The long weekend that’s just gone by, was a weekend of luck, love and longing.
Luck, because its our only holiday and only long weekend this year.
Luck, because a lot of lucky things happened. The husband cooked, we took off on an impromptu getaway, managed to dodge the rain and get that long bike ride we’ve been wanting to ever since the bike came home.
Love, because it was a weekend of cutting off from the mundane, relaxing, refreshing and gathering all my love and energy for life.
Love, because the husband and I got some much needed alone time, after weeks of working like dogs and constantly socialising.
Love, because we did the things we love the most. Cooked, rode out, saw new places, took pictures, chatted, poked fun at each other and laughed.
Longing, because it reminded me sorely of days spent much the same way, without the rush and burden of life.
Longing, because it was like a teaser of a holiday and left me longing for more.
Yeah, it was a weekend of luck, love and longing. A refreshing break. A time for recharging batteries. And while most of it was a wind down from regular life, a lot actually happened. And since Im recovering form a rather taxing week, I’m taking the easy way out and letting the thoughts flow in no particular order. So here goes…
1) I decided that I was going to depixelate this weekend. And keep my laptop/phone/tv time to the minimum. I think I succeeded to a large extent, only coming online to blog and check facebook. Its amazing what staying away from the screen can do. Conversation happens, books get read, time gets spent together, without the need to do anything concrete.
2) The husband decided to cook. Surprising me out of my wits. And rather pleasantly so, with very edible results. It was a fun to have rolls reversed. With him doing the laborious cooking, and me taking pictures and merely assisting here and there.
3) On the second day of the break we actually decided to take off on a rather spontaneous roadtrip of sorts. Finding an affordable, yet charming place to stay in Goa, on a long weekend is like hoping for some snow on the beach. So after much frantic calling to check who would be willing to give us a room for a night, we managed to find this absolutely wonderful homestay in South Goa.
4) The ride there was glorious. Very few things more joyous than driving through open silky smooth roads with rolling rich green fields all around. Goa really is at its most gorgeous this time of the year, and I feel lucky that I dont have to drive too far out to be able to breathe crisp fresh air, smell the flowers and watch the fields sway in the gentle monsoony winds. A 10-minute drive in any direction leads me into the wild. I really couldn’t ask for more.
5) We played catch-me-if-you-can with the rain. Leaving home with clear skies and bright sunshine that made for a fitting day that ought to be spent outdoors, we drove into ArcoIris with monstrous black clouds piling up behind us. And just as we parked and walked in, it came down in heavy, thick pellets.
6) ArcoIris is a wonderfully restored and tastefully kept 200+ year old bungalow. And our hosts Beni and Ganesh were loving, hospitable and although we had only just met, I felt at home instantly. I guess that’s what homestays are about. But there was something almost karmic about meeting them, hearing their story, feeling a kindred spirit and spending all the time that we did with them. Over quiet beers and conversation, we discovered that they’re from Bangalore, and had chosen Goa to escapse the din and claustrophobic madness of the city. In their present, I saw signs of a possible future for myself and that was in many ways heartening.
7) Meeting them was like affirmation of my quest for an utterly hedonisic and fulfilling life over making piles of money towards no real end. Their home was proof that beauty and love lies in small details, and ArcoIris breathes this in every nook and corner. Every side stool, lamp, hinge, door knob, switch, napkin ring and flower vase spoke of how their home is really an outcome of love rather than a commercial venture.
8) Their children were an absolute delight, opening my eyes to a very rare and pleasant kind of parenting that I have not seen in a long, long time. It was most reassuring to know that there are parents bringing up perfectly normal, unbratty, intelligent, curious and confident children. What was even mroe gratifying was to note that this, in the middle of nowhere, in a remote village in South Goa, shows that its got nothing to do with being in a city with the best schools, broadband internet and all the best facilities. Their confidence, hospitality and sheer ease with sharing their lives with us was humbling to say the least.
9) The whole experience also fixed in my mind the idea that if I am ever to have children of my own, it will be in an atmosphere and environment free from the crazy big city life. And no, don’t give me that alienating them bullshit.
10) Our room was gorgeous. Comfortable, spacious and just so tastefully done up. ArcoIris is Portuguese for The Rainbow, and the house has 7 rooms, each named after a colour in the rainbow. Ours, the Yellow Room, overlooked the front lawns and the lake in the distance. I spent the entire afternoon lying in bed, reading. Waking up only to have cups of chai, walk around, wet my feet on the dewy lawns and giggle with the girls.
11) Feni, the home dog was a sheer bundle of joy, and my sudden attachment is proof that someday I must get me a dog.
12) On the way back we dodged the rain for most of it. But in the last leg of the ride, it came down. We stopped a few times, waiting for it to slow down, finally deciding to give in and enjoy it as part of the journey. And what a liberating experience it was!
13) I came away truly refreshed. But most of all I came away convinced that we need holidays. Lots of them. To go out and discover new places. To discover lost laughter. To find togetherness. To restore happiness. To remind ourselves of the things we love to do. And most of all to keep life alive.
That was my weekend of love, luck and longing. What did you do this long weekend?