Perhaps today i will use my memory to remember a recent trip to write it out. The thought of it came when i had reached Mandovi River bridge that evening.
I was about to board my Delhi to Goa flight that evening when i received a message that I should respond to a PDF for a physical art show at a Cafe. Little did this person know, that before leaving delhi, i some how was guided by mind to search on google maps where this location was. Its as if my mind, my inner self had told me, my body to take it there and visit this place. It is the most utmost strange thing how this happens.
kind of like how we get attracted to, repulsive of things in life…
On the morning of 31st i waited for my brother to hand me over his scooty, and he did tell me to check its tyre pressure, that i made my way from Panjim to Anjuna. My friend through out this journey was – Google maps.
I got onto my scooty and filled up the petrol and climbed on to the flyover crossing the panjim river, Mandovi and immediately got off it once the flyover ended. Its an immediate sharp left which takes you down and below and on the other side of the river.
from here i passed the Betim gurudwara and the ferry stop and driving long empty stretches and going up a hilly industrial space for few kilometers till i reached the Saligao junction. here i made the mistake of taking a left to head to a road connecting Baga and Anjuna beach. Knowing the Cafe was close to and inside Anjuna.
3lst meant that as i came closer to the T junction, this whole stretch of 5-7 kilometre would be filled with Cars. Innovas and SUV’s and smaller and bigger cars all bumper to bumper for the next 2 to 3 hours. But since my mind does not give up, i could not just turn around. All it kept saying was, you are almost there.
I turned into one of the roads and that kept taking me inner and inner and inner. After this I was not sure when to check google maps and when not to. Cars did not leave me even for a second. And this has to be the worst of goa I have ever seen. But then who cares.
I managed to park my scooty at an extremly crowded baga beach because i was hungry but could not eat anything. This was not people on the beach. It was human disaster. Sitting on the shacks, you could not see the beach. It was like a mela with millions of people on the beach. I left with disappointment and kept driving to search for a place to stop and eat and this took me around a river, more bridges and i kept diverting traffic blockages to reach a junction to break for coconut water and it was 4 pm now. And i had left my place at 1 pm. The google maps showed – 2.4 km left. And the line was blue. Around me it said Vagator.
Sadly all the bad singers in India. Punjabi singers, Rappers and others were planning to descend tonite in these hotels and public places for new year and i feared encountering worse traffic on my way back so i had to reach quickly and leave also.
From here, after eating the cocount inside and drinking its water, i drove again searching for the place, to reach to a small junction. Here the road entered its final 100 meter stretch showing manali cafe and the actual cafe ahead of me. I crossed it and turned around, only to find it again on my left. A pen and ink drawn goat on the wall.
I had reached my destination.
A steak burger, a rose drink and seeing the art exhibition at ease. Small framed works were aligned through out the place, an exhibition which blended in so well. The google maps did not betray me and it was pretty ok to come all this way but i felt stupid to do it on the 31st but at the same time i have never come to goa for a new year event. This is as bad as it can get when i think of humans and human activities.
As has been the case of seeing exhibitions, i just have to see it and i know, can read the aesthetics as a language. The curator had their work and i could enjoy the lines of the sketch pens. Now how do i tell the curator without giving it out that i am here ? So i shared a message, an image of their catalogue but not the dead online PDF but the actual physical printed book with 2 on it.
I have to see the actual physical works, not the digital images, i wanted to say to the curator sipping my rose petal drink. I can not make any judgement or respond to how good a work is through digital images. I have to be there in person because the works are on a Site, a physical space where i move with my body in this world. I am dealing with memories in my mind, there was the room light in the first room and this room had natural light and a work was etched out, another had photos collaged, another was a mono print, and they were placed next to each other with good space in between them and the catalogue was placed in a natural wall built hole. I picked it up to read, to eat my beef burger, watching the ants on my table look for food.
I did not use my google maps on the way back. It was 5 pm and i never ever want to drive in goa at night because my route is un lit, through the forest area and unsafe since i dont like to drive on the main mapusa panjim road. I wanted to ride back without the sun hitting my face.
What is extreme in nature is what we think and what the actual site would be? This is an experience i feel i never want to miss. The idea that i think of a place and when you get there physically.
I drove back remembering that i almost lost my balance in between some where and pressed the accelerator instead of the brakes. Lack of or error of cognition, and that i could cross hundreds of cars in just a few second because i was on a scooty. That i finally found someone to check the tyre air near saligao and thinking Souza lived here. That there is a fear to skid while coming down a hill rather than going up.
The sunset accompanied me as i went back on the same route that i came on till i reached betim gurudwara around 6:15 pm. The sun had left me. I had karah parshad in the gurudwara and asked if i could take some parshad for my brother but they were out of the DONGAS.
I left in a hurry and could see the coloured small ships in the mandovi river, all decked up with lights for 31st night. These are all Floating Casinos. My last stretch or my last relief was when i reached the miramar beach round about. I headed to the chemist in Caranzelum to get medication, fruits and dahi to be eaten with the paranthas that i brought from delhi. By 7-7:30 pm i was back.
I was left remembering how the whole day passed by. My list of pending emails and whats app messages had added up. no one lets me live in peace. They forever want to know this and that. I wish someday i could go, but without my smartphone and not be in a pressure to stop and reply or check my messages. It’s stressful.