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Goa

Fisherman's Cove, Candolim

Goa, the land of sun, sand and sea…the land of parties and wild nights…the land of hippies and freaks…but also the land of centuries old houses, lush green paddy fields interspersed with cute Portuguese style villas, abandoned crumbling mansions, the calm back waters of river Mandovi, glistening white churches and gleaming colorful temples too. There is much more to Goa than just the beaches. From being a Portuguese colony to its liberation in 1961 and merger with India, through the hippie trail of the 60s and the 70s followed by large influx of tourists, Goa has seen it all and people go there I suppose to see it all or do it all rather. In a more or less conservative country, Goa is a different world all together where people come to unleash their wild side. Even after being a city bred and a second time visitor to Goa, there were many times during the trip when I got a culture shock. But all that is just one dimension of Goa. It has several layers and you just have to see beyond the skimpy clothes and the cheap liquor and the Titos and LPK. It is true that Goa is a state of mind; it lets us be ourselves and do whatever we want. The Goan philosophy of life;  as described by the Portuguese origin word Susegad which means taking life at a relaxed contented pace and enjoying it to the fullest; resonates well with our inner “Hippie”. Even the most organized traveler with a long list of places to see and things to do will lose track driving through the picturesque quaint villages and taking afternoon siestas on beach-side shacks. Goa is a place best explored unhurried and without an agenda so that every time you visit you discover another layer of this unique state.

Fontainhas area in Panjim

Vintage graffiti by hippies in hotel Venite

The last time I went to Goa was around six years back when I was still in college.  It was my first college trip and Goa promised a peek into a world so different from ours. So in true filmy style we travelled from Bombay to Goa looking forward to explore and experience the Ibiza of the east. We did water sports in Calangute beach, played volleyball on Baga beach, ate at shacks, and diligently visited the Dil Chahta hai forts. In a bid to be adventurous, we even went to a shady party at a shady place I don’t remember and also made the long trip from Calangute to Arambole beach chasing the hippie trail. The colorful Goan houses in all hues of the rainbow from purple to parrot green evoked jokes and the abandoned dilapidated houses puzzled us. I guess that was Goa level one. This time around, the same colorful houses and dilapidated buildings charmed us and we spent most afternoons driving through interior Goa checking out the Portuguese style houses and exploring quaint by lanes with grand mansions with beautiful facades. I can spend an entire holiday walking through these lanes, marveling at their glory and discovering their secrets by chatting with the locals. But I had to strike a balance between my love for all things vintage and architecture and design and Puneeth’s love for the sea and adventure. So when we were not walking through the winding alleys of Fontainhas, we were frolicking in the sea at any and every beach we found, having long lunches and even longer dinners, taking cat naps in shacks along with some beach reading thrown in for good measure J


"Goa a daughter's story" is a good read to gain a deeper insight of Goa and more importantly it dispels lot of stereotypical notions about Goa and Goan culture. The author narrates the history of Goa as reminisced by her family and friends without making it boring. As she delicately peels different layers of the Goan society and history, we understand why and how Goa came to be as it is now...Definitely recommend it :)

One more thing! I have finally created a Facebook page for the blog :). Please like the page and show some love :)

2 comments :

  1. Food is amazing at Venite - Goa :)

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    1. Yeah it is :) And the garlic bread was taken quite seriously, true to its name! :D

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