A trip to Goa! … What would your first thought be? ??
Beautiful beaches, sunsets and sunrise at the beach, drinking and partying at the beach, soaking oneself in the sand at the beach, few might work on their tan, the whole cacophonous crowd at the beach, some usual rides in the sea, a swim and fun in the water, resorts facing the beach, oh yes ! Those colourful two piece show offs at the beach…. Beach, Beach, Beach …. And all about Beach!
Next thought probably would be to hit out at some famous pubs, making sure of grabbing those cheaper tax exempted liquor bottles (with or without permit). (Sorry could not capture pic of this one and cheaper fuel.
Apart from this anything else you can think of? Cheaper dry fruits if you have added more…! Anything else?
May be…/… May not be.
Well let me introduce to something which one in general tends to miss for being drowned in the artificially hyped ways of having fun by many.
“Oh, Goa!! Great yaar ENJOYYY…” is what I get to hear from every friend of mine when they come to know about my next energy audit project is scheduled in Goa. They hardly have an idea about the hectic work schedules we get grinded into during travel at field projects. With clients expecting us to find them some hidden Golden Egg Duck (Energy savings) in their plant within the stipulated time, we are supposed to hunt down every nook and corner of the plant to find the Duck.
So how can I enjoy my travel? Pretty simple… Love the work and everything good happens.
Goa…obv that it is one such place where my eyes “particularly” and “unexpectedly” has lost its virginity back then during my first visit to this place in 2nd year of Engineering just at the entrance of the Calingut Beach. Nicknamed it as the Sin City of India ( I know its not a city…just named after a movie). The term “interesting” was like a cat on the wall to me regarding in this place. Everything this place is known for is either due to its mostly untouched and undisturbed culture (pity on rest of India), curious to know history, Casinos to crimes, masthi to murder, dudes and dolls to dopes….or purely boringly hyped activities like International Butterfly Watching! (Coded).
Happened to look at this place with this conventional perception during my first two visits here during my college days on the eve of some technical fests at BITS, Goa. For a self-imposed innocent guy like me, inevitably I was bound to get bored. It was some time then after trekking onto some fort on a hill top from the Vagatur beach (nothing professional… had to climb for not knowing the correct route to top); nature’s beauty and the Sea’s fury in Goa finally caught my eye. “I would totally concentrate on this nature’s if at all I again visit Goa”, is what I thought. (Ya Ya You are free to debate even the two piece is part of nature…!)
Obvious that we were some bunch of folks with all that madness and me a super self-obsessed one to trouble anyone around for getting my perfect pic :D. So guys… don’t expect me to do the same with the colleagues during travel :).
The next two visits as an onsite project during work introduced me to the existing but mostly ignored face of Goa. It was just like “Opportunity strikes when least expected”. 3rd and 4th visits to this mystical place (changed my perception on Goa now) was during Off-Season (Month of May-June and Aug-September). I felt so so lucky and yup could not ask for more.
Did you know that Western Ghats spreads over 600 Sq. km extending for over 125 km in Goa? With widest belts of these Ghats in Goa, it is just so jewelled with many streams and rivers. About 20% of the state’s total geographical area is under wildlife protected areas. Of course stuff like this can always be explored in internet. It’s the job of the tourism dept.
“Oh bechara off-season pe jaraha he… zyaada kuch ni hoga dekhne ke liye” were the comments friends shoot in. M pretty sure they are bound to be jealous when they get to know my 10 days in Grand Hayat, Goa and then a week’s stay amongst the lush green nature at Verna where the morning concert by the variety of birds greets Good Morning !. My favourites include the Peacock’s morning raagas. Truly refreshing one could expect their mornings to be.
Many pop in and out of this place for holidays, fun, work etc. Nothing beats the train journey to reach this place. The best part is the ride through those western Ghats where the train struggles to move along those curvy hills. Of course those sluggish diesel engines spoil the rhythm. Castle Rock still stands as my favourite station in these Ghats. Compelled by the beauty of those hills full of life, I am always in Awe..! No matter how many times I go, I bet my reaction would not change.
Very often while returning from Goa to Bangalore, as usual standing at the door, I try to grab in the beauty of the nature… through my eyes as much as possible, Just like some really hungry guy starving and craving for such visual treat since the last visit. Prefer not to concentrate on taking pics especially on this part of the trip.
Two hours from Vasco and people start gearing up with their high end sophisticated cameras. The crowd assembles near the doors. Probably somewhere near the popular Doodhsagar water falls on the way. Strange but true, I get to see how weird people are. Holding an SLR, people are on picture clicking marathon, oh yeah especially with a flash on for a scenic view? Really! I did read on Facebook long time back, “Every person with an SLR need not be Photographer…” So so true. I feel so pity on them for actually not enjoying what is ought to be enjoyed!
Did someone say that there is some off-season in Goa? I would argue that there is no better time to be in Goa than the monsoons. With the entire place goes green, land comes alive with fresh water streams and wild flowers sprout. How about river rafting, waterfalls and of course getting wet in the rain?
What a revitalising experience it would be to drive along the Goan country side! Of course there are always those forts you can trek and churches to pray and embrace the archaic touch.
Always wanted to walk through that tunnel near Dudhsagar…wonder when. Sunset and Sunrise are much pleasant at the deserted serene beaches.
This is also the time where even premium hotel rates are slumped down drastically. One of the editions of “Goa Streets” that I picked up at the resort I was staying in recently said that a Rs. 45 k room in peak season at The Leela Goa is available for Rs. 9k!!! in Monsoons.
Given the hectic work throughout the day and the basic borrowed point and shoot camera in hand I did try to manage few clicks.
So next time when you head on to a holiday… I hope you are not charging in like a bull trying to get hold of some vague red flag. Infact charge your cameras, take your time, feel anf enjoy your surroundings, you might find joy even in small things.
All in All I did miss my bike (cycle). Felt like just diving into those grassy juicy terrains with my bike. Spell bound I was with that spectacular view from the balcony. I wish the immaculate beauty of this place …. Just goes on unnoticed to escape the wrath of the poachers sucking up every possible life that the land has got, in the name of development. Pity that Bangalore has nothing that alive at its heart. I would rather have to ride about 60 to 100 km away from the city, away from the utter chaos to find some peace.
This travelogue was first published by The Me And The Mine .