Goa: where life really began

“So what kind of blog do you have?” he asked, looking deep into my eyes.
“Oh, you know, the self-indulgent kind,” I responded matter-of-factly.

This was a conversation I had with someone yesterday. It’s the first time someones asked me the question in so many words. And that’s when I actually got to thinking what do I really blog about?! Yes, its true, I do have another one of those self-indulgent, self-obsessed, I-me-myself blogs. But over the last few years it has gone beyond being a place to scribble meaningless rants to carving out a niche where I can store the happenings of my weird life. The blog really came into its own, when I moved to Goa. A move that I consider the beginning of my life, as it were. An event that forms the centre for a lot of what I say on my blog. So it seemed fitting to make a beginning by talking about the move. The city and what it has done for me. And why I spend so much time blogging about it.

There are people who are born to wander. Travel, see the world, live in different cities, quick to pick up and move for work. Being stationary makes them uneasy. Movement is life and the like. They live to gather every little bit of experience each new place has to offer. But me? I’m home-bred. No matter where I wander, I return home. Whether it was after a long and tiring day, a weekend away from the city, a vacation at my granny’s or a work trip. I have always looked forward to coming home with a warm heart.

Life has given me opportunities to move out and discover the world outside, many times over. Yet, I stayed on. And on. And on. I’m all about the comfort zone. So I stayed, until I could stay no more. Which is to say: I got married. But the first real move I made to go live in a city other than Bangalore. In a place other than my very own home, was when I moved to Goa two years ago.

Why Goa??! several people asked me. Back then, I really didn’t have specific answers. All I knew is I needed a change. I needed to break out of the comfort I was in.

But today, two years down I think I’m in a good place. To sit back, reflect on the months gone by, and see if I have some answers. Goa has taught me how to be brave. To take the plunge and do something I have shied away from all my life. To move out of my comfort zone, this cocoon of all things familiar and move on.

With it came the necessary take-charge-of-your-life mode. I had no choice but to develop the courage to live on my own terms, and face up to all the mixed situations change was bringing to me. I’m not one for too much change. I thrive in sameness. In familiarity. And yet it was that same familiarity that I was dying to break.

With change comes loneliness, self-doubt, unpredictability, and in my case, unemployment, ill-health and the need to think on your feet. Something I had never been forced into. Goa made it happen.

Goa brought out the girl in me. The girl that likes a tidy home. The girl that loves her kitchen. The girl who likes to change sheets, dust corners and do the laundry. In Goa I made the shocking discovery of a rather strong domestic side to myself. A side that had hitherto been dormant under the garb of tomboyhood. I realised I was capable of not just maintaining a home out of necessity, but actually doing it well because I loved it.

There is the oft heard cliche, about absence and how it makes the heart grow fonder. And I always passed it off as just that: a cliche. Until I moved to Goa and realised I missed my parents more than ever. I felt closer to them being away, than when we were in the same city. I realised which of my friends were true friends. Which one preferred to sit on my FB wall.

But the biggest gift Goa has given me is the ability to enjoy my own company. To indulge in all those things I never found time for. And when I started doing that, the initial loneliness disappeared. Pretty soon I felt my feet planted firmly in the ground. Goa taught me how to to love my life, and treat everyday like an invaluable span of time that will never come back. Goa brought me back to life, and showed me how to live.

Some of life’s biggest realisations happen in retrospect. This one is no different. We’re always so busy looking forward. Setting new goals and milestones. Planning for the future. Goa has taught me to pause. Sometimes look back, connect the dots, put all the many pieces of my life gone by, together. And suddenly realise why it all makes perfect sense. For that, Goa has been like a dream come true.