Mahabalipuram Again

We went to Mahabalipuram on Monday, and came back on Tuesday. Here's the view from our balcony -- the Shore Temple is in the upper right hand corner:

I took a walk on the beach and found a strange sea-creature: it looked something like one of those woven plastic scrubbers for washing dishes -- roundish and flattened -- but hard, and with very sharp, short spikes all over it. At one end of this hard shell were two eye-holes, and behind that two more holes, for gills, or perhaps for fins to propel it? It had a short, rounded beak like a bird. Instantly anthropomorphising even this strange object, I decided that the beak was smiling, and imagined the small creature flying merrily under the sea.

However, it was now very dead, and stinking. I was afraid to touch it at first, thinking that its spikes might be poisonous. But they weren't, and I eventually picked up a piece of twine from the beach detritus, and tied it up and carried it back. Now it is lying sealed in a plastic bag in case Ramesh decides to photograph it. (I tried to, but my camera is too basic to have a close-up lens.)

One of the friends we had come with told me that just before sunrise she had found a high-heeled shoe encrusted with shells. That sounded glamorous -- Dadaist, or surrealist, or one of those things. Good thing I didn't see it, since I could imagine it so beautifully.

I went hunting for my sea-creature, and I think that it might have been a Cyclichthys orbicularis (Birdbeak burrfish). Here is a great close-up of what its face might have looked like, and here's a full-length photo. I still haven't been able to classify the high-heeled shoe.

No comments: