So, here I am…back home again in Goa, after 14 years of wanderlust! Oh, I’ve visited often, but have tried never to stay for more than 3 weeks! It’s the most I could manage without going insane – you know how family can get!
But life’s thrown a curve and here I am, back where it all began. I left in my twenties, newly married, desperate to get away from familial norms and scrutiny, eager to trade my goldfish bowl for the ocean – and I did. Moving to Bombay, a city I thought I abhorred, was life changing. I grew-up in every way, learnt many a valuable life-lesson, made a few good friends and learnt to love ”The City of Dreams’.
Then my husband’s job took us to Singapore – a tiny city-state, with its emphasis on order and discipline and efficiency – the very antithesis of Bombay! We lived there for 4 years and though I have no complaints, it’s not a country I will miss much. What I will miss, are bits and pieces of the life I had while I was there, my independence that I now sorely miss here in Goa, efficient help – non-existent in Goa, and the satisfaction that comes from knowing you can rely on people to do their jobs – again non-existent in Goa!
Coming back to Goa was an easy decision but a difficult process. One that still has me tearing out my hair in frustration! Goa is indeed beautiful – I had forgotten how green and unspoilt it still is in parts; but Goans, natives I mean, are some of the most inefficient and lazy people you can find; whose motto in life seems to be ‘Over-promise and under-deliver’! It’s a miracle if you can find service-men who know their job! I had an electrician over the other day who expected me to tell him exactly how to change a switchboard!! Electricity is an issue – with the current going on & off randomly, especially during the monsoons; water is an even bigger issue – all that rainfall (all 120 inches of it) apparently just runs off into the sea and is lost forever to us parched humans, because there aren’t enough catchment areas!
What really gets my goat though is the ‘susegaad’ Goan lifestyle. And while it may be what stressed-out tourists come looking for on their dream vacations, it is a pain in the you-know-what for us Goans who have to live with it on a daily basis! Well, at least for this particular Goan! That’s another thing I cannot fathom about Goans (yes, I am one too!) their laid-back attitude towards everything in life, except fish and alcohol – both of which are revered more than their Gods!
And so life goes on…at snail’s pace, bothering no-one in particular, except me! Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’m living life at breakneck speed, I’m all for a little R&R. What I’m not ready for right now, is R&R as a way of life! Am I crazy? Probably – my family certainly thinks so! They don’t understand my need for speed and my love for change.
So that’s how it is for now – moments of serendipity amidst the general chaos, while I dig deep and try to find my ‘true Goan spirit’ buried within. Apparently, every Goan has one and it doesn’t matter where they live, what they do or who they know – it keeps them Goan in their souls! A romantic notion to be sure – but being the romantic I am at heart, am going to give it a shot! What say?