Sunday, 5 April 2015

Beyond Life

No, you don't need to be a photographer to capture life.

With three years of college life behind and few months left ahead of me, I along with my most close buddies, Sheekha, Ankit and Neha, decided to take our first trip together. To the very place where the beauty of its atmosphere cut the very link of attachment to the rest of the world. A week after we made our plans, we packed our luggage and headed for the biggest tourist hub of India, GOA.

I could not say for everybody but for me it was the first time that I had been to such a place where even the sun scorched with a hint of politeness. The leaning coconut tress on either side of the road seemed to welcome their guests. The warm sound of the waves crashing on the shores and the scent of the wet sand gave a mesmerising feeling. The slender streets snaked through the city surrounded by the green.

The people there were polite, gentle and ever ready to help. They were unlike those impatient workaholics who lacked the responsibility to consider your problems. One day when I followed my friend when he had to buy a pack of smokes, he asked an elder shopkeeper for the place where he could buy those. He explained the route in the kindest manner, asked where he lived and conversed with him for quite some time. I mean, who has the time to be interested in knowing a stranger these days. An utterly bored idle person maybe, but not a shopkeeper of course. We left him with his business and bid adieu by exchanging smiles. A kind, gentle fellow he was.

Oh, and let me not forget to mention the beverages that you could get there at cheap rates. The biggest boon for some people.

Everyday was spent by waking up,  indulging in our phone searching for places to visit and setting them on our GPS. Same old routine felt so exciting those days, so much different from what it is today. The daily breakfast of bread and butter with a green coriander chutney . Little distasteful but again, it was new for us and anything new is always welcome.

The long rides on rented mopeds with those dull helmets which looked like inverted lid of some utensil. The rides were mostly long rides as we took our resort away from the beaches. The first evening were spent witnessing the sunset at Baga Beach. We left the place at the break of dusk and decided to come back again. We did, two times. And later wished we never should had made the third visit.

We made the second visit at midnight as we wanted to feel the night life. We chose a table nearest to the beach where the soothing sound of crashing sea waves felt more alive. Sheekha sat beside me. The breeze was colder than we anticipated. She crossed her arms tight in an attempt to shadow the bare portion of her body. Neha and Ankit sat on another table adjacent to ours. The stark naked sky hovering above looked so beautiful and calm. We looked at the motionless sparkling stars above and tried to make any pattern while waiting for our food to arrive. We could hear the cheerful laughter from the next table, laughter of Ankit and Neha. And I got a momentary reckoning that instant. How beautifully life changed for us withing a span of days. Everything seemed so beautiful and out of the ordinary. It vexed me to know that one day this was about to get over.

Too good a night it was, and the food, DELICIOUS.

Of all the beaches we visited there, Vagator Beach and Mandrem Beach were among the most serene beaches. Often referred as the Lonely Planet, the gold sparkling salt sand of Mandrem Beach reflected beautifully during the sunset while the sea breeze was soother at Vagator Beach. And of course the forts, the most remarkable and memorable attribute of Goa. Chapora Fort and Aguada Fort, they still stood tall after decades only to make us see the entirety of scenic beauty. The miles of green stretch and miles of sea water scattered all around us.

And then arrived the night of horror when we made our third and last visit to Baga Beach. After finishing our dinner we were about to leave when suddenly I realised that I had forgotten to pick up my cellphone from the table. I rushed back but unfortunately the tables were picked up and restaurant was closed down. After hours of searching, loud heated quarrel between the restaurant crew and Sheekha, searching again, I realised something. I realised that the phone was not the only thing I forgot to pick up. I could not find the moped keys in my pocket. And my room keys too.

That night feels like a nightmare today but still it remains the brightest memory in my mind. That night we spent looking over each other. Scared, not for ourselves but for each other. We found my cellphone after some time but not the keys. We sat there till four in the morning fearing that if we leave, those people at the restaurant would come with the keys and steal our moped. How foolish of us. Nobody steals a rented vehicle.

Then when we got to our senses we decided to go back and then return in the morning with a keymaker. We still had the key of one moped. We made two trips and reached our resort, made the guard to break the lock and slept like babies.

Our hearts were warm with remorse on the final day of our stay. Bidding final goodbye to Ria and Zora ( the resort managers), we pulled our luggage into the cab and left for the railway station. For the last time we looked outside to the polite scorching sunlight and the bent coconut trees marking our departure. For the last time we made witness to the green landscape around us. The slender streets and the snaking turns. Farewell Goa.

Stealing sunset at Baga Beach.

Groupfie at Vagator Beach.
The four of us.

Aguada Fort.