The Palolem Phenomena!
Updated: Dec 8, 2021
I love meditation. An intensely curious agnostic, I want to know it all, learn it all, imbibe the facts. At some point, even meditation became an intellectual activity.
Take a deep breath, be in harmony with nature, let go and what not…
But the real “let go” happened the moment I wasn’t trying to “let go” anymore. I was too astonished, too stunned, too happy to “try” something.
For the first time, “I” was just not there anymore ! Or maybe, “I” finally lost its significance.
That “I” we cling on to, became too small a reality in front of such a vast endless ocean. I became a negligible entity staring at the grand canvass, the creator painted with a master stroke.
It all started on that laid-back, lazy, hot Palolem beach.
Located in the Southern part of Goa, within 2.5 kms of market town of Chaudi, Canacona, the Palolem Beach was my first glimpse to a “hippy-style lifestyle” (concerns of budget-traveling). 🙂
Though we started the trip by staying in a “safe” hotel behind the beach, the decision to shift to Palolem beach’s cottages was inevitable – for the compulsive need to stare at the waves was simply irresistible!
On this 10 days long vacation, we literally backpacked, & stayed at Rs 800/ night or less in the beach huts / cottages ( A freelance writer can only afford budget traveling in India 😉 ).
The cool & misty mornings!
The usual day at Palolem beach started at 8 AM. Tea, breakfast (usually the delicious omelette & big tea mugs at Hi-Tide Coco Huts ), staring at the incessant flow of waves, preceded by a dip in the warm currents of the Indian ocean.
Now, I love swimming, yet, the vastness & mysticism of ocean intimidated me. I just couldn’t go too far from the shore.
There’s this funny incident that happened one afternoon. One day while swimming, I slowly drifted towards a couple, who to my horror were making love right inside the ocean. 😛 ( Not a common sight for an average “decent” Indian). The moment I realized, I chuckled and tried to swim away, only to be sent back towards them by the flow of the current. 😛
The hot, & lazy afternoons!
The lazy, hot, bright afternoon called for a nap on the beach, followed by a refreshing drink.
Foodies that we Punjabis are, the later part of afternoon was spent in “hunting” for a new restaurant to eat, out of 80-100 odd restaurants located on the beach.
I don’t know what vegetarians or the so-called morally prickly vegans eat in Goa, but for me, it was a happy platter of fried fish, fish curry, coconut fish, omelette, prawns, and everything a hardcore spiritual non-vegetarian can gulp in one go.
Evening view at Palolem, like a canvass painted by the creator!
A casual stroll, a walk on the beach is how the day slowly receded into the evening. We literally waited each evening, with a camera in our hands, to capture, again & again, the glory of God in the name of his most beautiful painting – a sunset!
Orange tinge blended into a purplish blue, set against a grayish-blue sky, Goa changed the meaning of a sunset forever in my mind. The staring continued till the orange canvass changed into a star-lit sky. 😃
It is after 7PM that the phenomena called Palolem finally comes to life. Dimly lit restaurants, fragrances in the air that allure the appetite, peppy music in the background, the place takes a U-turn as the evening advances into the night.
I still can’t forget the happy faces of laid-back tourists, playing guitar without a care in the world, wearing that super sexy cowboy hat the likes of me only see in Hollywood movies!!! 😛
Now, I can’t speak for everyone else, but for me, Goa took all the tiredness away. Symbolically speaking, the trip took away the constant need to be excited or tensed ( a reality of consumerist society).
The Palolem sang an age old lyric to me – praising nature & its elements, giving a glimpse of harmony which is present in everything except a human mind, singing a melody that only an initiated few can hear. 🙂
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