passing time. My musings were disturbed by loud laughing interspersed with a noisy debate when a family decided to picnic a few steps away from where I was sitting. This family had just 3 settings – loud, louder and loudest. I tried to zone them out but it was a challenge, so I got up and moved away with the aim of finding another quiet spot.
I decided to take a walk and totally enjoyed the flecks of water spraying in my face – a bit of rain and a lot of sea spray. There is something soul stirring about water on water! I couldn’t wipe away the smile on my face when I saw the symmetrical patterns of my footprints in the sand being erased by the advancing tide, inch by inch. Mingling and swirling. The sea continued its primeval rhythm and I found its constant undulating magnetic pull and push fascinating.
I came across an abandoned boat and chose to sit next to it while listening to the roaring sea disrupted by the shrieking sea gulls. The wind was picking up and over the horizon I saw lightning strike the sea. It was just breathtaking!!
I also saw a rather robust person lying on the beach walrus-like where the waves broke. The force of the waves kept moving him in different angles but he seemed to be made of sterner stuff. He just went where the waves took him.It was funny. Very 🙂 I realized I wasn’t the only one watching him. People watching can be fun, but things can get awkward very fast if your observing makes them uncomfortable. I was looking to see if he was being annoyed with so many people gawking at him and realized that he knew he had an audience and was playing up to them. His contrived mannerisms brought me to question that do people behave naturally anymore? Do we act up to these unknown audiences? Makes one think. It being a free world and all.