I finally understood the meaning of "roaring ocean". A first hand experience is worth a million words in a million books, however descriptively written.
There was a general warning today about the sea behaving abnormally in Chennai. Fishermen were cautioned not to venture too far. My friends and I, not knowing this fact, decided to spend some time at the beach tonight. After all, the weather had suddenly turned pleasant in the evening, and the beach by night looks all the more mysterious.
When we got there at first, it all seemed normal. Then, we noticed that the beachfront was considerably steeper than normal tonight. Also, the total absence of sea breeze. You could light a match without it blown off in half a second. Yes, I tried it. It burnt through and I had to fling it away before the flame touched my fingers. That kind of breeze. The water near the beachfront had collected in some sort of a pool. Obviously, it was much deeper than usual. It was also totally calm. The waves were coming, strangely, in an oblique direction and breaking several metres away from the beach. It was an awesome sight, a Mexican wave breaking up here at one instant and elsewhere a few seconds later, making a great splash and all. As if a large fish was swimming along the coast in one direction and its fin was cutting across the water in a straight line. Mysterious and yet blood-curdling at the same time. We had the jitters anticipating a giant tsunami washing us up before we knew it.
Ah yes, I forget, the sounds. At times the sea would go totally calm, with just the swish-swash of stagnated water splashing around. Then a new wave would come and break, and make a sound like a huge vacuum cleaner on Full Suck. Many more smaller waves would follow and the result was a cacophony which sounded like a deaf band beating their drums totally out of tune. It sounded like a warning alarm. Heck, it even looked like a military base after a warning alarm has gone off. White foaming waves here, there, everywhere, all criss-crossing each other in random directions.
We stayed there for the better part of an hour, seeing the waves growing only bigger. When we left, the biggest waves, about 20 metres into the sea, must have been at least ten feet high.
The next logical step would be to inspect the beach in the daytime, and I plan to do just that tomorrow.