Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Unforgettable Nikki Beach, Bali

"Why didn't you order that till now?", Piyush asked me as I stood there before him sheepishly looking here and there. He was referring to Sarong, a garment wrapped on a Beach side. It was my dream to roam along the coastline of a beautiful beach wearing a Sarong one day.
Something which I saw during our honeymoon in Andamans. A happy family where the mother (who was not Indian) looked gorgeous wearing a yellow sarong playing joyfully with her son on the sands. It is not some erotic desire as what some people associate the Beach dresses with, but a strong belief in being comfortable and not to feel ashamed to have a woman's body, which because of all the social prejudices and crimes a female is made to understand about herself as she grows to be a self-conscious adult from a carefree child. Being born, brought up and married in a middle-class Indian household, Sarong was not only a distant dream but an impossible feat for me. I was sure my husband and family would banish me forever from this world if I happen to reveal my inner desire to them. You see, in India though with time they have accepted the micro minis, hot pants and Bikinis on Big screens, forgiven and actually admire (or should I say rate) our actresses based on their confidence to carry such attire, in real life they can hardly bear to see their wives, daughters, sisters showing extra skin than what the norms here allow. But the male members of our families don't even need to give a thought before baring all in front of fully-clad ladies, just because they can't resist that tempting waterbody. The fairer sex already troubled by pervert eyes at every public place, offices and even homes, is all accustomed to this unfair routine. One can easily spot this disparity at any known outdoor water body locale - men relaxing in just colorful briefs unabashedly putting on display protruding fat round belly or a hairy body while women getting wet fully clothed conspicuously attentive being in public eye and some preferring not to dare even that. And so, I had no choice but to hide my dream somewhere in a dark chamber of my heart, to be shut and locked tightly until, my husband's display of his broad thinking on that day at Andamans persuaded me to bring it forward. 

As we flew out of India this year for a trip to Bali, a surge of excitement passed through me. Not only because it was our first international trip but also because packed neatly in the luggage were few beautiful Beach wears. Yes, my husband had turned out to be my supporter, and not only encouraged me but went a step ahead by buying some beautiful Sarongs for me. He is a true gentleman! I was pleasantly surprised with his reaction and my respect for him increased many folds.

During our first two days in Kuta we discovered what a beautiful and exotic place, Bali is. We visited Tanah lot, Mount Batur, shopped from Kuta market, went on a sunset cruise, did water sports at Tanjung Benoa and watched the Barong dance performance. Then we shifted to Nusa Dua. And the time we spent on Nikki Beach, Nusa Dua has become the most memorable time in my life with my husband and daughter.

This part of the world is completely untouched by regular crowds and so very clean, calm and peaceful. We spent some time there in the background sound of ocean and enjoyed with Pihu but decided against going in water that time as we were not carrying towels and stuff. People were generally relaxing or winding up. Families, solo-travelers, friends - all sorts. The beach looks really posh with colorful sunbeds and sitting area, resort lounges, Massage parlours, and of course Nikki Beach club. I was surprised to find we were the only Indians over there. Initially I felt uncomfortable to carry Sarong but then I noticed nobody actually bothered about any one and all sorts of women young, old, mothers, single were comfortably roaming and swimming in bikinis without any inhibitions. Well, that made me don my Sarong rather boldly the next day :P and I forgot about the stretch marks on my tummy, reminiscence of the 9 months of carrying a baby or the texture of my skin. A sense of liberation engulfed me as I felt extremely peaceful for being able to celebrate my existence without feeling any prying eyes on myself for my physical appearance. This is something which every woman should be able to do without feeling conscious but it is a far fetched dream in Indian society. I wondered whether I would be so freely enjoying had there been even a single Indian Aunt or Uncle over there :)

The beach is so tidy, classy and quiet except for the sea waves and the beach club songs that it feels like just another world. Putting sunscreen every now and then, going in the water and playing, clicking pictures, having fun with our girl, relaxing. This was the real vacation, we both felt as we rejoiced in the lap of nature. We were enlightened with what rejuvenation means exactly and have decided to take such breaks more often.

Reading near the sea opens up the mind

Who wouldn't love to be here!!

Road that made me wish to stop and go nowhere

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This entry is a part of "#MyTravelStory" Contest