Saturday, November 03, 2007

My Goa trip: A dampener

First of all my sincere apologies for a long siesta (10 days) from my posts. But it was not without reason. I had lost all motivation to blog again. Nature/fate/things usually take the other way round teasingly when you are actually expecting them to happen in a particular way, as if saying,"You are nothing dude in front of me! I am the master of fate. Let me decide what should happen, what should not". I have been bracing myself up with a lot of anticipation and excitement since a couple of months for this Goa trip. But it turned into a damp squib in the end, where because of personal reasons I had to leave Goa immediately after the conference. I have always heard about expecting the best, and preparing for the worst. But I had no reason to prepare for the worst. It was all emaculately planned. A company sponsored trip, manager agreed extension for 2 days, and a stay at a hotel by the beach. I was all euphoric, happy and gay about the Goa days. But everything crashed like pack of cards.

The little that I saw about Goa was only within the 3 hours I had with me before my scheduled bus' departure. And 3 hours is a cheap bargain in comparison to 3 days that I had planned to spend there after the conference. And the worst of all I did not have my camera with me. All in all a recipe for a spoiler.

So, hoping against hope, trying to salvage something out of the trip, I made up my mind to make the most of those three hours. While ambling across the bylanes of Panaji jetty road with curious eyes absorbing as much they could, I heard a coarse broken voice asking me for a taxi. When I said no, he asked if i needed a bike. My face glowed with his offer. I knew I could get a bike on rent in Goa. But wasn't sure if I could get them for a few hours. Without further ado, I was all by myself on the roads of Panaji on a Honda Activa. A little later on the road, I was stopped by a small boy asking for a hitch hike. I was glad to offer him a ride. First, I had some company to talk to in this foreign land and second, he could also be my local guide. And I was pleasantly awed with his knowledge about the place for his age. He said he wouldnt mind accompanying me if I treated him with icecream. It was a deal. Trying hard to impress me with his broken English, he was throwing me facts which all looked so insincere. I asked him to talk in Hindi and as expected his Hindi was far better. I was beginning to enjoy his company and liked the spirit behind his little frame. We reached Calnagute crossing some breathtaking country roads. Seeing him have his icecream told me that this was a rare privilege for him. I also offered him money for his bus ride back home from Calangute. The beach put me off, since it looked like infested with hordes of insects, read tourists. I like empty beaches, unadulterated, pristine. Just like the one by my hotel.
I moved from the beach and wandered through the rabbit warren roads of Calangute. And I have one recommendation for all of you. Dont miss roaming(on a two wheeler) around the inside roads of Calangute. These roads amidst greenery on either sides are alluringly dotted with pretty little shops, and eating joints, each offering a unique ambience and look that were treat to your eyes. I was missing my camera dearly. Not being able to resist, I got into one of the joints for some coffee and couldnt help spotting a konkani gal looking at me for some strange reason. Gathering guts, quite unlike my temperament, I tried to strike a conversation(hoping to get some story for my blog) and the response was indeed encouraging. But even before it had begun she gave a look at her watch and parted saying, "My mom is very strict. I have to guy. bye". I could only smile to myself at this antithesis. ;)

With these few memories of my little guide, the calangute roads, the konkani gal, I driften back in mind and body to the pick up point of my bus. Though my stay was shortlived, the brief breezy brush with Goa provided me a trailer for much more it had to offer. And I left it with a promise to return back soon.

I would leave you with some pictures that I could manage to collect from members at the conference that should act as a healing balm for my wrecked mood.


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