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The word in itself induces images of beaches and bikini-clad bodies to some. To others, Goa is a place of parties, colorful lights, music and dancing. For a few, it is one of those quaint places where they come to rediscover themselves! And yet, there a lot to whom Goa is the hub for shopping and eating and simply lazing around!

To me, Goa seemed like a surreal world of excitement and happiness. A surreal world filled with the sound of beach waves crashing on the sand and the sweet smell of fresh cashews. A surreal world filled with a happy group of friends, girl gangs, romantic couples, and carefree youngsters. Four days in this place and I truly felt a rejuvenated and refreshed the sense of energy and positivity.

I traveled to Goa with my siblings, my sister and 2 of my brothers. This was my first family trip where we had no chaperones and elders watching over us all the time. If anyone had to be the responsible person in the gang, it would be me as I am the eldest! But we were all acting responsible in our own ways and at the same time, we had all let our inhibitions loose and lived in the moment for those 4 days.

We did not go with the clichés and stick to any stigmas. We became travelers and explored all the non- commercial and least visited churches and spots. We became the tourists when we visited all the commercial tourist locations. We brunched at best of restaurants and the same night, we dined at roadside Chinese shack. We shopped at flea markets and lazed around at beach side shacks, watching the sunset and having chilled beers. We partied at the hip clubs as well as swayed our bodies to the music at the chilled local pubs. We had fishes, crabs and calamari at times and during other times, we stuck to our all-time favorite Idlis and Dosas.

We were staying at this guest house from where the beach was at a walk-able distance and it was also located in the commercial area. We felt no shortage for anything and it was also really safe. Commuting around Goa was the best part of the trip. We rented 2 Fascinos for a meager 300/- Rs per day. The roads too were great for the most part of the city. Some of the spots that we wanted to visit were really far away from our stay, but the ride and the scenery were to die for. Even the distance was made memorable by the ride we had.

Sure, we roamed around a lot trying to cover as many tourist spots as possible. But we also had a lot of time to spend in quite, watching the beach waves. Staying close to a beach came of a huge help at that time. The beach was very local and non- commercial, hence there were hardly any people on the beach. It was clean, quiet and truly serene. We had fun in the water for a while and when we were totally exhausted, we simply laid on the beach and were staring at the clouds until the sun had set! We also chose to spend a night, staying back at the guest house, with a few beers. That night, we simply spoke our hearts out to each other. Sharing our life stories and experiences. You see, the 4 of us are in 4 different cities living our own different lives! It bought us all up to date on what each one of us have been going through and it brought us all closer to each other!

On the fourth day, the last day in Goa, we visited the most famous Chapora fort and clicked a few pictures and were back to our guest house well before time. We had already checked out and had kept our luggage safely with the landlady. We picked our luggage and went in for an early lunch to Trip- Restobar, near our guest house. As we all sat there waiting for our order to arrive (which took forever, literally), we were all quite. Not because we had nothing to speak, but because we all felt like school kids on the last day of our summer vacations.

The silence was reminding us that our time in this surreal world has come to an end and it was time to go back to our real world. The stillness depicted the stillness of our hearts which was feeling lifeless and was simply not ready to do its job. Even our breath was being very careful enough to maintain the silence and our brains were shutdown. There were no thoughts, there were no emotions, and there were no feelings. There was just us, living in that moment, and nothing else there. Until the food came to our tables and we were back to the chit chatting and making fun of each other. Until the time, we took the cab and dropped my brothers off at the bus station on the way to the airport. Until my sister and I, sat in the flight and the flight took off from the grounds of Goa.

I looked out from the window and down at the beautiful waters, sparkling as the sunset. I said to myself, “Bye Goa, Until the next time!”





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