It’s been a whole year since we left Goa last. This wasn’t the plan. The plan was to visit every couple of months. But then 2020 happened. And here we are a whole year later.
Strangely though, it doesn’t feel like such a long gap. Probably because it was pouring down even then, like it is now.
We came with plans for this trip. A lot of random odd and ends of pending paperwork to be closed, the house to be sorted one way or another, a visit (or three) to the beach and meeting our friends and THEIR DOGS.
But the rain has other plans, and we’re being forced to go with the flow. Much like it happened last year at around the same time, when we came with an agenda and ended up staying for nearly a month just waiting for things to clear up so we could get to work. Last yer we were stuck indoors because of the crazy rain. This year it’s the crazy rain layered over a pandemic. But I’m at that point where I feel my paranoia and my willpower both fading. I realise it’s a gamble, but life needs to now open up and get going. I’m also fully fed up of this limbo, it is making me all kinds of disoriented.
So today, I treated myself to my first solo lunch out at one of my favourite restaurants. Because it was the only place that met the two criteria I was looking for: safe and open. It was good to take my mask off and have that un-rushed feni cocktail, roast pork, and they even let me use their wifi on a day like today when my cell network went bust at 8 am, and they played the Buena Vista Social Club the whole time that I sat there.
I realised how much I have missed having time to myself. All to myself. All alone. Solo. As much as it has been lovely to be stuck at home with company I love, there is something about solo time, unencumbered and easy, when I’m not answerable to anyone, that I have missed. Without realising how much.
My fish thali joint will probably be out of bounds this time around, but I do hope we at least make it to the beach. For a sunset or two, if not a swim. And I hope that our list of to-dos gets knocked off.
This trip feels different from trips before. For one, neither of us lives here anymore. But so much has also changed in Goa in the year gone by. Some good, some not so good. I feel a strange sense of homeliness, but a whole lot of distance and like I’m a visitor again. I haven’t felt this since 2009, when I was last here on holiday.