The beach belongs to me

The beach is empty and quiet. Really quiet. Not the quiet when you can still hear murmurs and see people in the distance. It is the quiet when you are the only one outside while others are all inside their huts, shacks, rooms and homes. The beach is empty. The beach belongs to me this morning. Those foreigners drinking beer. Those workers from Himachal and Nepal. Those smug locals. No one is here. The beach belong to me. Just me. The sunbeds are tucked elsewhere. The umbrellas stashed out of sight. The music boxes silenced and the candles blown out. The fancy is gone. I am the only one here this morning and The beach belongs to me. Just me. Besides me the dogs are here too. They are walking behind me wagging their tales. I pick up an empty beer bottle to scare them away. I am no good to make friends right now because I am alone here and I am scared. Oh, its totally dark except the moonlight. Oh, I could bumped into bull sleeping on the sand. I must turn on the flashlight. I think that the beach most certainly doesn’t just belong to me. I see some people walking in the dark just randomly moving around. Where could they be headed at this time of the day? Are they here to scare me because the beach clearly just belongs to me. Its scary if a dog approaches me or a man walks by. To be mugged would not be cool. I am scared. I realized I must be scary too to someone else. My own shadow on the sand scares me. I feel like a ghost walking in black pyjamas and hair flying in the wind. Let me just go back to the room. But …

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Falling in love with Goa

“Yes, Calangute and Baga are crowded, choking you with vehicle pollution and cacophony of city life you intend to escape from. Anjuna? Come on, everybody who comes to Goa goes to Anjuna. It’s for wannabes. Let’s be a little different. The truth is its expensive. How about Arambol? Well isn’t that for penny picking travelers, drug addicts and hippies. Anyways, lets give Arambol a chance. Let’s go to Goa.” And that’s how we arrived in Goa and in Aramabol in Goa. The start wasn’t good. But by ten in the night, we had a room we sort of liked. Next morning we were ready to check out and head to Hampi, Kerala, anywhere but here. That is when things began to get better. We started the day with beautiful walk along the beach that quietened the soul. Where else in the world will you find people hitting the beach to do yoga independently in such large numbers? Well, some of them were looking away from the sun therefore aiming the surya namaskar wrongly, but what the hell, its okay, they had a pursuit of the higher in mind. A bunch of people seated in the sand singing bhajans, some practicing Tai-chi, some walking their dogs and about a hundred others simply running along the beach. None of them was Goan but they all looked like they belonged to Goa. A lot of them looked they may be walking here but are present somewhere else. Most were in deep introspection. What is it about Goa that makes you question life? Is it the new age pilgrimage of the industrialized world? And hey I realized that those people with dreadlocks, no they are not here to smoke up and drink till wee hours. People with no dreadlocks and corporate jobs are more …

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Love to hate Goa

Goa has always been tedious for me because we are: Not willing to take flights to save money and why the hell are the train stations in Goa so far from everywhere Not willing to be duped by taxi drivers and the Goa heat is ideal only for beach bumming and not for bus rides Not willing to live in cheap beach huts for howsoever much beaches are fun but after sunsets we need four walls around us Not able to go with recommended guest houses because you see our definition of budget doesn’t include dirty shit hole of a room Therefore, getting to Goa, getting to someplace when you are in Goa, and then finding a room was a challenge I didn’t feel I was upto. I remembered Goa for: the beaches full of young couples parading the tiniest clothes in their wardrobes the babies of IT boom buying beer after beer men displaying their recently waxed chest and new sunglasses the tiny lanes around Calangute and choked with SUVs of wealthy families from surrounding cities breathing smoke and stress and the shack owners not happy to serve brown skinned Indians and giving extra of what we call footage to the fair skinned cientele For those operating businesses in Goa, you are just another wave in the many million waves that hit Goa beaches. There will never be smiles to welcome you. They look at you, size you up and blurt a number quoting a price, take it or leave it. The room, the service, the food quality doesn’t matter. Forget it. You can’t reason with them. This is Goa. If you leave someone else will come and take your place. But Vikram was convinced that if we have been traveling for over a year, then we have to …

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