Sunday, May 25, 2008

PARADISE REVISITED

I’m just back from a trip to Goa – land of susegaad (bliss). This was our third visit, and the spell of Goa has not dispelled….we are still as much in love with the place as we ever were.

This time we went to stay for five-days-which-seemed-too-short-a-holiday at the bang-on-the-beach L’Amour Resort on South Goa’s Benaulim beach.

The hot summer of Goa made us lazy; so, in the mornings, we mostly lolled about on the golden sands at the sun-molested (rather than sun-kissed) beach, elder daughter and spouse splashing about in the white-surf-green-waves, I sitting with my younger daughter (she’s going through a scared-of- waves/won’t-step-on-sand phase) and a book in Concy’s coconut-leaf-thatched shack, watching the para-sailers and jet-skiers whooping it up, the fishing boats in the far distance, and the changing colours of the sand, sea and sky.

In the evenings, we would venture out – to see the sun dive smoothly into the sea. We scuttled back from crowded-Colva (epithet-ed ‘the queen of South Goa beaches’), but we loved the empty white sands and blue water at Varca (which is more of a private beach for the Taj Exotica – where we had gone for a day to meet up with a cousin and her family).

We would coax the autorickshaws to drop us to Madgaon, the nearest town, where we explored the streets lined with charming, colonial-era, Portuguese-constructed buildings, tall churches with wrought-iron gates and stained-glass windows or small, bright bungalows with sloping roofs and sit-outs in the garden where hens/pigs/geese poked about the flowerbeds.

We also poked about in the winding alleys of Madgaon's ancient New Market, buying bebinca (a Goan dessert), a toy Spanish guitar and a seashell-decorated, keepsake bottle of feni (a Goan cashewnut-fermented drink).

One evening we drove down the winding, well-maintained roads of Betelbatim village with a friend and his family, ooh-ing and aah-ing at the red-tiled, picture-postcard-pretty cottages along the way to gorge on the seafood at the popular (going by the full tables even on weekdays) Martin’s Corner.

The Goan fish-curry-and-rice (laden with coconut-milk, sour-kokum and tomatoes) at our Goa-baari (‘Goan house’, according to my younger daughter), L’Amour, was also pretty good, as were the roast-beef-and-onions, beef-vegetable-soup and squid-garlic-butter. I don’t know what vegetarians would do in Goa, but for us the scenic and the gastronomic delights merged into one awesome synaesthetic experience. Helped, no doubt, by urak, a fruity-flavoured, full-bodied, local liquor distilled from, what else, cashewnuts.

My senses are still reeling from OD-ing on Goa’s beauty, the natural loveliness of the beach-dotted, surf-lapped coastline, fringed with coconut trees; the calm rivers winding around the mangrove wetlands; the hills in the distance, green in summer with rocky outcrops jutting out here-and-there. And all this cradling quaint old buildings, confectionery-white churches and friendly, laidback people.

We’ll be go(a)ing back again, hopefully!

04 June 2008: I'm now sending this post on a journey to Scribbit's June Write-away contest on Going Places.

11 comments:

jyotsana said...

hi sucharita had a nice time? i hve been there once. lovd the place. still miss the beaches.
adding me to ur blog roll...thnx and its a more than ok.i hve been thinking of addin u to my roll (and without ur permission) for quite some time now ever since i read that piece on terrorism but some parts of lazi-ness and some parts of busi-ness ...

Mina Jade said...

It must be such a beautiful place.

lopamudra said...

We visited Goa on our 2nd anniversary.That is still our best rated anniversary getaway(mostly b'coz we weren't parents then!!).I loved the Chapora fort ,the churches the alleys & nooks of Goa.With no kids we were full of booze all day! We rented bikes & took turns in riding.I brought back a fenny bottle but had no idea about the keepsake ones.It was my favorite table centerpiece with a stem of 'money plant'in it!!Goa rocks!!

eve's lungs said...

Oh I loved Goa - we stayed at the Lotus once bang on Benaulim and hung out at Manuel's shack . The other time we stayed at the Taj Exotica - gorgeous experience .I adore the food,landscape, the people !

Sayani said...

hey ...so u must be energized...tho' i ve never been there but i can sense the beauty some how ?

Mina Jade said...

Always enlights my mood to read about a new interesting place (where I haven't been but I'd be glad to get there).

Alice Wills Gold said...

Man, I need a vacation.

Scribbit said...

My parents say Goa is just beautiful--though they were heading to Mombai and saying they weren't ready for that kind of heat.

And you're reading Sayers? I love mysteries!

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Hi jyotsana,
I'm immensely flattered.
Mina, lopa, eve, sayani,
You are too right, it's out-of-the world!
Alice,
Don't we all?
Scribbit,
I love your contests. And Goa is better during Christmas and carnival-time. I'm on a Sayers-trip right now and I love detective fiction, any type, any gender, any decade!

Daisy said...

Goa sounds beautiful!

SARFRAS said...

Hi I have my own blog dedicated just to Goa.

May be U are interesed to see it

http://365goa.blogspot.com/