They knew that the best time to visit Goa is from November to March, which understandably is the peak tourist season of the state. But when you are four adults and two children, all immersed in academia in the U.S., you travel after classes finish in June,the only time of the year you can get away for several weeks at a time. What else are you gonna do?
You do the only thing you can do, you go anyway. And by the looks of these photographs from our relatives in India who were on hand to welcome our two daughters (whose last visits to India were 25 years ago), their significant others, and our two grandchildren whom most of the India contingent had not yet met, the rain may have dampened the occasion but certainly not their spirits. After all, the worst thing about being in the rain is getting wet, and in concept, rain is just as liberating as standing up and going forward in spite of and regardless of any kind of diversity.
Thanks to modern technology and gadgetry and online photo-hosting sites, Hubby and I have been able to share a small part of the family gathering which we missed because of my ongoing radiation treatments. Whether it’s our longing that we be there ourselves, or the hidden talent of the photographers, I think the following photographs show an exceptional charm of a monsoon meeting of west and east. I hope you enjoy them too.
Most travelers from abroad to India never get to wake up to the charms of a wet Goa.
Too bad, for they never experience Goa with swaying palm trees dancing to the tune of winds racing along the coast of the Arabian Sea . Strong winds blow in from the southwest to the southeast during Goa’s monsoon months (June-September) and bring rain that pulls deeper, nutrient-rich waters to the surface of coastal areas that provide rich fishing grounds for the Goa known for its seafood.
Monsoon avoiders will never walk along windy and rain soaked beach along a part of Goa’s nearly 53 miles of coastline . . .
or play in the surf of a sandy beach that comes awfully close to being the equal of Florida’s east coast near where I grew up. Another plus for monsoon travel to Goa, there’s no maddening crowd–which would be much more likely during the peak tourist season.
A rare moment of repose for this extremely boisterous and talkative pair, Anahita, whom I’m told can spin a 20 minute story about a lizard’s death, no doubt she has a poet’s DNA, and equally adept storyteller, Vimmy, who has decided to let her bangs grow out and may possibly be suffering from a little jet lag from the looks of her eyes. Or, knowing her rather well as I do, may be practicing her sultry look.
Leave it to children to find pleasure in the most simple of activities. Not to be outdone by an older male, (Thomas in bottom picture) Vimmy and her cousin Anahita practice the art of manipulating colorful umbrellas provided by the hotel. The art of staying dry? Not so much it seems. Where’s the fun in that?!
Thomas, who to my knowledge has never met a stranger, evidently talked some of the big guys into letting him join in on a game of water polo in the hotel swimming pool.
Our brood, ASIL Ben, Vimala, Monisha and SIL Frank on their way to church.
Even monsoons take a break now and then, so everyone heads to visit the Basilica of Bom (good or holy) Jesus.
The silver casket that holds the body of St. Francis Xavier (1696) lies atop the mausoleum, which was a gift of the last of the Medici, Cosimo III, The Grand Duke of Tuscany.Though St Francis Xavier died on his voyage to China and was buried there, his body was brought back to Goa after two years, in accordance with his wish. It was then discovered that the body was still intact.The body of St Francis Xavier, when brought to Goa, was laid in St. Paul’s church.After St. Francis Xavier was canonized, in 1662, the body was shifted to Basilica of Bom Jesus, where it still remains, open for public viewing.
On the van ride to the Basilica, Thomas apparently overheard a story about the condition of St. Xavier’s body over different periods of temporary entombment in China and elsewhere, about people stealing body parts, etc, and that one of the fingers on the left hand is missing. The right arm was severed at some point at the elbow. What amuses me most is his inheriting, apparently, a muse for the macabre–probably through me–from his great-great-great grandma on my maternal side. She thrived on not only reading newspaper obituaries every day, but had a vast collection of true crime magazines of the goriest nature in her possessions at her death at age 84.
Finally, I’m posting this picture of Anahita doing an impression of a seagull I think, though it may be a Yoga pose for all I know. Though only a silhouette, I think it’s utterly charming as is she.
Finally, here’s most of the mix. Standing left to right are niece Nirupa, daughter #1 Monisha, SIL Frank, sister-in law Shyamala with her hubby, brother #1 Sekar. Middle row (sitting): brother #2 Raj and wife Vasantha, and Malavika holding Anahita on her knee. Front: Arun (Malavika’s hubby), grandson Thomas, and granddaughter Vimmy. Missing are ASIL Ben and daughter #2 Vimala.