Fishermen chanting loudly drag boats onto the shore and start to clean their nets while birds circle above, aiming to steal some fresh fish. Dolphins pass by in the distance and then a surfer in the foreground takes off, gets into the small barrel and goes further, slicing through the wave. It looks like someone cut and pasted him there; it seems not to fit in the picture. But after some time in the beach, everything starts to connect, and you start to discover one of a few unique surfing spots.
“The color of the sea, the cliffs, the coconut trees and the bright boats are so incredible. They almost look unreal. It feels like I am surfing in an artist’s pallet that seems to always be changing and evolving,” says Lucy, one of the surfers, spending her early mornings in the spot that’s close to Varkala town in the Kerala region.
“How do you catch fish with this?” fishermen ask surfers while investigating surfboards. “What’s the point then, if you don’t?” They raise their eyebrows. But then they take those boards and try to catch some waves, just like they do with their small boats. Local boys also come to the beach more often to learn to surf. Everything might change there soon, but for now it’s a small paradise for surfers. Surfers who only share the waves among a few of them and fishermen, the real holders of the beach.