Tuesday, April 09, 2013

G is for Goa

This post is part of the A to Z Challenge.

The first time I visited Goa, I was twenty-one. 

There were fifteen of us in the group. We had spent the  last two years on a tiny campus, and it showed - there were close friendships, and there were rivalries too. But we had fun. 

Swimming far out to sea on a flat beach that just seemed to go on and on. Just sitting on the sand and letting the waves wash over us endlessly. At night, watching the lights of distant ships passing us by on the sea, and far away planes flying across the sky. 

One night, maybe a couple of days before we were to leave, I lay on the sand and stared at the stars and dreamt of my future. Everything seems so much clearer on the seashore, doesn't it? I can look at those waves and see my future as I want it to be. Or maybe it's the fact that I spent most of my life not ten kilometers from the sea. 

Goa, I promised myself, would be my touchstone. I would visit every year, and see if I was still living the life I had wanted to live. And if not, I would change. Life seemed so full of possibilities back then, cliched as it is to say that. If I didn't like what I was doing, I would change - it was that simple.

It took me four more years to visit Goa again. 

And those four years have been eventful. I've spent three years in the corporate world, and have changed beyond recognition. I got married somewhere along the way. We've bought a flat. I took a year off from work to follow a near-impossible dream, and failed - my first real 'hit in the guts' failure in life, I suppose.

I wish I could sit my twenty-one-year-old self down and have a nice chat with her on some moonlit Goa beach. Tell her that there are some steps in life that are more permanent than others. You can't suddenly  get up one day and decide to change who you are and what you've done. That you can't go back in time, no matter how much you want to. 

And most of all, that life isn't like the dreams you dream on a Goa beach. There is wild happiness, and there's quiet contentment, but there is sorrow and tears as well. There's mind-numbing monotony, and if you want variety and excitement - you'll just have to go out and make it for yourself.
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