Seas, Sands and Sunshine – A Goa Odyssey

Seas, Sands and Sunshine – A Goa Odyssey

“Goa is not only the land of beaches or the city of churches: It is a feeling that defines thrill in the most amazing way.”

Longing for a vacation is human nature, isn’t it? Well, this was true for me too, engaged with my higher secondary studies and then college admissions, I was now starting to lose my calm. After constantly nagging my mum, guess what, I succeeded for a trip to Goa. Since I am not a sea lover, I was a bit upset also as I wanted to enjoy the serene mountains; but Goa truly altered my delusions about seas. Goa, the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind after hearing this word is that it is a very happening and ideal place for enjoying with friends, but in reality, there is also a truce in this small state. Lovely beaches, fun-loving people, fresh aura, white repose churches and lots more. Goa, for me, was a place to create memories and definitely I made various remembrances.

Goa is situated in the southwestern part of India and a part of it is surrounded by the Arabian Sea. It is a small state with 3704 sq km of area and only two districts namely North Goa and South Goa. Panaji being its capital and Vasco da Gama, the largest city. Goa, being a Portuguese territory is an amalgamation of Eastern and Western styles. It’s a tourist hub for both international and domestic travellers. Various small industries have their roots in Goa. After reaching there, I learned that it’s a lot more than what Wikipedia says.

I felt the fresh air; a positive vibe won over my soul.

As our car glided on the smooth and well-maintained roads, we came across numerous churches, small markets, huge green coconut trees in their lush territory. An emotion of excitement and solace touched my body. I could feel the fresh air with a tinge of sea smell; positive vibe just took control over my spine.
We decided to dwell and explore the South Goa first and then the northern part. We stayed near Colva beach. It was a bright and energetic beach with a myriad number of tourists having a delightful time there. The blazing sun, the soft sand, the ebbs dashed along the seashore and created a melodic tone, the robust wind which knew no direction and the cool, crystal clear water, described the Colva beach. However, long hours under the scorching sun may cause sunburns, sunstrokes, migraine or excessive tanning so necessary precautions also are to be taken. This was something my grandmother kept saying. Though I got completely tanned after spending four hours on the beach under the sun. But those carefree hours of enjoyment truly were worth it. Reddish orange sky speckled with seagulls flying home and the glittery water sparkled even better under the contrasting colours of the horizon. This is how the sunset was in Colva beach that day. Small shacks were set up at the coast and people were enjoying their evening with mouth-watering seafood, the rustling of the waves and the calmness within. At night I walked barefoot on the beach under the clear sky of shining stars and the mellow waves kissed my feet and made my day.

Beachside markets sold swimming costumes for all ages, of all styles, colour, and variety

The next day we decided to visit the Dudhsagar Falls. The name is given so because when water rolls down it appears white as milk. Well, the falls very nicely justify its name. Then we headed towards the market areas. There were so many accessory shops that sold items made of pearl, silver, thread and beads. Garment shops were no less in number selling swimming costumes for all ages, of all styles and colour and variety. Surprisingly the prices were also quite reasonable despite being a tourist expanse. Wine is also considered very special in Goa and so an ample number of wine stores were also seen in the markets. The most remarkable part of Goa I found was the immigrants of that place. The way they presented themselves, the composure and sweetness they had in their voices were hypnotizing. It seemed like a melody in my ears. I wondered how could a place be so perfect in all respects. Growing up in a metropolitan city, the solace of a small city is something we forfeit and long for. We spent the evening at the Mormugau which is the seaport of Goa. It is the leading iron ore exporting port of Indian so ships were harboured near the port. Apart from that, there were mostly fishermen busy in their day to day work. People seemed to be very poised in their lifestyle from the exterior but they have their own struggle and I realized it at the time I went and saw them giving their heart and soul just to make both ends meet.

Amazing paintings, glasswork, and decorations blended with each other making the church eye devouring.

The following day we planned to explore some of the gloriously crafted old churches of South Goa. Being a Sunday we couldn’t miss the Sunday Mass at the church. At first, we went to St. Andrews Church in Vasco da Gama city. Seeing the glory of the church I was awestruck. Amazing paintings, glassworks, decorations, everything was picture perfect. The Mass began with several families present in the church. Eight beautiful ladies were singing the carols. The aroma of the candles filled the room, bells rang merrily and after the carols, the priest prayed to Jesus and the Mass came to an end and people started to depart. All the family members were gracefully dressed and they all seemed to be bonded together. Seeing them I looked at my family and just prayed that my family remained like this forever. I felt the warmth of having a family every time I looked at those lovely families around. The best part of a church according to me is the confession room. It always feels like you finally have your me time and it’s a place you purify yourself by washing away all your sins. Confessing to God there, not only made me feel closer to God but also made me realize my faults. Then our next stop was the St Francis Xavier Church in Velim. To my astonishment, the design, the get-up, the structure of this church was entirely different from the previous one. The minute and perfect designs on the glass windows clearly reflected the efforts of the craftsmen who designed it. Each picture had a story to tell. Due to the time crunch, we couldn’t spend much time in this church to acknowledge it’s beauty for long and moved ahead. With this, we ended our stay in the South Goa and we steered towards North Goa.

The beaches on this part of Goa were a bit rocky and in some places, there were huge cliffs.

North Goa was more isolated, restful and reserved. Open long roads with green fields on both the flanks justified the scenery of North Goa. It really made me wonder how a distance of few kilometers could bring such a drastic change in the terrain. Speaking of the beaches of this district, the beaches on this part of Goa were a bit rocky and in some places there were huge cliffs. Moreover, the water had a tinge of greenish texture in it. My stamina had not reduced an iota bit. So once again I dived into the soothing water and spent hours there. My mum and I also ventured into various exciting water sports like Parasailing, Banana Ride and Surfing. Though I am a bit scared of heights yet I tried those sports and truly enjoyed it to the fullest, also to some extent I overcame my fear. The perfect collaboration of the wind and waves favored our joy of the rides. During parasailing I certainly felt like a fairy, flying high in the sky with blue glittering water below me. In the afternoon we hired the scooters for an hour and moved about the paved pathways of Goa. Coconut trees raced with us alongside throughout the ride. The rejuvenating air rushed on our face and it seemed like all our seemingly lifeless cells were glowing once again. In places like Kolkata, scooter rides seem like a nightmare. It’s nothing but dusty, bumpy rides with huge traffic jams there. In Goa, I totally enjoyed the scooter ride for the first time in my life. No traffic, no dust just pure fresh air to breathe. Ended the day by having five different types of fishes including prawn, tuna, and pomfret for dinner. Not a very big fan of fish, but the chefs were outstanding. The spices they add, the way they marinade and cook the fishes is mind-blowing. They truly have magic in their hands.

With that, our short and sweet trip to Goa concluded. With a heavy heart, we bid adieu to Goa but on the other hand, our mind, body, and soul were refreshed and ready to take up new challenges in the future. We came back with lots of pictures, memories and enthuse. Travelling has always been an elixir to our boring lives and a short holiday to a place like Goa makes you cherish your stay.

-Ichcha Roy

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