In my previous column, I had written about Mumbai rains and how Mumbaikars venture to work, no matter what. For the benefit of those readers who missed it — I left my house for office, but couldn’t get an auto-rickshaw or a bus that could take me to the station to get a train. However, I got a ride by a close friend whose workstation is in the same building as mine.
As soon as I got into the car, I let out a sigh of relief. Had a brief chat before this friend excused himself to make a couple of urgent phone calls. Till then, I completed reading the newspaper and then stared out of the window at the water accumulated on either side. Once his mobile phone was allowed to rest on the car seat, we began chatting so we could catch up with what we’d missed about each other since we last met. This friend, let’s call him AR, had his family over from Kashmir. While we were on the same topic, he asked me about my home and family, and when was my latest visit to Goa. I answered all his questions and then he started talking about his recent business trip to the land of sea and sun.
During this visit, AR put up at a hotel in South Goa. He loved the silence and scenic beauty, he told me. But there was one bit of the conversation that got me thinking. “You know what,” he said, “After Kashmir, my next favourite place in India is Goa.”
I’ve known of many people confessing their love for Goa, but this was an all new and different reason.
AR was in love with Goa not because of the scenic beauty or the beaches and parties or anything else that’s popping up in your head as you’re reading this. According to him, Goa is a place where he can explore. He said, “Whenever I go to other states, I want to explore those places. But when I’m in Goa, I explore myself.” Now that’s something I’ve never heard of.
I gave it a thought and realized that he was quite right. If you go towards the south of Goa, and sit by a sea, there’s no one to bother you. Noise is at its minimum, and you’re quite likely to be able to hear your own thoughts. It’s something I did when I visited Goa last year — sat by the beach and did nothing. When people say they want a break from the chaotic city, and are planning a trip to Goa, I think this is what they need to consider. It could be a trip to explore yourself and return afresh.
(Please note: This is my weekly column that was published in The Goan on Saturday)