23 Dec Thrivikramji sun burned in the Varkala Beach, Kerala
THRIVIKRAMJI SUN BURNED IN THE
It all started out like this. On Jan.1, 1977, I was just back in the Department of Geology, after my tenure in the Heroy Geology Lab.,
The field visit covered the backshore cliff section of Tertiary sedimentary rocks, the protection structures like seawalls and an adjacent groin field, beach sediments, some bed forms as well some sedimentary structures. I cannot immediately recall the date any better than as Feb. 1977 – bright and brilliant hot day or scorchingly hot day. In fact, after missing the tropical summer heat for more than five seasons, the outing in the beach was so much exciting to me that I took my shirts off. My torso was naked. All that I wore were the pants, sneakers and a ”Foster Grant” sun-sensor sunglass that brought from the
I was walking the outcrops with the student team. Unfortunately, I do not recall all the names of the class., but for two Kasargodians viz., Ramachandran (later joined GSI, now may be a Director in GSI) and Kunhikannan (serving in
The Chilakoor village (primarily a congregation of fishworker families) stands roughly 10.0 ft above the sea level and sports a groyne field on the sea side. These groynes were put in place during the days of Raj (circa 1932 and are intact even today, doing what they were meant to do, even when I write this after three and a half decades later.
The land elevation at Chilakoor stands pretty low (like under10 ft) compared to the cliffs to the north (Vettoor) or to the south. So this low landform, I explained to the class, is an example of a graben – a pair of shore transverse normal faults created this form. The cliff forming Tertiary sedimentary rocks to the south, abruptly start to rise again far above the canopy of coconut palms.
All along I was on my sneakers and trousers but with an bare torso. (Shirt was wrapped around the waist though – part style and part pleasure). By noon I felt as though the skin on my back was sort of getting tight like in between the jaws of a vise. The class did not notice anything special or different about me. In the after noon we walked back to the Varkala Train station to be on time to catch our
On reaching home my wife (Geetha) noticed the reddened skin on my back and quickly announced that I had suffered severe sun burn. Imagine a Keralite getting sun burn!. Look at the paradox. In fact, later in the evening I felt miserable and I could not sleep on my back. It was like I had a one large single would on my entire upper back. Three or four days ahead in the same week I nearly lost a several cm square of skin from my back.