At the southernmost part of India is located the town of Kanyakumari, where India concludes its boundaries, almost gracefully, surrounded by the mighty Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal – from all its directions.
Known for its mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets, Kanyakumari entertains hundreds of Indian tourists flocking in here, every day. But when it comes to the life of locals who are living in Kanyakumari, everything becomes much usual and far more ordinary.
Here, life in Kanyakumari in a day, for tourists and locals, alike:
5:50AM The city wakes up, as dawn starts breaking over the horizon, shell pink and faintly gold.
8:00AM A bunch of tourist figuring their way in Devi Kanya Kumari Temple – looking a bit confused.
9:00AM Little boy chasing his dreams, or perhaps shaping them, by taking inspiration from the majestic and the endless sea.
12:00PM A street seller awaiting his first customer of the day, during the wee hours of the noon.
12:00PM “He is very intelligent, always choose the correct card,” says a tarot card reader, trying to persuade me, a tourist, and make a few quick bucks.
1:00PM An artist carefully holding a conch in his hands and gently stroking it for a noticeably impressive makeover – so focused in his art.
2:00PM A group of school kids waiting for the next ferry to Vivekananda Rock Memorial.
3:30PM An old lady drinking water at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, as the angry sun left her a little cotton-mouthed, more clammy, and all weak.
3:40PM A nun looking at the endless sea from from the backside of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, trying to feel the power that Vivekananda might have felt, the time he meditated here.
3:50PM Tourists exploring The Vivekananda Rock Memorial, in their own confused, but charming manner.
4:00PM Long and tiring queues again, as tourists waited to board the next ferry from The Vivekananda Rock Memorial to the mainland Kanyakumari.
4:50PM Ferry taking people to and from The Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue. The last ferry leaves at 5 pm, exactly when The Vivekananda Rock Memorial shutters its doors for the day.
5:00PM A coconut seller peeling off its perfect skin.
5:30PM A tourist upholding the Kaleidoscopic charms of India as he tries to get himself inked on the street.
6:00PM One of the many crowded beaches in Kanyakumari — that never finds itself running short of new and excited tourists.
6:00PM A street seller forcing me to buy a pair of (possible) fake tiger claws. Initial price offered was Rs 1,200 for a pair, but a 30-second conversation, andthe price dramatically dropped to Rs 300 a pair.
6:00PM Two men engaged in an arresting conversation by the seashore.
7:00PM 12-year old Abishek poses for his perfect move with a teetothum, which he loves playing — more than helping his father prepare fishing nets.
7:30PM Cramped but colorful markets, offering people with short (and periodic) glimpses of the sea.
7:30PM A stock of private fishing boats, with many ready to go on a short hunt, during the wee early-night hours.
9:15PM Streets find themselves hopelessly deserted as the clocks hit their usual 9PM mark.
Have you been to Kanyakumari? How did you find it?
Further Reading: My first impression of Kanyakumari