Tuesday, April 24, 2007

GoaFest 2007

Finally, back to Goa.

Haven't been there for nearly... shit, four years.
This was an office trip - a whole bunch of us were sent down to Goa to attend the award ceremony. I managed to finally, for the third time in the last seven years, take my most expensive nap till date by sleeping through four electronic snooze alarms and one standard clock alarm. The first was the train back to GIM for the start of the term; the second was a Nature Knights trek; and finally, a 6:30 AM flight to Goa. Woke at 7 AM, blinked, and leapt upright gasping in pure clanging panic.
Paused. Looked at the clock. Lay back down and sighed. Stayed like that for 5 mins, then washed, picked up bag, and headed off to get the next flight. Got it, too.
Reached Goa, took a pilot to Benaulim, and immediately hired a bike. Have learned the hard way that the only way to survive these office trips is to have your own transportation. Coincidentally enough, acquired a black Pulsar just like back at home, with an accelerator that appeared to be superglued; made no difference, 'coz simply out of habit I'd twist it up to 80 kmph as a matter of course and the bike gave up fighting it, after a while.

The ad fest was ok; I picked up a Silver for best use of digital media, and entertainment got a Bronze for, surprise, surprise, entertainment media, and then sat around on the beach, generally chilling. Party was fairly flat. Pushed off around 2 with Chandra, promptly lost way and roamed around for nearly an hour, exploring the nooks and crannies of Varca and Benaulim.

Next day, headed off for Palolem. Now that's one of the first on my list of outstandingly beautiful beaches, if not the first. The southern-most beach of Goa, fairly isolated (but definitely getting more developed... there's a lot more shacks and trinket shops around now) and extraordinarily beautiful. There's an island off one arm of the bay, exactly in the right spot where you can watch the sun set between island and mainland while sitting on the beach; You can also take a boat out for dolphin-watching, though we didn't have time for it this time round... and on the other side, a series of jagged, serrated rocks piled up in twisted, Jurassic shapes. The last time I was here, we'd driven down from Ribandar, camped on the beach, cooked up chicken, fish and prawns on a coal barbecue, got literally stinking drunk on orak, then produced a guitar and jammed until we were semi-conscious, and finally curled up in shacks and hammocks and slept. Woke up shivering early next morning, waded out to the island in front, then walked to the other end of the beach to climb the rocks, and then blew a tyre at 80 kmph on the ride back without falling.

This trip was not as eventful; here we sat around, relaxed, watched the sunset, ate prawn rice and beer, then took the interior road over the ghats on the way back. It was a beautiful ride; completely deserted road, nothing but forest on each side, sometimes towering cliffs where the roads been cut through the mountain; pin-drop silence, not a soul to be seen, and it's steadily getting darker... and there's a giant ominous grey-black thunderhead building up above us... awesome. Wish it had drizzled, that would've been perfect. Missed Madgaon altogether on the way back, somehow, and wound up coming back to the hotel through Velem.
Shower, change, then it's back to Cavellosem for the second round of the Fest. Scored some hash off some Rediffusion guys, soundly ignored senior management despite their best efforts to mingle, and sat around on the beach some more, feeling the wind and the trance beat from the party behind us.
Just watching the sea, and the sky glowing far down the beach in the direction of Colva, the sound of the waves...
The next morning, it was just... painful. I think this is why I don't like going to Goa... it's become part of my life in those two years between 00-02, become part of who I am, made me who I am. Leaving... is just, just hurts too much. Even visiting... there are too many ghosts, faint voices on the wind in the dark night on the roads when you cross 50 kmph, too many memories on the sands, on the faint Goan music floating from any one of a thousand dim bars, on the scent of the soft breeze, too many stories everywhere... but no one to enact them anymore, because they're all scattered across India, across the world now. Too many remembered incidents that leave you suddenly, frighteningly alone.
A house you grew up in, now empty.

Took my last glimpse from the plane window, watching the shadow of the 737 ripple across the blue-green shimmering waves until it finally dwindled and vanished. When I woke up and looked again, it was another sea, one of the tin roofs of Dharavi flowing past. Annnnnd... landing.

Back in Bombay.
Back to Hell.

The awards ceremony for excellence in Media and Creative, Goa, April 2007, the photo album


1 comment:

Bips m said...

hey...congrats!! Goa does that too people...even to those who dont have any past memories of the place.



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