>Actually, Lucknow to Delhi to Bombay and then to Goa!
The Guy and I were going for a holiday without friends after 5 years, the last time being our honeymoon. So when we announced our plans to go to Goa, the perfunctory question was “With whom?” To be honest, that was also the question we asked ourselves when we started planning this holiday. But since friends couldn’t extricate themselves from their work at this time of the year, we took the plunge (or flight) with much hesitation on The Guy’s part and headed to the mecca of all holiday-goers in India not quite in the spirit of a second honeymoon as we were expected to.
Things didn’t quite begin well. We missed our flight from Delhi to Goa for no fault of ours (our train to Delhi got unnecessarily delayed) and were forced to spend the first day of our holiday whiling away the hours in the over-rated malls of Gurgaon. Thankfully, our travel agent managed to postpone our air tickets to the next day and we didn’t lose much money, though there was no way to make up for the lost time. As luck would have it, the flight decided to get late on the day we were boarding it so that we reached Goa only by evening.
Day One in Goa was spent ruing the fact that these beaches didn’t match up to the splendour of Gold Coast, but that was partially because we were at the wrong place – south Goa – for us at least. We hired a scooterette and I donned my most airy dress to find the popular Goa we had coming looking for. We found colourful houses – bright orange, purple, pink and yellow. We found multicoloured bougainvillea and we found the cool shades of palm-lined streets. But we did not find the Goa that we were looking for till next day. And then, we fell instantly in love with it!
In North Goa, there were the colourful street markets selling cheap wares, there were the picturesque and crowded beaches, the blue-green sea water and the craggy cliffs on the sides to give it character. There we found the beach shacks we had heard so much about and the multitudes who came from all over the country to make a living there: the masseuses from Karnataka who used cheap coconut oil to rub sundry parts of touristy bodies; the women from Madhya Pradesh who sold bracelets, anklets and necklaces to the easily-duped foreign tourists; the young nebulous girls who danced to the clanging of steel plates and shamed you with their brazenness; the waiters serving at the shacks who went back home to farming during the “off season”.
We also found there the sun-bathing tourists from colder places of the world ready to take off their bare minimums for that perfect tan. Inspired by them, The Guy and I also lounged under the shade of the beach umbrellas, enjoying the cool breeze at the seaside but desisting the sun with sun block, glares and hats. You would be jealous, won’t you, if I told you it was awesome to be lying on the beach in the middle of the day, allowing yourself to float back and forth in a sea of sleepiness. Well, so envy me because that’s exactly what we did – me, in my shortest, skimpiest, strappiest piece of clothing, The Guy unconcerned about what he was wearing.
And then there were the water sports! Considering that I cannot save to swim my life, which is the least you should know of swimming, I was scared stiff by the vast expanse of never-ending sea that was to be the arena for all these water sports. I managed the para sailing and the jet ski, but for the “bumpy ride” I took about two days to gather the courage. After great reassurance from the fellow steering the motor boat that pulled my “bumpy” that I would not die, I overcame my fear and held on to the boat for my dear life till I came back to the shore intact.
To watch the sun being gobbled up by the huge waves of a sea turning orange, golden and then black from a pristine daytime blue sounds only beautiful but it looks absolutely delectable! The two of us would sit by the beach, The Guy downing his Carlsbergs and Budweisers and me sipping on Long Island Iced Tea and Breezers, and watch the sun go down on the sea and savour the moment because we knew we had to be back to our monotonous routine in days.
Of course, we tried to be “good” tourists and see some of the must-visit tourist spots. That took us to St. Xaviers church in Old Goa. Unfortunately, the excited tourist in me did not feel the calm and the peace that the church should have brought me. I was awed by the beauty and fascinated by the photo-ops that they provided me. I’m ashamed to say I exploited the church to feed the vanity of the shutterbug in me. On second thoughts, I don’t think I’m so ashamed.
Coming back to the action, the clubbing would have been so much more fun with friends (actually, the whole trip would have been) but we ventured into Mambo’s on a retro night and loved that we were dancing to our childhood songs. That we were surrounded by the “chooda party”, as The Guy liked to call the newly-weds, did make us feel a tad aged, but we whatever-ed the situation and enjoyed as much as a five-year old couple can.
The surprise element of the trip has to be that I didn’t shop much. Read that again – “shop much”, this is not to say that I did not shop at all. I did – as much as I should days before heading to Bombay.
So there, now you even know where I’m heading next.
(For the pictures, check out my other blog.)