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Scandal Point (standard:other, 910 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Nov 11 2010Views/Reads: 1435/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A biographical story on childhood exeperience
 



Scandal Point 

Subba Rao 

Scandal Point beach acquired its infamous name for its remote location
and sightings of single men and women during odd hours. Unlike the 
other beaches in town close to the build-up areas that provided the 
dual purpose of public latrine in the morning hours and recreation in 
the evening, Scandal Point beach with its fine sandy beach and calm 
waters was far away from town attracted only those who owned private 
vehicles and others desperately in need of privacy, lovers away from 
their home. The nearby town was a fishing village with only fishermen 
and poor people lived in thatched huts built on Badlands on the 
oceanfront. 

In contrast to the Badlands in South Dakota, the Badlands at Scandal
Point beach were made up of reddish peaks and valleys of lateritic 
soils that were created over million years ago from severe weathering 
of plateau rich in minerals. Tall palm trees and thatched huts 
interrupted the topography of the badlands. 

As a youngster, Juggernaut visited Scandal Point beach on many
occasions; his father took driving lessons at the Scandal Point in 
“Hillman,” an old British auto make. The road separating the beach and 
the badlands was narrow but safe since there was hardly any traffic 
then. While Juggernaut with his older sister and brother sat in the 
back, the driving instructor in front gave the directions to his father 
how to simultaneously press the clutch and shift the gear to drive 
slowly on the narrow beachfront road. Though Juggernaut's father was 
good in arts and science, he was not good in handling mechanical 
equipment or driving vehicles. He couldn't change the gears in a timely 
fashion and the car jumped forward in short intervals as if it suffered 
from hiccups. He held the steering wheel with an iron grip like a stunt 
driver and drove only in one direction, towards the pavement. The car 
would either hit the pavement or telephone poles on the ocean side as 
if there was some natural affinity towards the ocean. One day, he 
steered the car right into a telephone pole that brought the car to a 
sudden violent stop. Sitting at the rear, the children ended up with 
bumps on their foreheads from the sudden impact. That was the last time 
Juggernaut's father took any driving lesson. He declared that he was 
not born to be a driver. Since then, the driving instructor became the 
permanent driver. 

Huge boulders and rock formations in shallow waters reduced the strong
currents and high waves reaching the shoreline at Scandal Point beach, 
making it a calm and safe beach. 

Watching movies was perhaps the only pastime for many Indians and movie
theaters were always packed with patrons. Minerva, a movie theater was 
on Scandal Point beach front. During the intermission at Minerva, the 
vast beachfront served the purpose of latrine for the patrons. After 
several years of operation, Minerva was closed for good not due to lack 
of patronage or public toilets but because the movie projector and 
other equipment broke down from severe rusting as a result of salty 
wind currents from the ocean. The big signboard “Minerva” on the front 
of the theater was never dismantled and left to rust like a shipwreck 
in shallow waters. The theater owner later started a salt distribution 
business and used the theater as warehouse to store salt bags. 

At home, Juggernaut's father kept domestic animals, beyond dogs and
cats; parrots, peacocks, guinea fowls, turkeys, water and land turtles, 
rabbits, guinea pigs and pigeons of all kinds and colors. The backyard 
was like a petting zoo. One of the reasons Juggernaut was allowed to 
visit Scandal Point beach with the driver was to collect small 
succulent plants that grew on the beach. The rabbits were fed with 
these plants along with beans soaked in water. Uprooting the plants 
with shallow roots growing on sand was easy. While Juggernaut's father 
was happy for the bag full of succulent plants brought home for the 
rabbits, his mother wanted black fine sand accumulated in some areas on 
the beach. Juggernaut using his palm carefully scrapped the top layer 
of black sand to collect in a paper bag. On weekends, his mother used 
the black fine sand to polish sterling silverware. Years later, during 
a college course, he understood that the black fine sand generally 
washed out from the weathering of lava rock that somehow accumulates as 
a fine layer on some beaches during certain time of the year. Though 
Juggernaut's father could not learn driving at beachfront road, the 
succulent plants and black sand supplies were good reason to visit 
Scandal Point beach often. 

Over four decades, Scandal point beach and Badlands have changed
forever. None of the current local cab drivers or rickshaw pullers 
could relate to or identify the name Scandal Point. Juggernaut 
identified the location of the Scandal Point beach and badlands after 
traveling up and down along the coastline for some time. The city grew 
beyond the Scandal Point and the areas aroundbadlands wasnot remote any 
more. The badlands were gone, now replaced by high-rise pricey sea-side 
apartment buildings. The Minervatheater was gone, now replaced by a 
park (no toilet facilities). The Scandal Point beach was officially 
named after a politician whose name was synonymous with scandals 
through out his political career. At last, few decades later, the 
original name “Scandal Point” was justified with a human touch albeit – 
a name known for scandals. 


   


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