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The Palolem Phenomena!


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I love meditation. An intensely curious agnostic, I want to know it all, learn it all, imbibe the facts. At some point, even meditation became an intellectual activity.

Take a deep breath, be in harmony with nature, let go and what not...

But the real "let go" happened the moment I wasn't trying to "let go" anymore. I was too astonished, too stunned, too happy to "try" something.

Photos of The Palolem Phenomena! 1/8 by Meru

For the first time, "I" was just not there anymore ! Or maybe, "I" finally lost its significance.

That "I" we cling on to, became too small a reality in front of such a vast endless ocean. I became a negligible entity staring at the grand canvass, the creator painted with a master stroke.

Photos of The Palolem Phenomena! 2/8 by Meru

It all started on that laid-back, lazy, hot Palolem beach.

Located in the Southern part of Goa, within 2.5 kms of market town of Chaudi, Canacona, the Palolem Beach was my first glimpse to a "hippy-style lifestyle" (concerns of budget-traveling). :)

Photos of The Palolem Phenomena! 3/8 by Meru

Though we started the trip by staying in a "safe" hotel behind the beach, the decision to shift to Palolem beach's cottages was inevitable - for the compulsive need to stare at the waves was simply irresistible!

On this 10 days long vacation, we literally backpacked, & stayed at Rs 800/ night or less in the beach huts / cottages ( A freelance writer can only afford budget traveling in India ;) ).

The cool & misty mornings!

The usual day at Palolem beach started at 8 AM. Tea, breakfast (usually the delicious omelette & big tea mugs at Hi-Tide Coco Huts ), staring at the incessant flow of waves, preceded by a dip in the warm currents of the Indian ocean.

Photos of The Palolem Phenomena! 4/8 by Meru
A typical beach hut

Photos of The Palolem Phenomena! 5/8 by Meru
View from the cottage

Now, I love swimming, yet, the vastness & mysticism of ocean intimidated me. I just couldn't go too far from the shore.

There's this funny incident that happened one afternoon. One day while swimming, I slowly drifted towards a couple, who to my horror were making love right inside the ocean. :P ( Not a common sight for an average "decent" Indian). The moment I realized, I chuckled and tried to swim away, only to be sent back towards them by the flow of the current. :P

The hot, & lazy afternoons!

The lazy, hot, bright afternoon called for a nap on the beach, followed by a refreshing drink.

Foodies that we Punjabis are, the later part of afternoon was spent in "hunting" for a new restaurant to eat, out of 80-100 odd restaurants located on the beach.

Photos of The Palolem Phenomena! 6/8 by Meru

Photos of The Palolem Phenomena! 7/8 by Meru

I don't know what vegetarians or the so-called morally prickly vegans eat in Goa, but for me, it was a happy platter of fried fish, fish curry, coconut fish, omelette, prawns, and everything a hardcore spiritual non-vegetarian can gulp in one go.

Evening view at Palolem, like a canvass painted by the creator!

A casual stroll, a walk on the beach is how the day slowly receded into the evening. We literally waited each evening, with a camera in our hands, to capture, again & again, the glory of God in the name of his most beautiful painting - a sunset!

Orange tinge blended into a purplish blue, set against a grayish-blue sky, Goa changed the meaning of a sunset forever in my mind. The staring continued till the orange canvass changed into a star-lit sky. :D

Photos of The Palolem Phenomena! 8/8 by Meru

It is after 7PM that the phenomena called Palolem finally comes to life. Dimly lit restaurants, fragrances in the air that allure the appetite, peppy music in the background, the place takes a U-turn as the evening advances into the night.

I still can't forget the happy faces of laid-back tourists, playing guitar without a care in the world, wearing that super sexy cowboy hat the likes of me only see in Hollywood movies!!! :P

Now, I can't speak for everyone else, but for me, Goa took all the tiredness away. Symbolically speaking, the trip took away the constant need to be excited or tensed ( a reality of consumerist society).

The Palolem sang an age old lyric to me - praising nature & its elements, giving a glimpse of harmony which is present in everything except a human mind, singing a melody that only an initiated few can hear. :)

Trip first published on Wanderings Of A Curious Mind


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