We crossed the open drain yet again holding our breath,”This place keeps getting dirtier!”, ran simultaneously through all our heads. We walked rapidly desperately trying not to breathe or even look around except for the tiny footpath leading to the small settlement of Zuari. “Why can’t BITS have a bus-stop in front? eeks! It stinks….”, continued the conversation. Same conversation which lasts just 5 minutes after that horrendous trek but happens everytime!
It was just the end of exams. Or so, if you call it. Having given just two papers of an hour each which were preceded and succeeded by episodes of Boston Legal, tests hardly felt their usual self. We headed for Baga or rather the flea market surrounding it and the clubs nearby. It took us four pretty bus rides through the length of Goa to finally reach our destination.
Such was the desperation to get our hands on a sub in subway, we jumped in joy at the prospect of eating the delicious sub after months of day dreaming. “This is the real Goa man!” was a realization that struck the four of us as we walked down the narrow road connecting the beaches of Calangute and Baga.
We walked amidst tons of trinkets and mostly ended checking out a lot of hippie clothes, beaded jewellery, shell artefacts which were sold at over-the-moon prices. Probably our appearance made people think we were the tourists. After coffee at a sluggish outlet of Cafe Coffee Day, we proceeded to shop again where it was fun bargaining. I started my quotes at 33% of the original price, something I have as my benchmark and moved till 50%. It was fun watching the mixed expressions of the shopkeepers who were delighted at getting customers at this ‘non-season’ time and their disappointment at discovering we were good bargainers as well.
Tired after the walk in the sun, we sat down at Brittos, a rather famous joint at the beach and watched the waves. People playing, splashing around in the water, blondes and brunettes working hard on their tans and others gulping down kegs of beer. It was such a relief to get away from the talks of “averages”, unending conversations of Zephyr and the enthusiasm the juniors show and often wondering where all that had gone. It was fun to see the water and the waves splashing on the beach and hitting the rocks. We sat at a table watching the scene quietly. Perhaps this is what everyone was thinking about. Glad to be away from it all and waiting nervously about the unpredictable times to come.
“I guess we should head back”, brought me back to reality. Four other bus journeys awaited us. We swapped from bus to bus, wind blowing through our hair and minds full of the “real Goa”. “Hitchhiking is fun..we should do it again”
As we neared vasco, talks slowly reverted back to the mundane. Lab projects to be completed, permissions to go home, Zephyr activity, grades and the rest. It is something one can run or hide but not escape.
“We’ll go again somewhere just like this without any intricate planning”
I guess this is the best time to do it. Roam and trek.Walk and hitchike around this place where we have supposedly lived and never experienced.
THIS is fun.