We just returned from Goa. Left Bangalore on the previous sunday on a burst of enslaved will- with COVID practically cutting off most non-essential travel.
We stayed at the Sibaya resort on Morjim beach, North Goa. I had booked the place for three nights without seeing the reviews, which were all negative. The stay, however, was a pleasant revelation- a first in Goa. The staff was courteous, the rooms spacious and beautifully maintained for a property right on the beach, and the adjoining restaurant (called Saz On the Beach) has the most beautiful views of the evening sun. We saw the sun set into the ocean every evening. Well, not exactly in the ocean as some clouds on the horizon would curtail the last few minutes. But the golden glimmer of the long beach stretched out end-to-end called us every evening.
It had been bright and shiny the morning we reached the Mapusa bus stand. That’s where our bus from Bangalore had dropped us. After a walk along the wrong direction, we took an auto for Morjim that charged us Rs 500/- for a 20 km trip, which I felt was a little high. By the time we reached the hotel, it had suddenly become clouded grey, had rained and and had stopped, but the clouds were still out in the sky. We were allowed an early check-in at 10:00 AM thanks to the pleasant personality of Mr. Ranjan who hails from Darbhanga. I have always had an unreasonable affinity for people from Darbhanga and the Mithila region, perhaps due to my long friendship with Mota. Ranjan has been in Goa for past 14 years, he says. That’s enough time to be naturalized to any life- shore or snow. And naturalized he is- just as relaxed and calm as the everyday Goan.
In the evenings, we would go on walks along the Ashwem stretch. The little shanties along the margins had few visitors but all sparkled in yellow warmth. Gusts of wind would carry bohemian songs from distant lands, now treated as endemic to Goa. We had not booked any motor-vehicle for our stay this time, so this stretch of sand was all we had. There are rocks jutting out in the sea at places along the shore, but the rest of the beach is non-threatening for a swim. The waves were harsh the first two days because of the turbulent weather(there was a cyclone warning out) but eventually the sea turned into a calm and undulating cradle with just the right temperature. On the last day, we were in the water for 3 hours straight, without a shiver.
The return journey from Goa has always been sad. Leaving all that bright sunshine and a world or carelessness. I kept mapping all the places and my past visits from Morjim until Cancona. Thanks to google timeline and modern human tracking every second, I know of all my prior visits to the state. June 2017 was the first time I went to Goa. Now that we are back in Bangalore, we are back to the routine ebb and flow of routine life. Work and weekends, and the cycle again. Maybe one day my books will go viral and I can spend my rest of days from beaches and mountains far away from the need of cities.