It was a Sunday morning. I took Niyo and her friends to the beach. They chose a spot surrounded by tall coconut trees that stretched high into the sky. And soon they were rolling in the sand. These devils were yet to reach double digits in age. I sat on a rock, took out my paperback and began reading. The girls dug trenches in the sand. Occasionally Niyo would get up,fill water from the sea in her small bucket and splash it over the sand-castle that they had so meticulously constructed. I was engrossed in the story I was reading when a yelp from Niyo brought me back to the beach. She had spotted a fisherman's boat; and now she and her friends were dancing hysterically as if we were cast away on some remote island and a rescue party had suddenly arrived. I got up, and to my surprise found myself waving at the fisherman. He saw us and turned his boat towards us. When he was at a hearing distance, I asked if he could take us for a boat ride. Niyo and her friends weren't expecting this and they were elated. And fisherman wasn't about to disappoint us. He brought the boat closer and we all climbed in. It was a small boat with fishing equipment stashed in one corner. We saw some fishes protruding from a large basket. One of Niyo's friends couldn't stand the smell of fish so she made a face. But she was so thrilled to be on a boat that she opted to sit near the basket. The fisherman started the boat and we roared away. The sea wasn't rough but because the small size of the boat we were hurled from side to side. Niyo urged the fisherman to ride bigger waves. Fisherman obliged. Girls went berserk. I felt giddy. They kept exchanging their sitting places and the boat rocked further. We were drenched. We put our hands in the water. It pushed us back with tickling force, and our shrieks grew louder. Now, I was one of them. Amazing are the ways of pleasure if you can interpret them.
Sun was beating down on us. Few fishermen were returning after the day's work. After a twenty-minutes swirl we returned to the shore. I paid and thanked our fisherman, and we raced back to our spot. One of Niyo's friends had never sat in a boat; either she hadn't had a chance or was little apprehensive. She was glad to have put that behind now.
It was getting hot. Time to leave. I picked up my paperback and told them to pack up. I said that it was getting late and they had their studies and homework to do. They refused to budge. I argued further. But Niyo and her friends had their own ideas. They said that the sand-castle which they had built had somehow other been reduced to sand and they couldn't dream of going home without making another one. They would rather build it in the sand than in the air.
I rested my case.