Gettin’ social with surfing
By Daniel Thimmayya - CHENNAI
19th November 2012 09:23 AM
At first sight, Kovalam Beach looked as if it were hosting a party for the city’s none-too-small expat population. Given that on Friday, almost every one of them — Israeli, Australian, British, Swedish, and any other nationality that we may have missed out on — was connected to the Covelong Point project, is to the credit of fisherman-turned-surfer Murthy Megavan, whose touching story and rousing victories in competitions in Odisha, City Express has already reported.
For the man who took to surfing the waves on a piece of driftwood a decade ago, the starting of his own modest little surfing school is something that makes him grin and stammer proudly, “I even have a page on Facebook, where you can send in a request for a class.” Called the Social Surf School, his dream to formally start a school at his village and make a profession out of it has taken flight thanks to help from surfers around the world.
“When Yotam Agam (of EarthSync records) shot a documentary about my surfing dream and how I had taught my village boys to surf and thus earn a living by helping tourists surf, he also gave me my first real board,” explains Murthy. More than the board, a few of those videos on Youtube brought in support from surfers in Australia and Auroville. Under a project called ‘Boards for Billions’, a group of surfers in Queensland, held a fundraiser and collected 45 boards as donations, and shipped the whole lot to a delighted Murthy.
To cheer him on, surfers, enthusiasts, friends and musicians turned out aplenty and lit up the Kovalam beach to toast to the success of the surf school. Fusion performances were given by Ghatam Karthik, violinist Karthik Iyer and Mahesh Vinayakram - all of whom are regulars associated with EarthSync records.
Vital support also came in from Arun Vasu, Honorary Consul of the Consulate of Sweden in Chennai, who rallied together funds and support for Murthy’s project. Finally, the surf school was formally inaugurated by British Deputy High Commissioner Mike Nithavrianakis, who urged Murthy to continue his part-time work at The Banyan.
(Surfing lessons and one-off experiences will be offered by the Social Surf School - Call 9840975916 for details)
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