I have taken a long absence from writing with the excuse of my fractured finger. Typing is still a bit of a challenge, but as each day passes, I feel the need to clang the keyboard. Writing is a time where I delve into my inner thoughts. It’s a time when I visualise the past and envisage the future. It allows me to listen to reason and rationalise the events, behaviours of people, It is a modem for me to question the society.
My dear Keyboard I have missed you. I felt this even more last night, when I was watching the movie “Finding Forester”. I am no “Forester”, not even “Jamal Wallace”. But one line rang true to me. I write for myself too. No denying that, it gives me a sense of happiness/pride or just satisfaction when someone else acknowledges my writing and understands my message. But at the time of writing, I very rarely give much thought to the reader. I do want to tell my story, at times I do want to change the societies perceptions, so obviously I do think about an audience. But most often it doesn’t occur to me until I have finished writing. When Sean Connery says “start typing, then thoughts can come later” yes first I start typing and words and thoughts just follow. It’s like talking I think, we don’t usually rehearse what we are going to say do we?
Well so much for writing about Goa, I’ve written more about writing.
I fell in love with Goa and vowed that I would write about it when I returned. But a few tragic events in the family and life in general got in the way for the long silence. I am not really a travel blogger, this is probably the first time I am going to write about a travel destination. So bare with me if it doesn’t give you everything you want to hear about the place.
My intentions were not only to talk about Goa but also about my perceptions of India and how wrong was I in some of my preconceived ideas of the place and it’s people.
Not sure when Jan and I became friends. We are kind of related, but everyone’s related in Sri Lanka. I remember snippets of our childhood. It was my grandfather’s funeral or after the funeral some ritual day. All our rituals ends with a feast at the end of the day. Both of us were sitting outside on a wall or ledge or something like that and eating a “Vadai” (my son describes it as a savoury doughnut). A crow swoops and pecks my head and snatches the “Vadai”. We both screamed and then cried. Our lives have always been that way since then. We’ve screamed at cockroaches and then cried for one another for lives so called challenges or mishaps. But, between the screaming and crying we didn’t forget to laugh together either. And I guess that’s what friendships all about.
We never realised that our lives were going to be more intertwined by our marriages later on in our lives. We didn’t attend the same school, We didn’t even live in the same city. We usually met at weddings and other family gatherings. Occasionally letters were written. We kept in touch and I knew she a girl who was kind hearted and I could rely upon. In my books she was a friend. Later in our lives, through a series of coincidences and maybe the thing called fate, I married her brother and she married my first cousin who was like a brother to me, (his dad and my dad were twins and we both had no siblings of our own, so we grew up regarding each other as brother and sister). We didn’t set out to marry each other’s brother. But that’s what happened. This did bring upon our bond even closer.
Fate did have some twisted notions as well. Fate took my cousin/brother away rather hurriedly, just like he did with my father and her mother. Mr. Fate was planning similar things for my youngest son and me, but we had other plans and so we turned him down or have postponed the invite. Through all this our friendship grew stronger. We became pretty strong women too.
We turned 50 last year. Destination Goa was all due to that. Jan and I don’t just live in different cities now, we live in different hemispheres. She hails from Canada and I from Australia.
We decided we need to celebrate the fact that we’ve made it to 50. We wanted to go somewhere for a holiday, just the two of us, no kids, husbands or pets to worry about. Just the two us, sipping Champagne and being pampered was the key to this holiday. Our families were all up for it too. Especially hubby wanted me to have a good time.
Planning was pretty tricky as Jan had limited leave and had a school reunion that was happening in Kerala (South India). She wanted to have a holiday with me, then Kerala and wanted to see her dad in Sri Lanka at the end. We didn’t know where to go. We hashed around many ideas, a cruise around Burma and Cambodia, Dubai and Maldives all investigated. But, couldn’t really fit it in with latter part of her schedule being fixed.
She kept saying why don’t you come to India. I was very reluctant as my previous trip to India wasn’t a pleasant one. I have been to India a couple of times but mainly to the south. Or that is the part that I remember. When I was just a baby my dad had gone to New Delhi to do his Masters and I had lived there for 2 years, speaking Hindi very fluently. At present I can only say “Acha”. We had pretty much toured the whole of India at this time, including Kashmir. But I don’t remember any of it.
Later when I was a mini teenager. I do remember some of the temples and their imposing architecture. But I also remember getting sick. But the one after that was when I vowed never again. Especially the Chennai airport. To make things worse, my cousin had a bad experience just weeks before with the Indian Visa. They were deported back to Australia for their own mistake and then allowed back in the next day. Yes “huh?@?” is what comes to mind.
Eventually I gave in as all other destinations would mean that Jan would spend more time at different airport on transit than with me. So we decided we will pick another city in India, so at least for her it will be just another internal flight to Kerala. Now the task of picking a city in India. Now, for all the amazing things about Jan, she could be a real pain in the rear when it comes to making a decision. She is like a fly at a Buffet. We or more like her started at Darjeeling – she wanted to feel the Himalayas. I felt like “Asterix” banging his own head. Anyway slowly I managed to settle her with Goa.
My hubby who was encouraging me on this holiday was now a bit reluctant. He was not too keen on me going on my own to India. To be honest I was very nervous too, after all the horror stories you hear about foreigners coming to harms way in countries like India and my cousin being deported back didn’t help my anxiety.
That’s all my finger can take it for today. Cont….