Strolling along the sand-heap

Can we travel through time to the past to meet great-great-grandparents of their time?
Strolling along the sand-heap

Kamal Baruah


Can we travel through time to the past to meet great-great-grandparents of their time? The science can only give us the best answer: that it’s theoretically possible. But no one has so far. People time-travel all the time, from the past to the present and moving into the future. It fits with Einstein’s theory of relativity because time flows in one direction, which is forward. So travelling into the past seems to be a violation of the laws of physics.

However, astrophysics gives us one possible pathway: one could harness the power of a black hole to venture through time and space by building a time machine. In the movie “Back to the Future,” Marty McFly travels back in time to see his parents as teenagers, and then he must find a way to travel forward again. He gets back home and finds his parents aren’t quite the same as when he left. That sounds interesting.

Recently, we witnessed another day of living like travelling back in time to the Stone Age when we were on a picnic. We stepped outside our comfort zone and moved beyond the safe region, thus adventured into a lovely sandy beach on the riverside of Brahmaputra. However, organising a perfect picnic was not so easy. We’re overwhelmed by what to bring, while the organisers have already made a picnic checklist.

As our two buses finally halted at the end of the road, we all had a puzzled look on our faces about the site. Water is a necessity for a picnic, but the river flows inside a very large area of sand and goes far away from the embankment. I wandered off to the early days, where people travelled long distances by foot and carried goods for food and settlements. So we had another walk there, like primitive mammals, as our kitchen was miles away for that day.

Soon we walked on sand; our feet sank into the sand every time we tried to take a step because every step on the sand didn’t find a solid footing. We started to feel wobbly. It was a tiring experience while we all had to carry a heavy load, from essentials like food and drinks and kitchen items to optional items like picnic equipment, safety items, cleaning and hygiene products, sun and bug protection, and entertainment. The herculean efforts carried out by our young colleagues to lift all the items into the picnic spot were indeed commendable.

Hiking on sand can be even more challenging than walking. It surely required huge amounts of physical strength as we had to walk over the sand dunes. There’s nothing quite like feeling the sun on our faces and the cold breeze on our skin while strolling along a beach. We saw a highland formed by river sand and deposits on the other bank of the river. Picnics are a wonderful way to go back to the past to enjoy some sunshine, eat some kabab or smoked chicken, and make beautiful memories. Nevertheless, we took shorter steps using our arms for balance, and our movements were slow while navigating sandy trails.

It may sound simple, but there really is an art to walking on the beach, or else you get sunk into the sand. The sun shone brightly, the breeze blew gently, and luckily, there was no rain. Finally, a makeshift kitchen was made. After adding eggs with bananas and bread served at breakfast, we all moved for games and entertainment. From fun-blindfold games for kids to couple games for a juicy mango drink, “Frooti,” we walked around the musical chairs, humming a cheerful tune of Bhojpuri music. Besides badminton and volleyball, we played ruthless cricket, which made our day a relaxing and fun-filled experience to remember.

It was unforgettable, but the most entertaining part was that going on a sand walk was a hard and tedious task, adding a challenge to our balance, footing, and stability for catching even an easy tennis ball. So next time you watch professional beach volleyball, seeing players diving across the sandy court or landing powerful spikes against strong opposition, remember just how difficult it’s for them to play on sand.

After a day of soaking in sunlight, we got tired and dehydrated. The lunch was indeed delicious, as we had a healthy appetite then. It was the last Sunday of this winter, while the staff and families of the SBI Guwahati branch strolled along the sand heap near Dharapur for another day of adventure. After all, a picnic is all about wandering a place on a day on its own terms, but never forget why it is so hard to walk on sand.

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