‘No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow’ ~ Lin Yutang
Frothy waves that touch my toes dug in the white sand, the sound of the waves that passes through my ear veins as I lie down with my hair open on a sandy beach, the colas and the coconut water that I sip while watching young children frolicking in the water, youngsters strolling with hands in hands and swearing on their new found love while oldies take a seat somewhere in the middle enjoying the breeze. The turquoise water reminds me of the purity of life that beholds nothing in itself, gives back whatever it takes; the cool wind dances in the air like a just freed young, pretty woman and the sea itself seems like my best friend who knows all my secrets.
Ever since I moved to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the beach capital of India, I have fallen in love with anything and everything that is close to nature. I love watching sea gulls taking a flight watching over their preys, the sweet-sour coconut water, the hills that embrace clouds with love, the sand that keeps me grounded and the people who, despite everything, make me believe that life is beautiful and it is the best gift I have got.
From the fast yet sophisticated city of Bangalore to the pristine and loving island of Andaman, the transition was a little difficult in the beginning. I wanted to see the high rise building that stand as an epitome of progress. The fast moving cars that stop your heart for a moment and provide the thrill. The bustling markets where one forgets all his worries and buries himself in the beautifully, intricately designed materials. I missed the chitter-chatter on the public transport buses, the consecutively arranged festivals to keep you engaged in arts and above all the feel, the mere feel, of the city.
At the same time, I began to love the solitude and the tranquility Andaman was offering to me. It was no less than living in a place and time that took me back to primitive age. Back then, I wondered, what would it be like to be in a place that could offer both – the beauty and love of nature and the purpose and aim of growth.
Next morning I read an article on Huffington Post that carried out a list of places where one could retire and live an easy life. Malaysia topped the list. As I read the article, my unrestricted mind started conjuring images of a place that had festivals brimming in to celebrate, skyscrapers to look upto, beaches to soak yourself in and finally hills to just go and hug! Best thing was that this time, my mind had a place. It had found a place. And the place was Malaysia.
Malaysia has not one but five good reasons to visit the country. The reasons vary as much as the five fingers on your palm and that makes the country Malaysia as strong and powerful as a fist!
1. Natural beauty at Langkawi and other islands– One of the most famous beaches in the world, Langkawi is every traveller’s delight. If I go there I would just soak myself up in the crystal clear water, the white grainy sand and the soft shining sun. I dream of reading Eat,Pray, Love, the famous book by Elizabeth Gilbert on the with a blue lagoon in one hand. Sitting under the shade of trees, I would simply revel in the mystery of the island that tells the intriguing tale of a woman named Mahsuri.
2. Charms of a city in Kuala Lampur – No visit to a country is complete without spending a day in its capital city. Kuala Lampur, until sometime ago, boasted of the tallest towers in the world and that is more than enough for me to know how the city would look like. The woman in me who loves shopping would not miss the Bangalore malls anymore! Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah is another city to visit with its ever increasing popularity on tourist destination charts. The city offers a balanced mix of city life with proximity to rain forests, beaches and the mountain that gave the city its name – Mt. Kinabalu.
3. Decoding the mysteries of the National Parks – Who woulnd’t like to decode the age, formation and the shape and sizes of limestone rocks that are formed by a simple chemical reaction and still so complicated in formation? Taman Negara is another place to be explored. Much like our own Dhani Nallah Mangrove walk way, it is a sign of growing eco tourism.
4. Mix with the race and the culture – A tourist becomes a traveller when he mixes with the people of the place he is visiting. You have to be a local to truly know a place. Being an extrovert and an avid traveller, I look forward to meeting new people, knowing their culture, understanding their heritage and embracing their customs and rituals. Malaysia is known for its multi-ethnic society and that makes it an ideal destination for a person like me who loves to interact and learn more about different races, cultures and regions.
5. Capturing the memories – A digi cam is one the best invention for humankind for it helps in storing images and memories that one cherishes for life. As a budding photographer I not only love to click pictures to hone my skills and thus look for a perfect location, as a traveller I want to wake up in the mornings to see the images of my yesterday trapped in beautiful pictures. On sandy mornings in a cozy hotel room when I switch on my camera, look at the previous day’s pictures and then I know that I am living my life at its best.
These are just some of the reasons my heart beats for Malaysia. They say you never really know a place unless you set your foot there. I so agree. I am not sure when I will get an opportunity to travel to Malaysia but I do know that one visit to Malaysia is more than enough to give me a lifelong kit of sweet memories with sandy mornings.
Finally, no post about Malayasia be complete without a little prayer for the jet passengers who never returned home.
You went so far
So further so away,
I wish I had told you,
All I had wanted to say.
We cant see you anymore,
we cant hear your words,
But I’ll send my message to you,
Through the soaring birds.
May you come back
Sooner and faster,
Back to your families,
Who await an answer.
We pray for your well being,
Wherever you have gone,
Hope to see you again,
Smiling with your families at the next dawn!