Speaking of beaches in this part of the town, I happened to be in Kovalam today for a work-related meeting. This picture is of the Samudra beach, flanked on its left by the KTDC Samudra hotel perched on a rocky promontory, to the right you would find the sea-wall built of granite boulders and an improvised promenade up front that doubles up as impromptu space for the beach cafes.
Fifteen years back, when this place was my home for three years, the sea-wall did not exist. There were no beach cafes in this area either. The beach was a forlorn one, mostly home to the student crowd from IHM or the occasional foreign tourist who would be pig-in-shit glad to find a stretch of beach free of prying eyes. The sea was kinder then, never really assaulting the beach enough to warrant a sea-wall as it does today. The grassy patch with its tiled walkways did not exist either and, in its place, there used to be a wide expanse of sand that was perfect for beach football after the classes.
The CITU memorial did exist then, a tad brighter red in the early 90s, and during the lunch break, we would manage to fit our bums on the edges of the memorial and watch the sea with totally philosophical airs. The only available cigarette would then get passed around between 5-6 people and its butt finally tested for smoke quality in a manner quite typical to a student crowd.
This year, the tourist season is a near bust, nowhere near expected levels, and the cafe chairs bake alone in the sun on the promenade.