A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa

Tripoto
5th Mar 2014

Goa is one of those places that you think would have worn out its welcome by now. Having consistently been on every college student's bucket list for more than a decade, it reeks of the mal-effects of sudden and unbridled tourism: overcrowded, filthy and increasingly unsafe. As a result, it is no longer a beach destination as much as it is a party central, with neon-signboarded clubs and music festivals becoming its biggest draw.

Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 1/16 by Arundhati Sridhar
Vagator Beach
Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 2/16 by Arundhati Sridhar
Anjuna Beach
Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 3/16 by Arundhati Sridhar
Sunset at Anjuna
Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 4/16 by Arundhati Sridhar
Brittos in the early morn
Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 5/16 by Arundhati Sridhar
Dessert at Brittos
Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 6/16 by Arundhati Sridhar
Calangute at an unearthly hour
Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 7/16 by Arundhati Sridhar
The 'Dil Chahta Hai' Fort
Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 8/16 by Arundhati Sridhar
Breakfast at Infantaria
Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 9/16 by Arundhati Sridhar
Breakfast of champions
Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 10/16 by Arundhati Sridhar
Journey to Goa
Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 11/16 by Arundhati Sridhar
Goa in the rains - brilliantly beautiful
Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 12/16 by Arundhati Sridhar
Monkeying at Palolem Beach
Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 13/16 by Arundhati Sridhar
Sunset at Palolem
Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 14/16 by Arundhati Sridhar
Utorda beach - stunner
Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 15/16 by Arundhati Sridhar
Utorda in south Goa
Photo of A Teetotaler's Guide to Goa 16/16 by Arundhati Sridhar

It was with all of these stereotypes firmly making a home in my head that I first (very tentatively) landed in Goa. Friends laughed at me as I was making these plans. A party-allergic teetotaler vegetarian in Goa seemed like a character straight out of a Bollywood slapstick comedy. It didn't help that I was a complete mountain person, far preferring the crisp air of the Himalayas to the muggy humidity of the beach. Even as we checked in to our hotel near Baga at 10am after having passed completely deserted roads strewn with empty liquor bottles, I considered cutting the trip short, having never felt more out of place with all my sunrise-loving early morning ways.

What happened in the next week, then, was something out of a sappy romantic comedy. I fell in love. With the most unlikely character. I fell in love with Goa and how it made me feel. As we rode two-wheelers through gorgeous back-alleys with quirky little homes, as we sat and sipped fresh strawberry juice at one of the many temporary shacks by the sea, as we strolled in our summery dresses through the flea markets, as we sang ourselves hoarse at a karaoke on the beach – more than what Goa was, it was what it made me feel.

Young, attractive, independent, alive. Even as my friends drank their way through bottles and bottles of Kings beer, exclaimed at the deliciousness of all the seafood, and even managed to drag me to a club or two, I remember not once thinking that I was a misfit, or that my lifestyle choices were in any way curbing my ability to live it up.

16 Comment(s)
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Nice photos Arundhati. Were these captured in the same trip? You've been lucky to have seen some sun during the monsoon( looking at your chapora fort greenery)
Sun 04 03 16, 14:21 · Reply · Report
Photo of Krishna Vishwanath
Krishna Vishwanath
Hi Ms Arundhati....pl don't get me wrong !!! ...I actually have all the reasons to think that you've copied my mind..... Reasons : a) Travel and vacations are synonymous with the Himalayas for me....b) absolute teetotaller and veggie....c) m in love with Goa ...my accompanies to Goa ever since I left Bombay and landed up at Mangalore have just been own ride n a couple of books I carry along!!!...
Wed 06 24 15, 12:34 · Reply (1) · Edit · Delete ·
Hi Arundhati.. I too feel like we are like minded persons.. In love with goa in spite of being veggie and not in love with much parties.. Sunrise and driving through the roads of Goa fascinates me..
Mon 10 09 17, 08:46 · Report
Photo of Krishna Vishwanath
Krishna Vishwanath
Hi Ms Arundhati....pl don't get me wrong !!! ...I actually have all the reasons to think that you've copied my mind..... Reasons : a) Travel and vacations are synonymous with the Himalayas for me....b) absolute teetotaller and veggie....c) m in love with Goa ...my accompanies to Goa ever since I left Bombay and landed up at Mangalore have just been own ride n a couple of books I carry along!!!...
Wed 06 24 15, 12:34 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of Krishna Vishwanath
Krishna Vishwanath
Hi Ms Arundhati....pl don't get me wrong !!! ...I actually have all the reasons to think that you've copied my mind..... Reasons : a) Travel and vacations are synonymous with the Himalayas for me....b) absolute teetotaller and veggie....c) m in love with Goa ...my accompanies to Goa ever since I left Bombay and landed up at Mangalore have just been own ride n a couple of books I carry along!!!...
Wed 06 24 15, 12:34 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of Aradhana Bakshi
Aradhana Bakshi
Nice read!
Sat 04 25 15, 17:07 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
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