My wife & I – felt exhausted and was in need of a certain getaway before insanity crept in. So, next questions were obviously, where to, how long and when. Three months of discussions, arguments, travel websites, travel blogs, weather channel and more discussions led us nowhere. Unavailability of leaves made the wait hellish. The pendulum swung from Kashmir to North East; from Singapore to Dubai; from Maldives to Andaman. And yet, we didn’t think those were any good (how stupid!). We had been to Goa and it was never considered in our current research. Out of the blue, I suggested Goa, to the initial bewilderment but to a slow excitement, the motion was adopted. We loved the place. Even joked about finding a job in that state and moving there. The place had such an impact on us. Not sure why but maybe due to the fact that both love beach and we didn’t have any complaints last time. When we vacationed at North Goa previously, we thought that’s what Goa is all about, that’s how all of Goa must be. Casual conversation with a taxi driver on the way back to the airport (yea, on the way back!), gave some insights to Goas we have not seen and must try. The excitement became skepticism and finally, an acceptance.
But there was one problem. It was mid summer. And the state was sweltering around 40 degree Celsius.
That didn’t evaporate our spirit as we zeroed in on South Goa. The bookings were made in just two weeks’ notice. Thankfully, it was off-season and we were able to find a villa where we wanted to stay.
This certainly is not a beach guide, nor is it intended to be that way. It’s just romanticizing the beauty of the state and it’s people.
The drive from airport to the hotel gave a glimpse of what was in store for the week – Sun, heat, more sun and cool breeze from trees all around offering shelter with least pollution possible. Narrow roads, as one would expect in Kerala with small mounds, multiple curves (the road, ahem!), coconut and other trees, small churches and above all the laid back and relaxed traffic. Some of the houses on the way still remain in my heart and folks who call those home are blessed.
The beauty of the roads and the drive of close to one hour emptied the madness I, rather we, left behind in Chennai. The trauma, the agony and quite a few things that cannot be said in a public domain were put to rest, not by the mind with all its power, but by the sheer beauty of the land.
There is a peace, an unknown peace in this place, probably caused by penchant to this place or is it so for all who travel there?
The land, mind you, was still hiding the sea. Our mirth couldn’t be controlled and we had a relief, a huge relief. Yes, we were at the right place. I murmured, “this is not the bucket list, this is the list!” Staying at Adyar, that too hardly one and half kilometer from a beach, never bored us from seeing the sea again and again and every day. The vastness of the sea, the serenity of the horizon, the beauty of the sand and the magic in the waves can never be too boring, can it?
Our car cruised through those narrow roads and at times, if we are lucky, we would get a glimpse of some stretch which might lead to what I saw as sea. Two kids in a ‘cotton’ candy store.
Finally, we arrived at our hotel – hidden behind an unassuming road, full of greenery, birds chirping – we entered the lobby and were greeted with smiles, none seemed artificial. Still no sight of the beach. The ‘few’ minutes that it took to allot a room only increased the impatience to finally get a glimpse of the fabled sea, not because it was a different beach, not because seas are different, not because we knew what to expect in a Goan beach, not because we were over expecting something, not because it was madness but because it was Goa, that’s it. Across the swimming pool, past the golf course, there it was, the naked beauty which no one objects to, devoid of polluting humans, unadorned yet jewel like, austere in surrounding yet ornate in beauty.
Checking in, we treated us to certainly one of the best breakfast buffet you can ever have anywhere, served by most courteous staff and none seemed artificial, at the Taj Exotica.
Morning sun was unforgiving but still, it’s Goa! The beach was as empty as can be with just one shack open for the entire stretch. The sand was white and welcoming and the waves were rhythmic.
A place where 80-year-old becomes a child, a place where a grandma cries in laughter, a place where identity is lost for good, a place where lullaby is sung by mother nature, a place where people come to be happy, just happy and nothing else. Alas, this is what life is, in pursuit of happiness.
I hope to write the main act soon.