Saturday, 18 August 2012

In Love with Goa...

A getaway to one of my favourite places in the world - Goa - and since I am a Goan it holds a very special place in my heart.  I could keep writing about Goa.  I visit it almost every year and each time has been special and with a different story to tell.  So dont be surprised if you find me writing some more posts connected with Goa again.  Last year I spent time in Chorao which is my ancestral village to celebrate my birthday with two of my closest  friends. The island is close to Panjim city and one has to take a ferry  to reach the island.

 I have spent many fun filled years alongwith my siblings and cousins as we vacationed every summer during our school breaks.   The little winding roads that we used to cycle all day long are now well tarred and marked and the traffic keeps zooming past everytime the ferry arrives.  My friends have heard so many of these childhood stories that they had to see the place.  So this was a surprise as I booked us all at the resort on the island simply called 'Chorao Island Resort".  This is a little page out from my diary that I wrote a year back before starting this blog.   So here is an excerpt from the diary...

The Resort (Chorao Island Resort) was rustic and lush green just the way I had expected it to be.  The villas were tastefully designed and each one better than the other.  ‘Honeyguides” the villa we were staying was a spacious two bedroom house with fully equipped kitchen and a verandah overlooking the green stretch of land and ‘Mae De Deus' church in a distance.  We quickly freshened up and pick up a few groceries that would be needed to fix our breakfast for the next few days.  Rocky of ‘Rock Shell’  would be providing us with our daily sumptuous lunches and dinners.  In the mornings we woke up to the lovely chirping sound of birds playfully flying across the sky unlike the pullulating pigeons in Mumbai that prefer the concrete than the trees.  We would then step out to meet the ‘poder’ (the bread man) have our breakfast and begin our walks down the village.

Its my birthday, the 24th of June, and sigh there are no signs of any dark clouds in the sky.  A monsoon blast is what we had planned for Goa. But this is Goa and any weather, anytime is a good time.  So we have now set out to see the island – on foot – (that’s because we did not have much choice of convenient transportation).  We have walked for almost 1.5 hours stopping by along the road to take a few pictures.

My friend A had moments of tete-a-tete with the goan dogs.  The quiet  lazy village life was so inviting.  By the time we had reached the other end where we could take a ferry across,  our sunblock had started melting and mingling with our sweat but we still made pretty pictures.  How I wished we could just get to a well and pour a ‘shidi” (small pot used to draw water from the well) of water on ourselves.

We decided to have our lunch in Ribandar (on the other side of the island).  So we sit at this little local restaurant by the Mandovi river gulping down shots of Urak and then beers.  The waiter serves us ‘Chonak’ or the white snapper a fish that I had for the first time.  Its only later we realise that we will be paying a price for it.  Nevertheless it was delicious with the ‘reichado masala’. 

In our gay spirits we are now ready to do some more travelling.  So we take a bus, or rather a couple of bus rides, and get to Calangute beach.  It seemed to have people in all shapes and sizes   Instead of rushing to get my feet soaked in the waves that came to the shore I was backing away from it, fearing that some plastic bags or other garbage would get entangled in my ankles.  It pains me to see the shore lined up with garbage that keeps getting washed ashore. 

We walked down for a bit and then rested at the coffee bar at Raman Cottages.  The resort cat did not want to be left out of our conversations so she kept leaping into the empty spaces in our chairs.  After enjoying the cool sea breeze we headed back to Chorao.  Rocky prepared some prawn chilly fry for us which was delicious with bread and like ‘Goenkars” having our shots of local feni, though this one seemed attenuated.  Our calves were heavy from all the walking we had done the entire day that all we now needed was a good night’s sleep.

Another day of our walks through the narrow paths lined up with trees on both sides and it was time to head back to Mumbai.  It was a short but busy holiday.  Busy doing things we do not do in our city lives – listening to birds chirping, walking down the village roads,  waiting for a bus that never really shows up, hitchhiking a school bus, and some more crazy things.  We were recharged now to keep walking through our maddening city lives.

     ‘Senorita Chorao’
She floats there coy  her dress in green
Just holding her children close to her skin
She lets them flit and fly and go
But welcomes them back into her tow
How I marvel at her innocence and  beauty
It makes me whisper an orison to the Almighty
Take care of Chorao, she’s too naive you see
Her heart is rooted but  her soul is free


  1. Nice Post! all the pics are too good its really amazing post and good information.

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  2. your meticulous portrayal of Goa is so good that it's like being there

  3. Oh beautiful Chorao hope I can visit you during my trip to India this time. Jane you have summarised Chorao beautifully in your poem, its very touching. Thanks for sharing your experiences about our unpolluted natural paradise. It so reminds me of the untouched greenery of New Zealand.