Thank you all for the warm welcome.
This morning I was heading towards vizhinzham to meet my new angler friend Abdul Rehman when a thought passed my mind...."aren't there any fishing spots along the coast to vizhinzham?'. I turned around and went to Shangumugham beach where I found a lone angler surf casting...the first time in almost a hundred visits there that I found anyone angling.
Next I took the right turn from the domestic airport with just an idea that I would be hitting the coast soon and sure enough I reached Valiathura. The Church on the left was interesting, but I found the abandoned pier more interesting. Again I was surprised to see anglers trying their luck and what was more surprising to see was that they were doing it with dry bait!!!
I was tempted to stay on the pier and try my luck when the monsoon which was playing hide and seek in Kerala hit the spot with a vengeance. I retreated in haste and continued to Beemapally and Punthura where the rain did not permit me to do any research.
My next stop was the Kovalam coastline near hotel KTDC Samudra. I parked my car and walked in the thinning rain along the newly constructed and fast deteriorating walkway in front of Udaya Samudra Hotel. Didn't see a soul and was about to give up till I saw a few people taking shelter in a nearby shop. My instincts told me that these were the people I was looking for.
Sure enough, as soon as the rain stopped, 4 guys appeared on the walkway and started throwing their lines. The sea was rough and many a time we had to take cover from the splashing spray. Within a few minutes I saw a few fish being landed and another first.....2 fish on the same line (like the feviquick ad). I was tempted to join these guys but was reminded of Vizhinzham and Abdul Rehman and decided to move on.
Abdul Rehman is a devout Muslim who prays 5 times a day and my idea was to have my lunch if I couldn't catch him when I arrived. As luck would have it, he jumped out of his “tapri” as soon as he saw me and in spite of the drizzle, was ready to take on the rough sea. We spent almost an hour collecting live bait and then made our way to the rock in front of Hotel Soma Palmshore which happens to be Abdul Rehman's regular spot under the sun for angling.
If you guys are expecting a happy ending....sorry to disappoint you! Just as AR (Abdul Rehman) and his friend (whom he had invited to help him catch the live bait) started reeling out the lines, my phone started ringing. It was my sweet wife requesting even more sweetly to pick up our daughter from play school…..a request that I couldn’t refuse.
On a hungry stomach I made my way back to Trivandrum. That was another adventure by itself! Almost every 500 meters I found a broken branch and had to turn back when the road was totally blocked due to a fallen tree. The bye route I chose was flooded, had broken branches, fallen electric lines and narrow lanes where my scoripio could just scrape through. Eventually I made it in time to pick up my daughter from play school.
Thus ended my angling trip – a wet day where I returned empty handed and hungry. Was I disappointed? Not really! There is a saying in Malayalam “Muthate Mullaku Manam Illa”. Translated it means “ the jasmine in your garden does not have any fragrance (but others can enjoy it)”. Likewise I was crazy to do angling any chance I got abroad without realizing that there were opportunities aplenty near home. My trip in the rains was an eye opener and have no doubts AR and the abandoned pier at Valiathura will see me soon enough….next time with a fishing line in hand. Watch this space!
P.S. I am not the beast. The 666 is meant to scare away people who think I am one because of the number!