September 22, 2016

Travel Diaries: Goa

Long story short, I recently went on a trip. I got off the plane at Goa airport, smiled back at the air hostess, got myself a map, and hurriedly planned out where I was going to go from there.

This is an attempt at capturing some pictures, that are hopefully, not at all very 'Goa' like. I don't know why I set myself up on the strange challenge. But as I zoomed through the winding roads, I realised that that beautiful place was as much about the saree clad fisherwomen, the broad leaved cashew nut trees, the  commonplace street dogs, and the rolling green hillocks as the beaches, sun, sand and the surf.

So let's get to it.

Most of the trip, I was ill. Fever, an endless cold, general weakness. The ceaseless sunshine, the intermittent rainstorms, and the urge to put my feet into the sea (Bathing was out of question), made any real recovery impossible. Nevertheless, I put my faith in a doctor in Colva, where I waited in line with a large number of men, women and kids who looked at me strangely, got an injection at a questionable spot, and loaded myself with prescription medicine in hopes of enjoying my getaway!

I am a huge foodie, and food is often my only happiness. The highlight of this trip was definitely Aloo Paratha and Ginder Chai, which I relished, because of my sore throat.

Another amazing meal was at a quaint little restaurant in the middle of nowhere. It had pistachio green walls with strange children painted on it. It was lined with rows and rows of Tuborg bottles outside it. It was at an impossibly scenic location, on a rolling plateau, with paddy plantation on all four sides, which overlooked the bay on the horizon!

The surly restaurant owner served up a simple, inexpensive plate of an amazingly spicy, mildly sour and very coconuty fish curry, dal, and rice.

It was food for my soul.

Lounging dogs on beaches, mermaid-hair fishing nets, and impossibly ancient and beautiful trees.

The most beautiful chapter of the whole trip, an idyllic afternoon spent basking in the intermittent sun and rain showers at the ancient fort, Cabo de Rama.

Sitting on the fort walls, watching the waves break and swivel on the rocky coast, and the fuzzy horizon far, far away...It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.

The fort is ancient, almost a thousand years old, I hear. In its midst is the most perfectly preserved church, and a thickly wooded forest. From all its walls, are majestic views of the Arabian sea, the far off Colva and Palolem beach stretches, and a magnificent rocky coastline.

The sea  gives you the best insight into what the earth is like. It creates a horizon, that you can convince yourself betrays a slight hint of the earth's curvature. You can see it stay slick on the sea-bed, many miles beneath, and you can see the sky, the wide, endless expanse above it. The clouds hint at the presence of air - that though seems free, is still shackled to the earth, bowing down to its hugeness.
I'm definitely returning, this time, with more time on my hands and a dash of immunity.


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