Stories about sea

Travelling the world amongst the roaring sea: Memories of a Pakistani sailor

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Aspiring for a career and finally achieving employment is a blessing for anyone. When I was young, my dream, like many other kids, was to roam around the world, to see far off places and to experience different cultures. One practical way to achieve my goal was to join the Merchant Marine. At a young age of 17, when one is full of hope and ambition, I finally had the selection letter tucked gleefully in my pocket after a gruelling selection process. It was a pleasant February afternoon in 1974 when I joined the ...

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A soldier, lost in translation

An endless wave of nothingness arrives: The storm, the red eye and the golden nose; The plunge of the people and the nosedives; Waving upon the wild cherry crossbows, The warm air in the engine cools me down, The colour changes; from black to nut-brown, The air foresees a mist from the western hallows; The tail of the behemoth creeps upon the shadows.   The jarring men wiry and scathing, Skin measled with scrawling screws; Itching toes rubbing against gunmetal swarf The ears bellow in the wailing sound, sucking the air from the atmosphere. The blades grumbled and crumbled against the flesh that trudged the gruntled wind, The brass that lent itself to ...

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The Finest Hours: An epic sail through the rocky storm

The Finest Hours is an American movie based on historic events. It involves an epic disaster which, for the most part, is based on a screenplay inspired by the book The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue written by Michael Tougias and Casey Sherman. With Craig Gillespie at the helm as the director, The Finest Hours exhibits an action-packed rescue narrative along with deeply character-driven drama cum survival story of men at sea and their subsequent rescue. It is a true story of an audacious and courageous United States Coast Guard (USCG) mounted rescue mission. The movie starts off in the cold ...

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Karachi from under the sea

My mother tells me a story of my childhood often. I was three, at some swimming club in London, and my sisters were taking swimming lessons. Too young to be allowed in at that age, I fought and wrestled against my mother, till the point that she was physically restraining me. The bemused instructor told my mother to let me go, to see what I would do. I made a running leap into the water, and haven’t looked back since. Having been a self-proclaimed water baby my entire life, scuba diving was naturally always high on my to-do list. Last year, I finally ...

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Beauty

 “What is beauty, father?” “What do you think?” “I don’t know. I look at this glass in front of us and my eyes spot the reflected light from the glass on the table, and I’m baffled by these patterns, by this beauty which is perfectly still, perfectly independent, and calm.” “So, is beauty only in still and independent objects?” “I don’t think so. When I see the sea or the water inside this glass if it were to be shaken wildly, my eyes start to float along the waves, and I’m once again mesmerised by the water’s endless movement, its indifference, its power, and ...

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We should have seen it coming…

In hindsight, I suppose we should have seen it coming. Karachi had been a great city, once called the Queen of the East, but for a long time now it had become unlivable, given the daily killings, terrorist attacks, the rampant looting of pedestrians and motorists by armed gangs. We should have seen it coming. The city was the most highly taxed in the country, but no one knew what happened to the hard-earned money we gave as tax. It was widely believed, though, that our corrupt rulers were siphoning away most of the budget amount into their foreign ...

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Karachi Sea View: The sun, the sea and … harassment by the police?

A friend of mine was visiting from Lahore and asked me to show him the beach in Karachi. So, on a nice Sunday afternoon, December 1, 2013, I took him to the Clifton beach. He had never seen the beach before and was quite excited. Two of our other friends also accompanied us. I parked my car in the service lane by the beach and we started walking along the promenade. My friend purchased some souvenirs made from seashells for his family and as we were walking back towards our car, we were greeted by three men wearing white shalwar kameezs’. One of the ...

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A love drowned, a life washed away

Safina gazed at the stormy sea, watching the sombre night sky light up against flashes of lightening outlining a dramatic assembly of clouds. Rain poured from the sky accompanied by drumbeats of thunder, blurring the beam from the lighthouse. She had lost count of the nights spent by the window, gazing at the sea. A ship’s horn sounded in the distance, signalling her husband’s return home after two months. On that misty night, the ship had sailed into view, making for the harbour. As Safina watched from the window, the ship glided into view, visible only because of the lights. She ...

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The veil as an accentuation of beauty

The image you see above is based on one of my very first experiences in Saudi Arabia. With the naked beaches of Barcelona a not too distant memory, I headed down to the Arabian Gulf for a dip. There, I became mystified by something black and obscure out at sea. It looked like a huge jellyfish. Then, as it approached closer, I realised that it was in fact a woman. It was such an intense experience that I just had to capture it for myself. However, it was not until a few years later in Dubai, when I had acquired ...

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I drown days in the sea

I drown days in the sea contrary to what you may think, they aren’t spat back on shore. The sea is made up of days.   I lose them, one by one, (watching them go with the sun) perhaps once, I shall see my last, perhaps I’ll be running too fast to see it flash past then.   Running; all I’ve known. I am still now, as I flick stones and bathe and lie in the sand, grateful — I am still. But it doesn’t mean I am not running. I am running still.   I am at the edge. I am a sailor, my mind delves into ancient superstitions. If I go any further I will drop off the face of the earth.   The sea ...

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