The tide was just going out and the trees stood ankle-deep in water, with their green saris hitched up out of the way as it were. There were pointy sticks looming out of the soil, and as I looked on, the whole place came alive.
It was later that month when I received my copy of Target (which I still consider the most excellent children/tween magazine to ever have been published) that I could put a name to those creatures- fiddler crabs and mudskippers they were, residents of mangrove forests breathe through those 'pointy sticks' and which are possibly the most biodiverse ecosystem type in the world. That full-page spread with cheeky illustrations by the inimitable Ajit Ninan enthralled me, and made me a mangrove fan. That experience, of watching these fantastic creatures on a sunlit shore with the people I love, of hearing the "splot! snap! Chitter-chitter" that is the background score of a mangrove forest, of wonder, is one of my most cherished memories.
And one that I wanted to relive with Mian by my side.
And so it is that in January, Mian and I hired a scooter and putt-putt-puttered off to Divar Island.
(All photos in this and the next post? Mian, who has the eye to see wonderful photos and the presence of mind to take them)