By Amrita Das.
Let my soul endure and my mind escape me.
Let me listen to the rain of Goa and feel no further.
Moving to a beach destination wasn’t ideal for me. I’d rather be on the foothills of a mountain range or lie under a starlit night by a lake. But when the monsoons played hide-and-seek with Goa, I was convinced there is no other place I’d rather be.
|A precipitated sunset at Patnem.|
Hugged by acres of greenery, the Canacona district in South Goa is probably one of the sweetest parts of the state. Even though it is home to the very popular Palolem and Agonda beaches, many travellers would rather spend their time there than the mystical lonely forests in the land.
|Ominous skies before the first shower.|
|Somewhere on my way to Agonda.|
On either sides of NH17, I see lush, dense green forests. From teak and sal, to trees bearing full jackfruits, the highway running across Mumbai to Kerala is covered by diverse flora, a part of Goa’s forest department of protected areas. On days when the sun shies away from us, I have taken my scooter into these unknown turns and surrendered to their silence. After my initial hesitations of safety, I see it grow as an addiction where I must explore one mysterious way every day.
|The sun plays hide and seek.|
I rejoice when I hear the crook of the toads growing louder. It is a warm welcome to the wholesome rains that cool the earth and provide for the wildlife. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, open through the year, is an ideal way to spend the day amongst tall trees, variant animals and rare birds. This part of the state nests white throated kingfishers, brahminy kites and bee-eaters in large prominence. Seen at early mornings or late evenings, I find myself fortunate to see at least six kingfishers on a regular count.
|A flavor of the rains at Patnem Chai Shop.|
One evening, I gave in to my beer-crave and got myself a table, overlooking Palolem’s horizon. The clouds gathered as if to warn the crowds to take a step away from her counterpart on earth - the ocean. And as I watched some people prepare for their safety, I realised most of us had misunderstood the sky. It was but her way to provide some respite from the strong sun.
|Beer along the horizon.|
|The beautiful seclusion.|
And in days when I can’t get myself outdoors, I give in to the voice of Begum Akhtar or the words of Ismat Chughtai. The rains surround me with pure comfort and indulgence as if telling me, ‘you are here in a home like none, amidst the magic of Goa.’
And I give in, timelessly.
Savor the monsoons and discover the "other" side of Goa at a 500-year-old Goan Portuguese home in a sleepy Goan village.
AUTHOR BIO: Perpetually bitten by the travel bug, Amrita has travelled across twenty states in India and Nepal, Switzerland, Italy and Paris. She shares her experiences best through writing, photography and blogging. She engages in all types of outdoor adventure, explores the local way of life, listens to stories strangers tell her and is a firm believer of serendipity and constant change. She blogs at http://travellingidesofmarch.wordpress.com/ and tweets at @Amrita_dass.