Goa isn’t exactly known for its diaries but may be after I write, it will..
For those who do not know, I visited Goa between June 7 and 10. Since friends were busy and none of them was unlucky enough to be forced to join me, I made the trip alone.
Sunday June 8
I didn’t really follow the transition from June 7 to June 8. It all seemed like an unending, uncomfortable and, if I may add, unsuccessful, attempt to sleep in that bus. I almost saw the night through! Anyway, morning arrived as the bus stopped for chai and nastaa, near Kankavli. The dark clouds hovering above were making me nervous. They seemed like the dark-suited representatives of all those who said it was pointless going to Goa in the rains. With the fear of a washout looming over my head, I settled for chai. As I read the Goa edition of the TImes of India or let me be honest, Goa Times/Panjim Times or whatever it is called, I found an unexpected ally. On the cover of that paper was a ‘slimmer by 10kg Manisha Koirala’ who screamed out, ‘Goa is heavenly during rains’. Good morning, I told myself!!
The remaining few hours of the journey to Panjim were, well forgettable, as the buswala continued his streak of worse-follows-bad movies with ‘My name is Anthony Gonzalves’ after last night’s show of ‘Jannat’. But that gave me a chance to capture the wet reception on my lens
As the clock struck 10:30am, the wheels of my bus ceased to roll. I and Panjim were finally together! Thanks to an old rickshaw driver, I got a good room at a good hotel, Hotel Baretton. What more, I even managed a discount! Anyway, so I went up, brushed, took a bath, emptied myself of all the worldly belongings (actually Mumbai-ly belongings) and waited for Sylvester to arrive, which in a few minutes, he did.
Na..my door didn’t rattle when he knocked or I didn’t feel guilty for not going to the gym on seeing his physique. As I opened the room door, there he stood in front of me – all of 5ft, thin and smiling. The sweet guy that he was, he handed over to me the keys of the bike, which was to be my sole partner throughout the trip.
Sylvester gone, I came down and after briefly taking directions from the receptionist, embarked on the 40km journey to Arambol, which later seemed a little more than that. Why there? Well, Archie and family were there so I thought I would meet up. I have never felt it so strongly, as I did during my bike ride to Arambol, that in a sea of unknown faces, it can be a really tempting thought that of getting to see even one known face. Rains, lack of direction, cooperative Goans, they all helped me reached Archie’s place where I was treated to egg bhurjee, which was yummm! On top of that, little Ruhaan was there too….more yummm! Warm food, warm people and naturally a good time, what more can you ask for in an alien land!
Later on, Archie showed me around the place, we visited the Arambol beach and returned. Since the rain clouds were all ganging up, I didn’t wish to take chances. Besides, I had only recently realised that rains and bike can stretch distances a tad too far.
Once inside the safe confines of Hotel Baretton, I washed my clothes and briefly went out to dine before I dozed off. Well, I had a lot of catching up to do there.