Day 227: New way, new life

Postcards from our drive to Goa. 11/12 hours of which were rained out. And everywhere we looked, signs of life creeping out from everywhere possible, were to be seen.

12 hours of driving thru battering rain, and I’m home.

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Day 213: If it is written in the stars, then it can be read

With the promise of more Goa days dangling ahead of me like the proverbial carrot-on-a-stick, the idea that lures me the most, strangely enough, is of cycling again. Cycling in the rain, to be precise. I read this post yesterday and felt especially nostalgic, the pangs of a time gone by never to return, yanking the soft spots in my mind.

My time in Bangalore has been so full and otherwise occupied, I haven’t actively had the space to mourn the lack of cycling in my life. I haven’t really missed it. I don’t. Until I am in Goa of course. And the empty roads flanked by paddy fields fills my chest up with the kind of openness and calm that I know I am missing even when I don’t realise it.

VC has actually attempted to cycle around in Bangalore. He’s far more determined than J am to give it a go every now and then, despite every attempt fizzling out sooner than later. I, on the other hand, haven’t even assembled my bike back together since it was taken apart to be transported here. In retrospect, I feel I should have left it back, so I could use it whenever I visit.

But even before I dismantled it to pack and move, I hadn’t been on a ride in a long time. It’s been nearly two years, collectively. The very last time I was in the saddle was the 100km ride I completed in October, 2016.

Incidentally, that was also during the last of the rains for the year, making way for October’s punishing heat, a little bit of an excuse of winter where temperatures dip just enough to make it hard to rise early and get out, and then summer again. During which time I moved. So yeah, I’m really suddenly thinking wistfully, of the times we’d take off on weekend mornings. Managing to wake up earlier than normal, riding off in the dark, with some music and a few 100 rupees between us. That’s all it took. And the levels of satisfaction were exponentially high.

The promise of Goa days loom large and right up there, at the top of the list of things I miss and can’t wait to go back to, is riding my bike. Preferably in the rain.

***

Meanwhile, in Bangalore too, we’re enjoying the best kind of Bangalore weather. Grey, sunless, sometimes-raining, great-to-be-outdoors kind of weather that is making me reach for my shawl and book at midday.

Day 207: Weather changes moods

Here it is, everything to eye-hurtingly green. A shimmery freshness in the air. All colours fluid. Every edge blurry. Everything is awash, and sprouting new life. Reaching out through the cracks and crevices, bursting forth to life. And around every corner, along every pock-marked laterite wall, every overgrown gutter I see signs. Reminders to not just bloom where I can, when I can. But a reminder to try and thrive. In every little, seemingly insignificant way that I can.

Goa in the monsoon is a surprise, a fresh delight every single year. Everything is breathtakingly new, yet comfortingly familiar. Like being born again, an all new avatar, in a same old place.

Like new breath, in an old, snug and very accustomed body.

Two years ago: Day 207: Gym rant

Day 205: My moves are slow, but soon they’ll know

I’m grateful for the rain. It has been really lovely this week. Just the right amount of downpours that I’ve enjoyed mostly sitting indoors, when it gets dark enough to need the lights on at 5 pm, making the books I’ve been reading unputdownable.

I’m grateful for how things slow down in Goa.

I’m grateful for the unfettered affection I’ve observed in the puppies. I’ve watched them all week, equal parts amazed, entertained, amused, sometimes stupefied at the simple way in which they operate, how steadfastly focused they are on getting the basic good stuff that they want. But mostly I’ve been in awe, again and again, at the unbridled way in which they’re themselves. More human than most humans I know.

I’m grateful for my kindle. Every time that I am away and have the space to read many hours on end, and segue from one book to another in a short while, I realise what a fantastic gadget it is to have.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to witness a Waldorf school up close. To be inspired by a kind of quiet conviction that I wish I had. To have been transported right back to the last two years of my schooling, which was a much simpler time.

I’m grateful for the abundance I’ve felt this past week. In the homely meals we’ve made for ourselves and enjoyed in silence. In the freewheeling conversations. In sinking into a sea of possibilities that lie ahead. In the friendship I am surrounded by. In feeling so not alone. In the incredible privilege to call two places home.

I’m grateful for friends who open their homes to us time and time and time again. Entertaining us not just with a roof over our heads, but with a heartfelt connection that I can only attribute to something beyond this time and space.

I am grateful for second chances. Yet again. And maybe that makes it a third/fourth chance? I’m grateful for life itself, for how it is so persistent, sometimes roundabout, but always opening up, pushing me further and showing me the way every time that I have stopped to listen.

