So much more, even with less

With every trip I take, stepping out of home, my fondness for Goa and its quirky ways grows even more. I know, this isn’t the first time I’m saying this. In fact I stand the risk of being quite the stuck record. But I can’t shake off this feeling, the ease with which Goa feels like home, the way every little thing I see outside reminds me of something back home, and how anything more than a day spent outside of Goa makes me want to go back. Every time I step out of this cosy bubble I am nestled within, my love for Goa grows. In every contrast, and in every similarity, I see what I have back home and how I have grown to take my life terribly for granted.

The openness, the greenery, the coconut tree-lines streets, with lush paddy fields on either sides, the beach just 10 minutes away, the 5-minute work-home commute, the simplicity, the smaller life, the lack of entertainment, the fewer things to do in life, the time to do what I want, the few friends, the possibility of every weekend being an awesome one. All of it.

The truth is, its turned me into a bit of a simpleton. My universe is smaller now. Simpler, still.

I may be saddled with work pressures and the like, but I still have time to ponder over amazing things like should I buy my veggies at the Taleigaon market or the Panjim market this weekend? My daily dilemmas are the like of should we take the car or the bike to work today? My idea of a good night out is an evening spent at home, with friends, food, board games, movies and the like. The lack of opportunities to shop (even for essentials) has killed what the almost nonexistent retail-slut in me. I don’t quite know how to say it, but my life here is less complicated. And I have gotten terribly used to it.

Which is why a trip to glass and steel riddled Hyderabad made me feel like a villager gawking at the awesome traffic, the monstrous malls, the glitzy streets speckled with innumerable stores and eateries. The public transport with people puring out of it. The palpable urgency that compels people to constantly rush around. The taxi driver who seemed hell-bent on wanting to kill us. The amazing way in which a city like Hyderabad seems to on one side retain a very traditional, home-grown feel, while straddling on the other side, this uncontrollable commercial monster, that’s about to explode and come into its own.

In Hyderabad I saw stark contrasts, and I realised that what the last two years in Goa has done, is actually evened out so much for me. I face less disparity. Less extremes. Less poverty. Less choice. Less space. Less options. Less people. Less worry of judgement. Less socialising. And I realised that that is what I appreciate the most. It has in a way narrowed down my focus to only what I think is important, filtering out all the unnecessary distractions I would otherwise have. In Bangalore, my life was about working to escape home. In my free time too, I wanted out. All I wanted to do was be out, meet friends, drink, eat and spend time on things outside the realm of home. I didn’t give myself the time to look within and focus on things I love. I always had a convenient ready excuse: I don’t find the time. But not here in Goa.

This is not to say Bangalore is responsible for the way my life was. But it definitely doesn’t take away from the fact that the energy in the city you live in, the people you meet every day, the vibes you exchange, all contribute to what you do and how you feel. And let’s just say Goa has been a much needed sieve of all things unnecessary. And that’s really what I value most about my life here. Despite having fewer options of everything, somehow I have a fuller life.


33 thoughts on “So much more, even with less

  1. Pingback: She acts like summer and walks like rain | hAAthi

  2. Man! There may be a bit of a time phase here, but our lives seem quite similar. Sample this – “In Bangalore, my life was about working to escape home. In my free time too, I wanted out. All I wanted to do was be out, meet friends, drink, eat and spend time on things outside the realm of home. I didn’t give myself the time to look within and focus on things I love. I always had a convenient ready excuse: I don’t find the time. But not here in Goa.” EXACTLY what I said about my move from Bombay to Bangalore. Bangalore may be a commercial hellhole now (you said once on my blog, I didn’t :D), but it is nothing compared to mad rush of Bombay. And when the first time I took 10 minutes to get to work, all I could do was thank God for letting me escape the 1.5 hour commute back in Bombay.

    But then again, Bangalore is not Goa. Neither is KL. Sigh! Switch places once you get tired of Goa (if that is possible) and I start getting sick of the similarities between Bombay and KL. But for now I guess we are both quite happy with what we have :)

    1. I guess different things work for different people. I find Bombay energetic and exuberating, even in its constant state of hustle-bustle. I feel Bombay has a character and depth as a city that Bangalore sorely lacks. I find Bangalore superficial and flaky. Having a hectic life in Bangalore almost always = getting through crazy traffic and being stuck in jams and always running late. In bombay it goes beyond that. Living the mad Bombay life makes a person of you :) I dont know if this makes as much sense out loud as it does in my head. I think if I had an opportunity to move to Bombay, even now, I’d take it. But never back to Bangalore. Its just so dead as a city :S

      That said, I hope KL matches up to every expectation you have :)

      1. No no no! I can never love Bangalore the way I loved Bombay. I loved it to pieces. There is so much character to the city, and yes, it does make a person of you.. I moved there from college, and I achieved so much more than I had hoped to only because in Bombay you can’t not do something with yourself. And it is not even forced.

