We woke early that morning and almost immediately took flight. We ascended as high as we could before tiring. We had not set eyes on our beloved Alibaug for almost a year, and couldn’t wait to see her in her entirety. The winter had been the coldest for some time and our journey here tumultuous, but we had arrived safe – just the two of us – hovering above our heavenly garden in the Arabian sea. The heat was too much for many, but not us. We sang the whole day, songs of ancestors, of long-forgotten kingdoms, of invaders on the beaches, and the rajas that now replace them.
That evening we took up residence in a coconut tree that overlooked a small island resort. Three travellers sat in a halcyon garden, accompanied by music we ourselves had not heard in many years. We watched them drink, talk, and feast, just as those before them had come to do.