Sunday, October 6, 2013

Alone in Goa


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Standing on the elevated viewpoint of the Dona Paula beach in Goa, surrounded by hundreds of tourists, I felt lonely.  There are so many people, people and people, and yet not many whom we can hug and say, “I love you.”  People jostled each other all around me.  I was watching the solitary figure in the sea far below the elevated viewpoint.  A boy (or a grown up man, I couldn’t be sure) was catching fish standing on a rock in the sea.  He waited and waited.  A long time passed.  I waited and watched.  For a fish to bite the bait. 



I had to leave the boy and the beach heeding the call of my duty; I am a fish that is inescapably hooked to a bait.  The boy’s image continues to haunt my imagination.  Aren’t most of us similar to that solitary figure, I wonder.  There are people and people all around.  Yet we are alone!

I was one of the four teachers who took a group of students on a tour of Mumbai and Goa.  Goa fascinated me with its laid back appearance.  It appeared to be a very relaxed city in spite of the hundreds or thousands of tourists who hurry along its streets day and night.  The contrast with Delhi, where I live, was too obvious. 

The beaches welcome you seductively.  Pimps accost you on and off promising an hour in paradise.  All along the way to the beaches there are shops and shops, an endless number of them, that offer bottled up intoxication.  Perhaps, the whole of Goa is a bottled up intoxication, I thought.  There is an air of resignation to some unpleasant but unavoidable destiny on the faces of the people of Goa.  Is the boy in the ocean, standing all alone amid the waves, a symbol of the people of the place?

I liked Goa because of the apparent mystery that envelopes it.  I wish to explore it more.  At my own leisure. 


In the meanwhile here are some pictures from Goa. 

A view from the Aguada Fort
Another view from the Aguada Fort
Yet another view from the same fort
Some of my students on Calangute beach
Mingling of cultures at the Bom Jesus Basilica

38 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures and it is such a responsibility to take students on a trip! I have done that too though college kids and for last four years. This year I am taking a break!

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    Replies
    1. Tour is one way of discovering students better, at close quarters.

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  2. Goa is a must go back place for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the culture, the people and the beaches there :)

    Richa

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    1. I too will go back there; the place has a queer charm.

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  3. Goa is the best place and It really is a mesmerizing city. If you visit it once, you will be planning your next visit before even completing the first visit. :-) And yes at times you feel lonely in this beautiful city.

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    1. Indeed Goa enchants. I didn't have the leisure to explore it really.

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  4. I remembered my recent Goa visit.
    Even I loved Fort Aguada! :)

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    Replies
    1. More than the fort and the beaches, the city itself has a unique charm.

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  5. Goa is so much on my wishlist....hoping to go there soon....nice anecdotes and pictures...thank you

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  6. Very nice pictures...I hope you had a good trip, given that you took students along

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  7. Great to see the view of fort. I am yet to see this fort yet.

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    1. It has retained the pristine purity. Worth seeing.

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  8. Tomichan, great desc of the boy and that fish bait. Enjoyed this post :) !
    Agauda fort and e very thng else of Goa is in my wish list
    wish to go soon :)
    good day
    Thanks for visitng my blog

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    Replies
    1. People, more than places, attract me. The boy was quite a sight.

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  9. Goa never disappoints Sir. Beautiful pictures, U must had a great time out there !!

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    1. I was on duty, Jahid. I found Goa fascinating. I'll have to go there without the obligations of duty. Just with my wife.

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  10. Nice post...since I have been to Goa at least thrice, I could relate :)

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    1. I want to beat you in the number of times by visiting Goa again and again. :)

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  11. Goa is a Place to visit and Relax and I am waiting for the Time to visit it..Nice Captures.. :D

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    Replies
    1. Relax, yes, that's the right word for Goa.

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  12. I have never been to Goa and it's one place I don't necessarily carry a fascination for but with your words, you built up such a nice picture. Your post inspires me... I wish to explore this mystery some day.

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    1. Arti, don't be deluded by the external shows you will inevitably find in Goa. Look at the faces of the Goan shopkeepers, for example. Look at the people and their buildings. At the traffic. You'll see a totally different world.

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  13. A lovely ode to Goa... being a Goan it warms the cockles of my heart.. thank you! :)

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    1. I'm sure I'll write a far better ode to Goa when I visit it the next time. But I'm glad you liked this post.

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    2. While going through these comments I realized what effect goa has on you.. I had penned down a post recently on what Goan's feel about tourism.. you might want to take a look at it.. http://www.seetabodke.com/2013/09/through-goans-lens.html

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    3. Thanks, Seets, I loved the post. It answered a few of my apprehensions about Goa.

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    4. Glad you did.. ever feel the need for more clarity around Goa feel free to reach out to this goan :)

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  14. Good post on Goa.. Liked the beginning thought...

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    1. That beginning thought is a theme I wish to pursue, Divya. And I will. Goa has bewitched me.

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  15. Delhi to Goa sure there is so much difference and so much to explore, there is so much in this place, scenic beauty, a culture which is absolutely unique, great food and a very different and addictive vibe.

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    1. Absolutely right, Athena. But in spite of all of that, I found something melancholic about Goa. Maybe, my first impressions. I'm intoxicated with those impressions and will carry out further studies. Time is my only constraint.

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  16. I've been to Goa twice. As I am a beach person, I enjoyed both the times. However, I can't help but think one should enjoy the beach in solitude, which I couldn't do due to certain social constraints :( I am glad you had the chance to be with yourself at least for few moments :)

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    1. Honestly, Pankti, I would love to be on the beach with my wife. Not alone. My wife adds nuances to the inspirations given by the tides.

      [This comment is too personal. But I'm posting it anyway.

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    2. I am glad you enjoy your wife's company so much. :) To be honest, very people enjoy their spouse's company nowadays. I am single but I have seen too many such couples.

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  17. Replies
    1. Thanks, Joshi, for saying something more than your usual "Cheers." :)

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