Friday, January 30, 2009

Goa juxtaposed

The kayak bobbled a bit over the turquoise waters. Entered the pub. The beach umbrella was direly needed to shield. Guess what the waiter received - zilch. Every socket clucked and let itself loose, every epidermal pore felt the infusion. The boatman seemed amiable and eager to take us to the sea. Strawberry tart cake for the celebration. Was I clumsy or was it the hammock? Bob Marley - love the wailers and the wailing. "Sorry Sir, no rooms", he said; "Shit", I said. The brilliant luminescence of the setting sun encapsulated my singing soul as two boats silhouetted past each other. Another puncture, while I hallucinated. Dolphins playfully whistled at me and moi winked back. I have to go find that lighthouse. Catch you guys at CCD, Calangute. The 400 year old mummy would have winced in its coffin as my D80 aimed to get his shot. To the Dropadi chef - you are the best ever! Open your eyes and open your mind, open your door and see the waves rush by. 10 years later, Chapora fort and the ships. "Now now, Snoop Dogg resembles you!". Palolem is the best beach. The Ayurvedic oil shone and glistened on me. The lost world aka the uninhabited island was so idyllic and serene, need some other worldly languages to elaborate more. The pub ambience could have been better. Seems as if all the beautiful people in the world descended on this one road on Saturday night. Chocolate and banana pancake...mmmmmmm. Would you believe me, if I told you that I could see my feet clearly in neck-deep-green-hued Indian and not Mediterranean waters. It was a wonderful group to be part of. "Hey Darren, one more drink please". 10 years later, R, A and myself overlook the sea; Dil Chahta Hai. That was a such a relaxing massage - my first. The waiter acted too smart; we were Indians na. Those churches were UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I am skinned with an ebony tan. "Am awake having chai, will pick you guys from the airport in an hour". You get the exquisite Goa cashew fenni potion, when you take the good karma of vodka, rum, whisky and tequila; the bad karma is the stink. A kaleidoscope of hundreds of stars and the sound of the waves is a good combination, understatement I say? I am already too far into the sea; should I kayak farther? Experience - Bangalore drivers are unable to navigate well to take you to your destination; onus is on you to be their GPS - all night. Loved the humus and garlic bread. Baga was horrendously crowded with locusts...oops...tourists. "Are we dressed well?", we asked each other on Saturday night. Anjuna has a rocky outcrop. It was very windy and turbulent waters when we set out to see the dolphins. A click here, a click there; I love my D80. The beach shacks we were at Palolem was on the first level, made of coconut/palm/bamboo, with the sea right across and live music playing right below. Our car shredded all rules of punctuality - we were late by over 4 hours. I can't swim, who cares?!? "Hey Darren, one more drink please". There is no one on the island, no amenities; to stay back, prearrange everything. I dozed off on the beach tan-chair beneath the umbrella in the middle of the day. Very apprehensive to get a massage. Patnem beach, a kilometer away from Palolem, stands second. On the other end of the fort, a river meets the sea; ideal for huge flocks of birds. "Should we head to the beach and not stay by the pool?". Bought shorts and trunks there. We sang late into the night, much after the birthday boy dozed off. Reserved the beach shack from . It is very difficult to enter the sea through a kayak; drag it deep before the waves begin and then climb. For the party crowd, North Goa is ideal eg. Calangute, Baga, Anjuna; for the leisure and offbeat driven, head South to Palolem, Benaulim, Polem. It was dusk and preferred to sleep rather than shop. I continue to wonder why Caucasians continue to tan barenaked and never get a sunburn at midday!

Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday to dear R.
Happy Birthday to you.

Hic. "Hey Darren, one more drink please".

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Wall

The Yin side:
Darkness. Cold. Loneliness. Blanch. Nightmares. Drudgery. Hypochondria. Abjection. Insomnia. Scavengers. Abyss. Fatalism. Black. Puerile. Disdain. Rock. Diminish. Prism. Lucre. Torn.

The Yang Side:
Peace. Love. Happiness. Stars. Trance. Utopia. White. Grass. Sunshine. Culmination. Brim. Purity. Mirror. Opportunity. Truth. Fertile. Sparkle. Balm. Path. Vivacity.


Saturday, January 03, 2009

New Year. Hampi. Harmony.

Midnight descended. No semblance of light anywhere. Million stars waited with bated breath. The cosmic dance was evident from where I sat. By the river-side. The soft flutter of water was music to every life-form around me.

2008 was driven out, kicked into its guts. 2009 was heralded as a few crackers from across the river lit up the trance-like inertia. Peace with myself. Surge of emotions. All of them positive.

Hampi played the transition role this time. Every other year, it had been some pub, discotheque or in a crowd of humanity. Every other year, it had been spent with friends. This time, capriciousness took me to a less trodden path. Which I ultimately savored. Similar to my Mahabalipuram backpacking trip earlier last year - but much more intense and surreal.

The first day of 2009 will be remembered as one without hangovers. Sunrise at Malyavantha hill (above) added a dash of strong spice to this potion.

All through the day, I continued to be impressed by the ruins that lay every nook and corner. Kings, palaces, artisans, domed gateways, temples, the statuettes - a treat for the eye; romanticism uninterrupted. Plainly put, it was unbelievable to see random but beautifully etched temples every 100m!

The best part here is that there were very few tourists. Gives me breathing space. Definitely no Indian tourists. This manifests a general lack of knowledge and appreciation - which is sad.

I trekked up Mathanga hill as dusk settled on the landscape. Sunset came. Hanuman (the picture alongside) loved it too. The city of billion boulders will sleep soon. But it will continue to breathe. In its beautiful precious history.

I will continue to breathe for a beautiful 2009.

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