When most of them mention Goa, the usual beaches that are mentioned are Baga Calangute, Candolim and a couple more.
If you want to do the proper hammy touristy thing with hawkers and more people there than the beach,then Baga and Calangute are the ones. There you have to actually take a peek and see beyond the sea of people to actually enjoy the sea!
Another one that has become a proper touristy overcrowded beach is Anjuna and it’s shack Curly’s. Yes, once upon a time it was ‘the place to chill’.
Just one shack, endless sea, neat beach, a wonderful mix of international crowd who truly minded their own business and expected us to do the same. But certain changes happen and more so often for the worst.
Anyways, that very evening we were in Goa, we went to one of the most popular shack/restaurant in Calangute for Dinner. Souza Lobo – this place was just a tiny shack right from the 1950’s and it had fond memories for my partner who used to visit Goa from Pune during his college days in the 80’s. It was truly a no fuss no frills place.
But changes happen, don’t they?
And this is where our search began. Wanting to eat local authentic Goan food and there was disappointment waiting for us.
With the influx of tourists from all over India, especially from the North, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The whole traditional way of cooking Goan food was pushed over for North Indian dishes, Indian Chinese and guess what even Biryanis! Biryanis in Goa? Seriously?
Maybe I am a fundamentalist when it comes to food, but almost every Goan food was ‘bastardized’, and am not apologizing for using swear words on this.
A simple fish fry became boneless to over use of masalas to tasteless. The Goan fish curry is not the fish curry it was. It became a dark red masala gravy which it’s not.
Then and there we decided to move away from the usual shacks we used to visit and explore something new whether it was a beach, a landscape and most importantly food.
So this time there was the burning need to escape ‘people’ and when I mean people, I mean nobody touristy, nobody with cameras and selfies and all that jazz .
And in this I must truly thank my dear friend Antara. This girl is a 26 year old who has the mind, heart and soul of a 45 year old, very mature for her age and she just said, you wanna escape, Just head to Ashvem, Morjim – way up in North Goa and yes you will get that solitude you so desperately want.
Following my gal’s advice we drove way up North and as Srini my partner was checking for shacks, right there we found a hidden treasure.This was so remote, such a narrow road that only one vehicle could gingerly and slowly drive towards it. And as we walked up under the tropical sun, there it was.
What a sight it was…That moment when you just can’t explain but feel it in your bone, skin, nerves, you hear your breathing as you watch the clear vast expanse of sea with a small shack..
Sandy beaches, nature, birds, the sea and a few Europeans quietly silently enjoying their moments..
This was Paradise, this is where time truly stood still. Away from the din outside and within me, away from the ‘party Goa’ the sunburn Goa, the drugs blah blah blah Goa. This was the Goa that was pure and untouched.
The old times where all you needed was just this. Shack, sea, beer, no noise, not even music..
Why does one need music when the waves themselves are playing a tune right in front of you..
I can’t express enough when I think about that day even now. Time passes by beautifully.. Just Nature is enough to make you connect with yourself. You just don’t need anything else..
As we enjoyed the breeze along with local Goan food – which we had to insist again to the staff to make it as local as possible, no fusion or mix, what we finally got to eat was bliss..
As I walked along the beach at sunset with the cool waters kissing, cajoling me to come closer, I felt one with everything. This is all that one requires. Nothing else. The noise within us calms down. Absolute contentment.
This was the real Goa I was falling in love with all over again…