The Goa Diaries 3: The Great Goa Experience
A trip with the family is always fun. A trip to Goa makes it all the more enjoyable. My Goan experience was a mixed bag. Open this bag and you’ll see some amazing sleepy town imagery, winding drive-me-happy roads and authentic Goan cuisine. On the other hand, the shades of grey that Goa has to offer form a rather murky image.
But my experience in Goa was mostly happy. I drove around in my rental, got lost with the help of my GPS but in the process found natural beauty. And that’s what’s magical about Goa. It’s perhaps the best place to get lost for every corner seems to tell a tale. Perhaps I am romanticizing. But that’s how Goa is; she’s like that mistress who’ll give you pleasure, hear your sorrow, heal your pain, yet you’ll never admit about knowing her to society, for knowing her might be considered taboo. Longing for her company might be considered unconventional and living with her unacceptable.
Any city dweller will go to Goa, use her for fun and come back to hypocrisy. But move beyond the Bollywood image that is just a cliché and rather disheartening and then magically Goa has a lot to offer. And definitely much more than the dope culture that Goa has become synonymous with.
I must confess that I fell in love with Goa. I told her that I believe in her and that I am in awe of her. But housing the idea of living in Goa seemed as futile as domesticating a mistress. For one day the inevitable will happen. We city folks can only get jealous of the leisure the locals seem to enjoy.
As for the quality of life in Goa, if you can enjoy slow service but delicious food, while sitting in a rustic, cozy, merrily painted restaurant then you’ll be a very happy tourist. My patience level seemed to increase automatically in Goa. Perhaps it was simply because the meal at the end of the wait would be lip smacking.
I have been to so many restaurants with amazing ambience and mediocre food and it was wonderful to experience the completely opposite. It is difficult to pen down how it feels when one sits by the roadside in a dilapidated joint, perhaps one which may feel uncomfortable initially but ultimately gives you what you were looking for- the authentic delicious Goan experience.
Goa made me realize that God is in simplicity, pleasure is in a cup of tea and happiness is a religion. If only people heard what Goa actually had to say and not just believe in this misconstrued perception of Goa. It’s not important how you’re seen on the beach; it’s important what you see. In fact forget seeing, have you ever tried closing your eyes on the beach and simply listen to the waves; an experience unavailable in Delhi.
I’m back in Delhi but my heart is still in Goa. Why I’m not sure. Goa has its share of sadness too. From the rowdy groups of people at the beach to the little girls selling radium bangles late at night. Even the coconut seller who told us the Goan coconut was bitter and that’s the reason why they get all their coconuts from Kerala- a story which turned out to be a blatant lie. But all this rubbish aside, when I remember Goa, I remember the natural wonders, the happy roads, the poorly constructed yet delightful homes.
Seems like my affair with Goa isn’t over yet…