Wave after wave of gurgling restlessness, tides growing bigger and powerful with every approach of an impatient and infatuated moon- hiding wild desires and passion behind the innocent glow of it’s crisp and soothing golden light. It bares itself with every passing hour , as if performing a divine striptease to appease it’s only love- the Earth. It’s only here-at the beaches and around the coastline does one get to see this harmonious and extravagant interaction of these 2 elemental bodies. The moon acquires a different beauty when hovering bright above the vast ocean. The ocean loses its inhibitions and the waves it’s boundaries, for both are drenched in ecstasy at the arrival of their companion, lover, and muse.
The vast, ending stretches of the ocean, the sheer size, depth, and volume of the sea, the incessant corridors of mangroves, long line of palm and coconut, and the nonchalant attitude of the locals.What an incredible contrast Goa so easily affords to the stressed, overworked , and restless citizens of India. Always prepared to present its magical assets without any partiality to anyone who walks it’s shores with a free spirit and mind. It’ s hard to comprehend what chance our small, petty problems of existence stands to bother us in this blue and carefree paradise.
The white sand envelopes my feet, and refuses to let go, as if telling me to restrict my pace and time- signalling to slow down and be at ease with the setting sun and the approaching dusk. “There’s no hurry” it seems to says, “for you are restricted and caged only inside the walls of a City, here-time has no meaning.Nothing to finish, nothing to hide, nothing to plan, nothing to fear, nothing to overcome- just a vast ocean welcoming you to surrender.This baggage that you hold dear- that is always hanging over your shoulder, filled with responsibilities, plans, material wishes, and regrets, just let go off it- at least while you are here.”
“Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.”
I was in Goa for 7 days and I had thought that it would be too much. My friend, who had been here many a times, told me- It won’t be, even a month would not suffice. And I realized what he meant when the next evening- we were sitting on the shore, with the evening sun about to disappear beyond the horizon, the water from the waves caressing the feet, enjoying a beer or two with uninterrupted silence and solitude. It was so alleviating, that one ended up following this routine for the rest of the trip without any feeling of guilt or monotonousness.
May be we were lucky we went in the middle of march, there was less crowd, less noise, and heat.But it all worked in our favor. Even the guy whose car I had struck and almost destroyed from behind, with my scooty, didn’t bat an eye.He just smiled from his driving seat and drove away. May be he was also intoxicated by the ambience or something strong, for If he had came out to see the damage, I am sure he would have been able to find a brilliant dent and an excuse to punch me in the face.
It was my first group trip. We were 8 in total.I almost always travel solo and had my apprehensions,but everyone ended up bonding and making compromises where required and came together to make this a wonderful experience. We all belonged to a different state, city, community, and perspective, with only one thing common- love and sensitivity for nature and its gifts. Hundreds of people were busy ordering stuff, dancing to the loud music in the shacks- shouting and falling over each other. Different noises came rambling to our ears, but all we could hear, was the rustling of the palm leaves, the sporadic crashing of the waves, and the whispers of the setting sun drifting inconspicuously behind the horizon, bidding goodbye to the infinite ocean.
We traversed different corners and beaches of North Goa. While the rest of the gang felt relaxed in the big SUV, I was happy driving my scooty behind them, as there was no need to ask for direction. I could just follow the car without any halts and the need to access google maps.The cafes and restaurants served delightful delicacies. I being a vegetarian, never felt out of place, among the hordes of meat and sea food lovers. The table was always crowded with prawns, lobsters , fish and crabs. They smell funny but looks delicious, only adding to wet my appetite.
Just going from one place to another was a delight on my Activa, for Goa boasts of an exceptional green cover. The streets and roads are lined with herds of Mango, cashew, pineapple and jack fruit and trees. Due to variation in altitude, soil, and weather at short distances, the flora and fauna is extremely diverse and consists of wide varieties of sub tropical tress like- Coconut palm, datura, banana, and papaya.But the driving force of economy are Coconut and Rice. Both are grown in large capacity by farmers in coastal areas, and the interiors of South Goa.The only wildlife we were able to spot were the Langurs, the stork-billed kingfisher, and some excessively inebriated tourists.
The lone drive on a scooty on the roads of Goa is nothing short of luxury. The cool air from the ocean hits your face like a blessing, the paddy fields and Coconut trees dance in great abandon, the people are in no hurry, the traffic is far from cumbersome, and the roads are wide, smooth and inviting.Most of the time the sea runs parallel for long distances, and you can’t help but doubt – whether the destination would be as wonderful and fulfilling as the journey.
I wonder if we give too much importance to our troubles of a workaday life, and problems inside the city. Or Is it just the effect of the enormous ocean, the breeze, the ambience, and the laid back lifestyle of Goa which helps us forget our worries- if only for a few days. It’s almost as if- at the beach, life attains a different pace and meaning. Time doesn’t move hour to hour, but mood to moment. One lives by the currents, plan by the tides and follow the sun- not a Clock, Boss, Money, or Spouse.
Joseph Conrad-who had gone out into the sea many a times, spending long days on ships, traversing different parts of the world over the ocean, had something beautiful to say from his experiences-“Love and regret go hand in hand in this world of changes-swifter than the shifting of clouds reflected in the mirror of the sea.The sea has always been the accomplice of human restlessness.It complains on a thousand shores.”
I was initially afraid to go far away into the ocean. The waves were huge and powerful. I had heard somewhere that on a high tide one could be carried away into the sea with the receding waves.I stepped inside and a huge way swept past over the shoulder, blasting me 10-15 meters ahead. My nose, eyes, and lungs were drenched with the salty water. Initially the eyes were itchy and the saltiness lingered long over the tongue, but sunlight helped to dry up faster and after few dives and playing in the water, I felt liberated and at ease with the ocean.
I loved how the beach became a small paradise of Joy and tranquility, where hundreds of people from different walks of life-some alone, some in groups- with friends, family, couples, gathered together to relax, unwind and detox. And after spending few hours on the shore-walking, contemplating, drinking, and conversing, left with an imperceptible sense of joy, peace, content, and much more.It’s like the sea helps to wash away all the worry, stress, and restlessness from each of us- carrying all of it with the receding water into the infinite depths of the ocean. How humbling is the ocean, after taking in so much- It remains calm and silent, never complaining or brooding.
It was now the last day of the trip. It was 6 in the evening.The sun had started to fade away. I was sitting on the beach with my friends, and a strange sense of sadness and longing started to press over the heart.I left the shack barefoot for a walk on the shore.The sea washed over my feet every now and then, as if seducing me to stay. I walked for hours traversing both the extremes of the shore.The clouds and sky were colored in a warm and majestic shade of purple, gold, blue and black.Dusk approached cautiously in small steps, exuding a sharp melancholy and an impending premonition of our dull, mundane existence in the city and the office.Back to the rat race- it seemed to say.
May be the hardest prisons to walk out off are the ones without a lock.
And What about you. Have you felt something like that at the end of a trip?Do you think you are restricted by the walls that you yourself created?
Comment below. I would love to hear