“Peacefulness is an inner sense of calm – it comes from becoming still – in order to reflect and meditate on our inner wisdom and receive answers. A peaceful heart is one that is free from worry and trouble. It’s becoming quiet so we can look at things quietly so we can more clearly understand them and thus come up with creative solutions. It is learning to live in the present.”
Every once in a while it’s good to break the cyclic mode of life we follow. It is good to remove few days doing nothing but spending time with yourself, alone or with a few friends who share your views. A small getaway over the weekend is a perfect way for this. I always loved my long holidays, but these required too much planning, and short vacations are so much more convenient, and easier to make even last minute. Big trips also bring about a sense of tiredness, and it sometimes beats the purpose of taking a break. Small trips bring about that peace one needs once in a while.
Being in Goa I am lucky I don’t have to travel far for a quick get-away. The snap on the left is of one I clicked on such a trip to Colomb beach next to Palolem. It has this small cove with a beach some 200 meters long with very few cottages facing it. As I sat in one of the cottages looking aimlessly at the horizon, watching the sun go down, and the twilight sky changing colors every minute (as can been seen in this snap), it gave an immense sense of calmness. It cannot be put in words, it can only be experienced. Even the snap on the left does not do enough justice.
My day would usually be somewhat like this on this getaway.
The morning coffee is greeted with the few boatmen eagerly taking their passengers to 2 small islands called “Monkey Island” and “Butterfly Island” (These are really small with the circumference probably between 2-3 kms. Isolated, without a single soul and clean, with just few meters of a small stretch of beach on which one can land). Umesh (one friendly boatman) is the first to great me every morning yelling out “Hello! Good Morning Sir! All ok?”, I can smell cheap liquor on him even at a distance. The newbie passengers seem unsure on how to sit on the boat as Umesh lifts a small plastic stool off from a cabin and places it in the water signalling them to step on this and leap over. First preference are always ladies and kids, the men are totally ignored for some time, and then asked to push the boat further into the sea, as Umesh happily chats with the ladies. Then finally he asks the men to somehow jump into the boat. Thin, fat, young or old, none are spared, as they first helplessly stare and then make an effort. Finally he sets of, first by paddling a bit further and then roaring his Yamaha engine to life.
A breakfast of puri-bhajji is delivered and I munch happily sitting at the beach while few well fed dogs eagerly approach me for a few bits.
“Come! My Shop!” greets me around noon. A saleswoman tries to convince me her small shop sells the most sought after goods in India. “Clothes for you.. “, My friend jokingly remarks that my size will not be available. She remarked “Yes yes.. we have!, big size, this size!” and stretches her hands as far as she could, almost to accommodate the butt of an elephant.
The nearby restaurant serves us lunch in a cosy place which has mats below to sit with a sea view. Sitting cross-legged I happily eat while a low volume song plays in the background. Everyone seems to understand the need to maintain peace here. The owner chats with me explaining his North India background, and that how he works for 6 months in Goa and 6 months in Himachal Pradesh to make the maximum use of the difference in peak months for business. While Goa does great business during the winter, Himachal does best in summer.
The afternoons can get a bit hot, and the shaded cabins offer limited relief. The best way to beat the heat was to plunge into the sea. The calm waters of the cove are excellent for this and the water is shallow even at distance.
The sunset is dramatic. It sets at the edge of a hill, and the sky starts turning from off-white to orange, to red with the sea camouflaging the sky color. At twilight steaks of red, orange and blue magically appear in the sky. The fishermen come back from their trip and a familiar “Hello Sir, Help push!” greets me, as they expect me to help them push the boat back to the shore. I happily oblige on the first day but magically and conveniently disappear on the remaining just in the nick of time.
The nights are really cold, and breezy. Tortoise coils (mosquito repellent coil which is lit up like incense) are lit, sending off a stream of smoke. All in all, I have hardly moved around, hardly thought of anything, hardly spoken to anyone including my friends who themselves seem content in the quiet ambience. Wasted day? A good Vipasana session I say!
I end it with a good sleep with the sound of waves in the background. I am surely smiling in my sleep.