Sunday, May 18, 2008

Being Nude under the sky and above the sea- Avillion Resort at Port Dickson, Malaysia

Last week, over 1,800 men and women arrived all nude at Vienna's Ernst Happel for a photo shoot. The shoot was a part of a cultural programme(!) running alongside Euro 2008 in Austria. They were volunteers who were not paid except to receive signed pictures of the photo-shoot. This story took me back to my stay at Avillion Resort at Port Dickson in January of this year. Taking a shower in an open arena under the open skies and above the surfing waves of the beach - albeit in a privacy of the hotel room – and my meeting with ‘Cape Town friend’- greeting me with his open feathers in spectacular fashion - made my stay memorable. I presumed my friend did so for welcoming me as there was no sight of any female around.

The luminance spectacle of my friend - Peacock stayed with me for a long time and I decided to know the secrets behind his enchanting hairstyle. Journal of ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ revealed the secret of luminescent beauty of the feathers in a peacock's . It attributed this not due to the pigment but just the reflection of light with frequencies within the partial photonic band gap. This article states- Peacocks and other structurally colored animals and things, such as rainbows, soap bubbles and the blue sky, instead get most of their color from light reflection. As a result, while human hair can look shiny clean, it can never achieve the brilliance and radiant coloration of a peacock's tail feather. "In human hair, color is due to pigment," "If you change the view angle, color is not altered. In peacock feathers, color is produced by the reflection of light with frequencies within the partial photonic band gap. If you change the view angle, the partial photonic band gap will shift to short wavelengths for oblique incidence." Says Jian Zi, professor of physics at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Each peacock tail feather possesses a central stem with an array of barbs on each side. Each barb, in turn, possesses an array of smaller, flat barbules. The outer layer of the barbules consists of a two-dimensional crystal framework made of melanin rods connected by keratin — a fibrous protein — in a lattice pattern. The number and spacing of the rods controls how light reflects which produces different colors. For peacocks, the colors are green, golden yellow, brown and a very bright blue. Male peacocks display their iridescent feathers for prospective female mates. Females may check out the feathers of a number of different males before deciding on a suitor. The length and quality of a male peacock's feathers can indicate his age, vigor, and status. Wow !!! isnt this creative ingenuity of mother nature ? I am sure,we are not far off from an era when one can have an option of transplanting hair from peacock to seduce a female.

Avillion is designed for romantic honeymooners by paying special attention to the landscaping and serene ambience. In the midnight rhythmic beating of tidal waves under eerie silence of dark can be good lullabies for lovers in arms but an intrepid mosquito or squeaking sound of board walk of fellow travelers can distort lover’s trance. But still, it’s worth paying extra price at water chalet –that is built on stilts that makes chalets stretch out in the sea than staying at Garden chalets that are like ordinary hotel room. The resort has its own beach that is fairly clean. The room had large Four-post wooden bed that reminded me of beds from Bengal. The bathroom however was bigger than the sleeping area but the cupboard that housed bath towels and soap was mid way between the bedroom and the shower room. If one has not planned to carry these accessories then one should be prepared for a nude catwalk on the wooden floor after a nude shower under the open sky. I didn’t see sun set from the beach but I enjoyed listening to chirping birds in the early morning darkness while taking a walk to breakfast arena that took me past the mini zoo that housed chickens, pigeons, turkey, rabbits and my Cape Town friend.

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