It was 6 o’clock on a Thursday morning and out of habit, the first thing I did after waking up was to check my phone. There were WhatsApp pings from my boss. My attention was needed urgently. In normal circumstances, it bugs me to start working as soon as I wake up. Because I like the quiet of mornings, doing things at my own pace & having conversations with myself before the day has begun. That day, it didn’t bother me because I was taking an evening flight to Bangalore & was planning to spend my extended weekend on beaches, free from all kinds of electronic communication.
It needed 12 hours of drive to reach Goa, from Bangalore. We started early morning & before we knew; we all were in holiday mood desperate for an evening in beach. So, we took a halt in Karwar enjoying the beach walks & jhaalmuri. It was windy & beautiful – the perfect start to the next three days in Goa.
In my previous trip to Goa, I had stayed either in the South, hopping from one beach to another, or I have explored the cafes, pubs in the North Goa (which I am not very fond of). This time, we decided to park ourselves in the central part of the state to check out the famous restaurants that are booked hours in advance, and to also see if there’s anything new that we haven’t done it yet. That’s the sixth time I was visiting Goa, back in 2017. Since then, I haven’t been there but I remember that one evening I spent at Miramar beach clearly, like I was there only yesterday running towards the tree when it began raining. By the time I reached there, all the good spots were gone & it was raining heavily with fat water droplets. I was drenched & began shivering. “Am I going to fall sick. No, I can’t fall sick” – another little conversation with self. And I decided to run a bit more, across the road & treat myself with some hot coffee & garlic toast in a CCD whose red banner hadn’t faded one bit.
Funny thing is it didn’t look like it would rain when I left from my hotel. The Sun was shining seriously, in no mood to be overshadowed today. I had an itinerary on my mind but it all started to change when we reached the beach. Oh, it was gorgeous like all beaches are, unusually windy as if the the Sun’s got a soft spot for the place & shines only moderately here. You could hear a melange of sounds – waves crashing at the shores, kids laughing, the bells of trinklets, a hawker selling papad, another one slicing pineapple & the sound of quiet. I love such places where I can be, talk to myself or the sea, ignore my buzzing phone, look around as much as I can & not be bothered. And I was happily doing that when the winds became stronger & everything started swaying – clothes, people, will to stay on the beach. A lot of people started leaving. I thought of them as the less adventurous types, and stayed on for a little while more, tightly holding on to my things against the gust.
In another minute, it began drizzling. I hadn’t given up yet. Someone up there probably didn’t like people like me taking it lightly, and hence it began raining heavily. There’s this thing about heavy rains. You can’t just stay on & get drenched; you have to leave and find a safe place from where you could watch it raining. I tried doing that, and ran towards a tree. That didn’t quite work and then we ran towards the Cafe Coffee Day on the opposite side of the road. There were people inside already, but we found a corner with three chairs luckily. While they brought our King-size Cappuccinos & Garlic toasts, the rains became fiercer. We could see a lot of cars parked by the road, waiting for the visibility to improve. The hawkers were gone or perhaps they merged with the crowds under the many trees & chai shops. Somewhere at the beach, I had left the pineapple slices that I had bought a minute before it began raining.