There are a few places that, by the mere utterance of their names create
and command a visual imagery of their own – so much so that sometimes one
needn’t have to have visited them to know what they may look like!
|Houses like these #SoMuchLove | Goa, India (March 2016)|
So around two months ago when I’d gone about announcing to my tiny
inner circle of friends that I would be spending a couple of days in Goa, it
was not surprising to watch as their eyes widened with envy.
But Goa has meant different things to me. May be because between the
ages of 8 and 18, I’ve annually spent three months (courtesy the summer and
Diwali break at school) beach bumming and sumptuous food gobbling in the land
of sun, sand, sea and so much more.
I recall ‘Kings’ being around and being as
much of a rage among the locals even back then – as were many of the other
May be that is why as infrequent as my trips have gotten over the past
decade, Goa remains a trip down memory lane for me rather than living a life
out of a travel brochure!
Goa feels like home. On second thoughts, I stand corrected: Goa IS
|You'll see one of these at every bend in the road | Goa, India (March 2016)|
My parents have had a home in Goa that I realised (albeit belatedly
and in a tube light moment of sorts) that I could go coop in when pangs of
getting away from Mumbai got intense. Quite naturally then in less than a week
after that realization, I packed my bags for my very first staycation! Yes,
The getaway was an opportune moment as I had to catch up with some
writing. Being holed up and away from the distractions of the internet and the
temptations of catching up with friends and acquaintances was a reprieve I had
to grant myself. So Goa it was!
A train journey after I’d arrived in Goa, I spent my first thirty
minutes simply walking around the house - that surprisingly was a gentle
reminder of how much having physical space of my own mattered to me. And just
like that, over those next few days it was just me and my thoughts - thoughts
from being present and in the moment!
As well as thoughts from being that 8 year old who once frequented the
same house and its adjoining lanes with their quaint shops
I stood in our backyard recounting the times I’d climbed walls with
much trepidation, fearing how I might miss a step and fall straight into the
ditch right next to me. But in all those years, I never fell and in turn
conquered one of my many fears!
I recalled the times I’d made friends with 3 four-legged fur balls
who’d gone on to await our return every single time over those 10 years –
sometimes with an addition or so also ecstatically wagging their dainty behinds
to welcome us!
I recalled the times I’d wait to hear a thud and make a dash for a
ripe mango that had fallen off from the tree …before the herd of pigs strolling
by got to it!
Sadly the quaint shops have had to make way for a few not-as-quaint
The walls now have barbed wires around them to prevent encroachment
…so I couldn’t walk on them
The fur balls haven’t outlived their lifespan – so I had nobody to
welcome my arrival
The mango tree has been taken over by a parasitic plant and the open
plain fields where the pigs once strolled has now made way for 6 and 10
|The mango tree in its current avatar and the concrete structures behind it | Goa, India March 2016|
|The skyline of Goa has changed ...and how | Goa, India (March 2016)|
During the evenings I’d step outside and walk the lanes that have now
since changed – the skyline today is a lot more concretised than my 8 year old
self recognises - or for that matter, my current self prefers!
But then, change is the only constant.
In just the same way that I recognise the changes I’ve brought about
in my own self over the years. And thankfully, unlike the cement structures, I
can rewrite some of my changes that haven’t served me well!
|Because silhouettes... | Goa, India (March 2016)|
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