        But for me, loving Bangalore was less about the city than it was about the mint-fresh love affair with the man and the rains. It excluded a whole lot of madness and unnecessary bonds that used to take up so much of my time and left me with nothing to do on my own. The fact that Bangalore has no culture and is flaky but has the most awesome weather (I know you will not agree because you have seen the best that the city had to offer weather wise), that I discovered the pleasures of quiet weekends, long and winding conversations, evenings on the terrace, chai in the rains, and reading. And music that wafted softly from speakers and not LOUUUDDDLLLYY from the ipod headphones to drown out the loud chugging and louder passengers in the Bombay locals :) Bangalore was so much more about home than my life had ever been, and that’s what made all the difference.

        Now when I look back, I guess Bombay and Bangalore (and Pune and Patna) were awesome in their own inimitable ways, and I wouldn’t trade one for another.

        About KL.. Let’s just say I am living Bombay all over again.. Similar weather, similar, happy people. I am not sure about the character of the city yet, but I think I have noticed the contrasts that I love Bombay for. Waiting, and watching :)

        Phew! I always seem to have too much to say :) Btw my blog’s now password protected.. Send me your email address. I will send you the invite.. If you want one, that is :D

  3. THIS. This is what I aspire to in 2012. And it’s amazing that it happened so serendipitously for you! It’s kind of what I meant when I said I missed having a favorite restaurant/cafe/place to walk, in my last post. But you’ve put it so much better. Thank you for this post. I see myself coming back to read it over and over again!

    Also, making choices exhausts us.

    (Yes, I’ve got an article to back up everything I say :D)

    1. :D it is. Choices are difficult. Especially when theyre inconsequential choices that for some weird reason take mammoth proportions in our head. Ugh. But i hope 2012 gives you a simpler fuller life :)

    2. Dude, I just read through the entire article. And I see examples of decision fatigue and ego depletion everyday, in my everyday life, now that I think about it. Thanks for sharing.. what an eye opener. Now it all makes sense. And I feel happier still about becoming quite the villager in terms of having less choice :)

  4. so this is what it feels like to be live in a holiday destination permanently! :)

    It sounds lovely, really!
    And sometimes I feel like less choice is better.
    Like the other day, some vendors from work took our team out to dinner to this place that had a crazy array of live-cooking stations cooking up a storm of different cuisines! It left me so confused that I didn’t know WHAT to eat! I *wanted* to try everything, but that’s not physically possible (not for me, not for ANYbody!) and so I wandered around a bit, which was even more confusing, and ended up actually being dissatisfied with the whole thing (except dessert! oooh! Their creme brulee was to DIE for! )

    So yeah, less choice is better! :)

    Btw… less space? I’d have assumed space was the one thing you’d have more of in Goa than Blore?

  5. I so get what you mean. Life in a small town is extremely simple, but charming and beautiful. It has its own benefits. Having lived in both Ahmedabad and Bangalore, I can very well feel the difference a small-town life makes.

    Good to see you have found your peace. It is heartening. Seriously.

    1. Yeah,its different in a way that only experience can show. Most people assume my life is a non-stop party and fun ride because I live in Goa, but the truth is far from a nice kind of way. Also, I think it has a lot to do with making such a choice at the right time in ones life. i’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have felt the same way if someone asked me to move here a couple of years ago.

        1. But thats exactly the thing! Very few people I know have been tempted to move to Goa. Everyone claims theyre all envious of our life here, but not too many people fancy doing it themselves..I cant understand why..


    Happiness is all about getting satisfied with what we have and what we are right ? i feel so :) then certainly you must be happy i feel so :)
    GOA ? i have my plans to enjoy days with my friends after some exams..

    1. Haven’t explored the south as much as i’d like to, unfortunately. but what little i have experienced and know of, i can share :) email me at revati dot me at gmail dot com whenever you plan the trip, i’ll be happy to share info

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