Saturday, February 13, 2010

Notes from travels - Goa

This past month has been about the traveling. I started out in Haridwar for the Kumbh, then Goa, Bombay and back to Haridwar. Threw in a bit of Rishikesh and Dehradun for good measure.
Throughout, I journaled furiously - mostly one liners that captured the moment like the millions of photographs I took. Here are some snippets from Goa...

On the flight from Delhi to Goa:
Plying myself with Vitamin C as I pray to the Gods that I don't fall sick.
I suspect Goa will be overrun with newly-weds
Overheard at baggage claim: Aisey tho koi bhi, kisi ka bhi bag chura ke lejaa sakta hai...

Horrid head cold kept me awake all night.
First glimpse of Anjuna and got tipsy on first beer of the trip.
N and I can't stop chattering, we're still buzzed from the big city life.
Made poor jokes about fat Indian men in their VIP chuddees.
Turns out, seeing Rock On's director was not the highlight of the trip, because guess who called?

Swam in the ocean for the first time ever. Indescribable feeling. Must make friends with the waves in order to not get thrashed around. Took some time. Have wicked gashes on knee from early attempts at keeping balance.
Cow attacked our fake hash browns.
N & I have never looked hotter.
This was supposed to be my Decade of No Fear & letting go. Am sincerely trying to do both. Therefore having more fun.

Anjuna 2
Walked along the length of the beach dressed in next to nothing but I couldn't care less.
Cries of 'Come look my shop' punctuate the perfect setting.
I feel right for the first time in a long, long time. Perhaps, ever.
Out on a bike! :)
Exorcised demons on the cliffs of Vagator.
Long haired man yet to appear.
Morning starts at 7am on an empty beach. Suprabhatam.
Absolutely overshot my budget. I am now poor.
Baga, crowded, is no fun. Must venture beyond the staple tourist spots.
Goa has a soundtrack. Everywhere you go, there is music. Never incongrous, always suiting the moment.

Snorkeling at Grand Island:
We board the Prince of Tides. It takes us past the mansion estate of Jimmy-The Diamond Merchant. My inquiries about his marital status invite laughter but no concrete information.
I wave at 2 gentlemen perched on the wall of a building overlooking the ocean. Capn of our boat informs us I am making friendly gestures to inmates of the Goa prison, who are "drug dealers, murderers and kill-lers."
We sail past the Governor's residence also known as 'Goa's Prime Minister's House'.
Crazy Russian lady yells at me because she thinks I'm stealing her fat husband's snorkels. Bitch.
Snorkeling was fun. This time was rookie lesson. Next time I'll be one with the universe.

Arpora Night Market:
Crazy overpriced shit. Nice music everywhere. Strange tension between desis and firangs. Or is it my imagination.
N and I have been told that if we look cool enough, we'll get invited to a rave. We walk past the guy with the pamphlets. Twice. I guess we're not cool enough.

Om Cafe, Anjuna:

Perfect black coffee. Perfect music (a cover of 'In My Life'), perfect scenery and sound of the ocean. Enough fuel to keep me going for months.
Congratulations God, you did good.
N & I have done Goa with a minimum of intoxicants in our bloodstreams. Yet, the mind-body-soul connect could not be more complete. I feel Whole. Bliss....
I'm beginning to sound like Sunny Jetson, so will stop here.
Mildly bothered that he hasn't called but too sunkissed to dwell on it.

Riding to Arambol:
It comes highly recommended as a beach where 'Indian tourists don't go'. So, we set off to find it.
The drive turns out to be longer than imagined. 45 minutes away from Anjuna. It is stunning.
For women who have been raised in the North and are trained to be paranoid about traveling alone at night to strange places, the ride is the most liberating one imaginable.
On the way back, long after the sun has set, we put the fear in our pockets and look up to see the beautiful star-speckled sky.
Something inside both N & I has changed. It's allowed us to redefine our notions of 'safe' and 'unsafe'. We ride in perfect ecstasy.

I leave Goa with a bizarre tan brought on by beach head-massage oil and sunglasses. Bombay up next.

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