Day 201: I got a feeling I’m not the only one

This boy <3

Watching and being around Lego these past few days has made me marvel at how persistent and demanding of love and affection he is. There’s a lesson in here for me: to be unabashedly, unapologetically convinced of the love one deserves and wants. And to go claim it when needed.

July, 2018
May, 2018

One year ago: In which I end up without a phone
Two years ago: Day 201: What happens when you go cycling in the rain

Day 200: Is someone getting the best of you?

I’ve wondered all day what I am going to say in a post today. The truth is there is so much to say — about being in Goa, about the work we did/are doing, the abundant meals, the impeccable conversation, the expansiveness of time and space, and just so much more. But I’ll just say this: I’m grateful for how this business of straddling Bangalore and Goa seems to be a constant with me. Whether I know it or not, something or the other brings me back here. On and on and onward we go.

Two years ago: Day 200: Barely moving

Day 199: If everything could ever be this real forever

This picture pretty much sums up the way I’m feeling this morning. Relaxed. Content. Bright. Happy. Ensconced.

One year ago: Perfect love

Day 198: Always somewhere, miss you where I’ve been

B R E A T H E. F L O W. B R E A T H E. F L O W. B R E A T H E. F L O W. B R E A T H E. F L O W.

Title inspiration, current (annoying) earworm:

Day 197: Under my umbrella

Hello from rainy Goa, which has all my heart. Two years ago: Day 197: That’s all

Day 196: Oh my life is changing everyday

I was meant to fly to Goa on Thursday for a week long break, chilling with D and K and the puppies, before we all returned to Bangalore together, the week after. But not so surprisingly, a random work enquiry is taking us back to Goa. Today. It all came through in about 48 hours and here I am bumping down a highway, through overcast skies and a gentle rain, headed there four whole days ahead of plan. Of course, I’m stoked for the opportunity to be here again. Two weeks ago, when my dad brought us this beer (I love the label art!) from Kerala, I chuckled at the irony of drinking it in Bangalore. But because I’m a sucker for serendipity, so much that I no longer know the difference between seeing signs and having events follow, and thinking and wanting things so bad that I’m willing myself to see conveniently appropriate signs everywhere, I also decided I’ll take this sign when I see it. I just didn’t know it would be this quick and specific.

Two years ago: Day 196: Down and out

Day 195: Lost and found and turned around

Meanwhile, it’s pissing down in Bangalore too. It’s so good to be feeling a chill in July. To wear full-sleeved clothes. Two layers, even. Full pants. Closed shoes. Scarves and neck things. Just some of the things I love about being here, and pretty sure they’ll be the same things I miss when I eventually leave.

Some months ago, in a reading D did for me, she said to take this time to really enjoy the good things I love about this city, without holding back. I realise it comes down to the weather, the abundance of food to try and the freedom to loiter about on my own. So, to be sitting snug in a coffee shop with free wifi, without feeling like I’m waiting to be shunted out for just ordering a single black coffee and staying for three hours. To read, work, people watch at least a couple of times a week feels like a fitting way to do it.

And while I’m waxing eloquent about the weather, here’s a rainy day song — a throwback track (and an entire forgotten album) that I rediscovered thanks to driving around in the rain in my dad’s car. His music is evergreen.

Two years ago: Day 195: 100TinderTales Reveals Dating Apps Give Indian Women The Upper Hand

Day 137: And the stars look very different today

Goa vignettes to steer my mind way from Karnataka election madness.

Two years ago: Day 137: Who do I think I am?

Day 131: Please don’t go

Postcard from Goa 7.

MAJOR GOA WITHDRAWALS IN PROGRESS.

I promise to stop this pcture posting standing in for actual writing now. And let normal programming resume on Monday.

(I think.)

Two years ago: Day 131: Summer evenings

Day 130: Simple things

Postcard from Goa 8.

Aaaand. It’s done.

I suppose this ought to feel really good, but the darn thing took so much longer than anticipated, and had so many untoward delays, and the waiting has taken forever, that neither VC nor I knew what to feel when we were handed the key.

I’m grateful for everything that’s gone into making this possible. Mostly for VC, because on my own, left to my own antics, I’m not sure I’d get down to doing anything to own a little place of my own.

Now, to let that sink in a bit.

Two years ago: Day 130: April

Day 129: What are they talking about, on the weekends?

Postcards from Goa 6.

All things considered, all said and done, there’s something so deeply compelling about how much I slow down in Goa. I know these are pictures of not the average “everyday occurences”, and not indicative of regular day to day life in Goa, but I’ve observed how much my being slows down, slips into an ease of pace that requires no rush.

I’m grateful for the chance for a year away to come back and appreciate all that I had grown to ignore towards the end of my last stint in Goa.

Second chances are rather life changing. I highly recommend them.