I hated the feeling of sweat dripping from my forehead and I soon took to avoiding the kitchen altogether. My husband and daughter seemed more accommodating of the change in place. They took to wearing shorts and Oshos (straw slippers) like they had been born in them while I looked longingly at my mojdis (leather slippers popular in Delhi). They seemed like me; out of place in their surroundings. They weren’t made to walk in sand. I felt overwhelmed by the change.
I missed a lot of things about Delhi, the feeling of solid earth below my feet, the dry weather, the Khao- ’87 oullies (street markets) the shopping sprees, the beautiful manicured gardens but most of all, I missed my friend Supriya.
Supriya was my best friend and when we bid our last goodbye we wept like high school girls forgetting we were women in our late thirties. While she promised to write and email, I promised her that Goa wasn’t Timbuktu after all and I would visit at least once in a couple of years.
The first few months in Goa my computer was my best friend. Hearing from Supriya helped me keep my sanity in a world full of change. It wasn’t the same thing as speaking to her everyday but it was the best we could do. I missed our shopping sprees, our discussions on our children and our husbands, and I missed having my personal counselor.
Most of all I missed our lunch parties. Since we were both married to Jains, our kitchens were strictly vegetarian. Supriya and me, had found this nice little place called ‘Simply Fish’ that served wonderful fish. It was not just the fish; we went there for the sole curry too. It was something we tasted for the first time at ‘Simply Fish’ and after that we were addicted to it.
We loved the ambience of the place. It was laid back, and no one bothered you once they had laden your table with food. We spent precious moments laughing and discussing our dreams over glasses of sole curry and platters of fish. It was as if the rest of the world just ceased to exist during those few hours.
The monsoons hit Goa and I was glad for the respite from the heat but the humidity, it just wouldn’t go away. Still the sound of the rain was soothing and I felt I just had to give Goa a shot. One day when my daughter had gone to school and my husband was at work I decided to set about seeing Goa. Equipped with a map I set about looking for a temple to worship at.
All roads looked the same. On either side there were large expanses of sand. One hour into my search I felt frustrated, confused, and lost. I had passed three churches in a radius of seven kilometers but the temple alluded me. And then to make matters worse it began to pour.
My umbrella seemed insignificant against the wind and the Goan downpour and I stood on the road feeling totally spent. Tears the size of raindrops threatened to slide down my face and before I could succumb to the urge, someone materialized out of thin air and pushed me under a roof. I found myself standing under the awning of a beach resort.
I wiped my eyes and went inside. A cup of tea was just what I needed. I motioned to the waiter to get me a cup. He gave me a native grin and gestured to the menu. They did not serve tea. It seemed like the last straw and then my eyes spotted something else—’Sole Curry’. Quickly I scanned the rest of the menu. There was only fish, fish, and some more fish.
I ordered 2 bowls of Sole curry and a platter of fried fish. It felt silly and wonderful all at the same time. Suddenly Goa didn’t seem bad at all. For the first time since I arrived I felt that I could perhaps learn to think of this place as home.
My lips smiled of their own volition, and I started to make plans. I could make new friends, and bring them to this place. I could sit down here and read my book sipping sole curry while listening to the gentle sound of the waves. When Supriya camae to visit we could come up here and together toast cx>ur friendship, a friendship that would survive the miles.
I lifted my cup in a silent toast to my dear friend Supriya. I couldn’t care less that it was; a silly thing to do. I toasted the nice little resort that had served me lunch. It had taken just two bowls of sole curry and a platter of fish to lessen my pain and strengthen my re-solve.
Now let’s try a little fusion: Comb ination of a poem and a short poetry.