• Puja Shah

Go Goa, It Does The Heart Good

It’s hard. I don’t know where to begin. So much has already been said and yet so much that’s still unspoken about this paradise on earth.

Maybe, it gets even tougher when you don’t see or visit Goa as a tourist. Where does one begin when the place you’re asked to talk about is the one where you were conceived, born and raised. It makes this job even tougher because Goa is indeed, the Mecca of tourists from India (and the world). What can I tell you about Goa – the land of beaches, booz and bikinis – that you already don’t know?

Most people find it hard to believe that there is habitation in Goa. They think of it as planet Mars and themselves as NASA scientists. Every other long weekend, they wear their space suits (read swim suits) and head on a space (read shore) excursion to Goa by a bus, train or aircraft (read all as spacecraft) so they can escape the harsh environment of outer world. And so, when these vacationing astronauts meet my breed it becomes almost a new discovery for them to find out that people are actually, born, raised, schooled, employed and gotten married to reproduce a whole new generation of Goans (not Goanese) who may also ride the same cycle of life, all over again. So next time you visit Goa don’t be surprised to see Goans (besides tourists) and next time you meet a local Goan please don’t give them a reaction like they’ve come straight out of the Discovery channel. Please, drop the space suit (don’t read swim suit)!

Goa is not a place for me. It’s my home. And home is never a place, it’s a feeling. I grew up in Goa wanting to leave it, and now I’m growing old wanting to get back there.

The Goa that I know of is a master storyteller – it tells stories of popular and lesser known heritage; of human endeavors and nature’s creations; and of madness and stillness. No other place in the world lets you discover so many different worlds: outside and inside you!

Education, work and leisure take me to different nooks and corners of this world. But no matter where I go, family is what brings me back home to Goa. What I love the most about Goa is that it has set its own pace. While the rest of the world is hustling, bustling and juggling, Goa has kept its calm. And maybe, that is why Goa doesn’t teach so you can write an exam. But is teaches and gives you enough time to absorb and apply the basic principles of life in your day-to-day. The pace of life is slow; no one is in any hurry and nothing in life is a problem. Everywhere you go, you’ll be greeted with serenity, tranquility and a calm meditative energy.

I travel to Goa not to escape life. But for life not to escape me. Sounds cliche. But true! As a child growing up with ambitious aspirations and desirable dreams, Goa kept lighting up a fire in my belly to say that the life I have led doesn’t need to be the only life I have. The only way to know is to live, learn, and grow.

And now, having gathered some everlasting experiences and passionate perspectives when I return home, Goa puts off that same fire to remind me that the more you learn to live without, the more you’ll have to live with. Live to live and you’ll learn to live.

Goa is a land of amazing contrasts. The philosophies and the perspectives it inspires are as vast and deep as its oceans. So literally, my home is where the ocean is - where the Sun, Sand, Salt and Sea make life just so good for me. I can only wish, I lived here, always and forever!

Perspective of the Place: It's life. Not a race. Slow down to live it!

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