Sunday, June 9, 2013

Relive the Epiphany....

 “Tring….Tring”…the vintage telephone near the reception rung aloud, the tone pretty awkward. The elderly receptionist unwillingly rushed in to pick up the call; he had that irked expression on his face….who would have loved to delay the first peg, that too at midnight, almost. And guess what, his facial expression almost took another dip into clumsiness as he dropped off receiver in disgust and approached us with a stagger. It was alarming alright; we were quite sure of the fact that our third visit to Goa was pretty much pester-free…in-fact the so called experts in the field of “sight-seeing” seemed to have restrained themselves amicably. We exchanged blank glances; no doubt we were perturbed at the phantom call…. something had definitely gone wrong.
The receptionist stopped midway in his stride and howled at us. “You’ve got a call…yes you…come on, fast.”- He was looking straight at me. My heart had skipped a beat already. “Coming”- I murmured.
“Hey Sammy, this is Alex”, the voice from the other side sounded smooth and comforting, “Hello…are you there?”- He repeated.
I had paused for a while; obviously to regain my breath….I was on a mid-night sweat-spree; my silence instigated the latter half of the speech.
“Yes, Alex!..Hi!!…how did you find out that I’m here?”- I was too overwhelmed to respond.
“Your tweets and check-ins as always mate….couldn’t help but call you. Had to hunt for the number to this Banyan Tree Courtyard though”, Alex sounded pretty excited, “So what are your plans for tomorrow? Mind coming down to South Goa? I BET you won’t regret” …he was crisp and to the point.
“Well, we ain’t sure of tomorrow’s plan”…I vomited the truth, as always, this was as messy and unplanned a tour as ever.
“Will call you tomorrow morning and give you the directions. You can have my landline number, as I don’t have a mobile phone”- Another shocker as he hung up. I was QUITE perplexed to be honest; why would a random follower on twitter call me up and invite me so cordially to his place? I was too tired to think.
Who would have known that this was TRULY an Epiphany in the making!
“WOW! This is more of a museum”; I was taken aback by the look of it.
“Told you, you won’t regret this”; Alex had a satisfying smile on his face.
“Perfectly Portuguese, with the Indian blend, or rather the Goan flavor, we have been here for almost a century”; He continued as we traipsed around his “castle” located on the Panjim stretches. That’s the perfect terminology. This Portuguese dwell was marked with mesmerizing antiqueness, the preservo-entail of some rich & debilitated heritage and an air of freshness mingled with the ancient smell that uplifted our dizzy souls. The gems scattered all over the edifice were absolutely magnanimous; it was a welcome break from the gadget-stricken enterprise, from the degrading spirit of rat-race! The fragrance, as I said, was charming to the core. The wide-open ball-room, variance in the ancient kitchen design, the master-crafted touch of the furniture design in coalition with the brilliant quality of the material, the sculptures, table-clocks, the turtle reserve and EVERYTHING that encircled us was distinctive, innate - SPECIAL. I wondered; why would the punks term Goa merely as the “Vulgar niche” or the “Blonde Central” when it’s intrinsic best is immersed in the deeply sunk heritage and an array of humble residents preserving them?
“Your tweets have inspired me everyday…even my wife and my kids follow you on twitter, you have shown us the way of fearless expression”- Alex was flattering me now. Yes, I did believe in free-spirited tweeting, un-restrained, un-controlled flow characterized my timeline…but influencing people, that too of the highest class? UNIMAGINABLE! Alex’s humility and fidelity floored us.
 Then came the moment what I’d perhaps “frame” and adore for the rest of my life. They say that the path of LIFE is reinforced with twists and turns. I’d say, YES it is, but once you have withered the storm; it’s core is as sweet as it gets.
The very sighter of a gigantic chocolate cake prepared especially for us drove away all the recursive presumptions. Alex’s wonderful gesture had sent across surges of be-wilderness. We were NOW absolutely sure of the fact that the social media has managed to associate people from different parts of the country; expressing through different set of languages, believing in different set of customs, different set of principles and living a different livelihood altogether; the social media is NOT longer a virtual bridge…it JUST got real…Glad it did!

Our host and "dost" Alex, his son Glenn and the "overwhelmed" one!
That's how Alex greeted us, the wonderful delicacies.....
What transpired out of this entire set of events was a TWO-FOLDED epiphany; it completely metamorphosed our outlook towards the beech-centric Indian dazzler, it unfurled the completely uncharted elegance of Goa embedded in it’s heritage houses. Furthermore, it did magnify the very fact that the Indians can leverage ANY medium that’d serve as the bridge for an everlasting mental-and-emotional-connection; the geographic boundaries would perhaps be restricted to the google maps! It seemed as if somebody, by the virtue of a divine bliss, has folded the map of India to virtually bring Bengal and Goa together…..

When the journey starts to unfold itself, it dazzles you at every step. The journey that never ends till the fresh scars on your heels are conciliated…the journey never ends till you explore something new; something refreshingly different, something very own….something very much existent, yet concealed somewhere around the corner. Glad that our third Goa trip did excavate the true essence of Epiphany!

Exclusive shots from Alex's castle & some of the Heritage buildings of Goa

NOTE: All the images used in the blog have been clicked through my lens. Please refrain from using these for any other purpose viz. Promotion, blog entries etc. The images are all copyright protected.

Also note that these heritage buildings are currently self-maintained, would be amazing if more and more people came forward and contribute to their "well being"; perhaps that would unfurl another magnanimous heritage corner of the country. That could be a wishful epiphany so as to speak.

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