Girls Go Goa!!

Photo of Girls Go Goa!! by Varsha Narsaria

My husband took care of our toddler at home while I holidayed in Goa with my girl friends. Yes you read that correct. It really happened.

Goa trip with my girl gang had been on my bucket list ever since I was in school. And frankly with a baby on board, it was an item I never really expected to tick off, infamous as it is for getting cancelled at the eleventh hour. So the tickets were booked, reservations made, bags were packed, but till I finally boarded my flight for Goa, I did not let myself believe this was actually happening.

I was super excited, but also anxious in equal measure. You see I hardly ever leave my girl for three hours at a stretch, let alone for a three day trip. At the time of the trip I was still breastfeeding her (I am in the process of weaning as I write this), and she used to nurse to sleep. So how she’ll stay without me was a big question mark. Thanks to Mr. Husband (who convinced me in the first place that it’s okay to go on this holiday), things went pretty smoothly.

I landed in Goa, and in the airport had a bubbly reunion with three of my oldest and closest friends, who I have known for more than two decades. We could hardly contain our excitement upon seeing each other. There was another girl with us, a common friend, who was instantly part of the gang, thanks to matching brainwaves.

So us five girls, elated at having made to the coveted Goa trip, boarded our cab and set off for our villa in Varca. We had opted to go to South Goa which is much less touristy and more peaceful than its northern counterpart. I’ll be sharing our itinerary and the details of our stay very soon in a future post. This article is solely dedicated to my feelings associated with the trip.

The five of us were away from our daily chores and duties, from husbands/boyfriends and in laws, and in my case a baby. We only had each other for company, and with each other we could be our real selves. No pretenses, no fakeness, no false facades. I felt like I was a schoolgirl once again, stupid, silly, and carefree. Unlike my usual self who is trapped into adulthood and has to behave all grown up and sorted. (Thankfully in sharp contrast to my husband who I feel was born thirty years old.) There were no subtly laid down rules in which to behave. No one frowned if we behaved in “unladylike manner”, no one batted an eyelid if our shorts were “too short” (what do you expect? They are called shorts!) , we did not have to worry if our bra strap was showing, and did not need to seek permission to stay out late at night. All in all, the air of Goa had a strange feel on our skin. And that feeling was of Freedom.

We had endless gossip sessions for three days. We chatted while we had our meals, while we chilled on the beach, during commutes, while we shopped, late into the night before we slept, and literally any other free time there was left. I actually had a sore throat for a week ‘cause of talking too much! We caught up on each other’s lives and reminisced the old times. But unlike old times our conversations shifted from talking about crushes and leg pulling of teachers we didn’t like, to marriage and husbands, and about how we all feel the tight clutches of patriarchy around us now that we are facing the real world. Talking to each other we realized that regardless of how much a female studies or whatever career and life options she chooses, unfair treatment is meted out to her by the society. And we all agreed that more often than not, fellow women, our own sisters, had pulled us down, and not the opposite gender.

The feminists in all of us were in full blast. We had come a long way from being naive schoolgirls who thought they could conquer the world, to grown up women who now knew that a lot needed to be done just to loosen the suffocating clutches of patriarchy. In the end, (to exactly quote one of my friends), we were just glad to have a set of girl friends who will lift each other up, in a country where women turn up against women.

I am probably deviating from the topic. So coming back to the trip, those three days were by far the best of my life. We chilled, relaxed, roamed on scooties, laughed our loudest, and lived to the fullest. It was a dream come true. I don’t care how many times, and in how many ways I reiterate this, I’ll never be able to emphasize enough, how amazing this trip was for me.

Of course I kept missing my baby girl, specially when I saw other tourists with their kids. On the last day I saw a local woman with a baby in her arms and neared tears. The inevitable guilt struck from time to time. On my birthday (yes this trip coincided with my bday!), Mr Husband put our girl on video call and she started crying inconsolably. My heart was in pieces at the time. But I survived. I didn’t allow myself much guilt because I knew I deserved this break.

All too soon the holiday came to an end. On the last day we packed our shorts and spaghettis into our suitcases with a heavy heart, and donned jeans and t shirts. With memories for a lifetime (and a horrible tan to take care of), we left Goa. After this trip, Goa is no more just a place for me. It has become an emotion. And in future if and when I visit it, I’ll remember this epic trip and re live it through the pages of my diary.