Flying and driving seem quite different and yet so similar. Its true that pilots manouvre their aircrafts and drivers steer their vehicles. But my experience of driving to Goa by car was akin to flying. The route via highway NH4(NH 47 as it shows on signboards) is memorable. The roads have been maintained very well. No wonder that one experiences ‘flying’.
I called it Grace filled, as I am one who has at various times experienced ‘road rage’. This is so common specially in Mumbai. But the miracle of this trip was a spirit of calmness and peace.
Even in Goa, our outings were so good. Mind you, in India there is a lot of rancor about the demonetization, and people expressing their annoyance and frustration in this regard.
What I saw in Goa was so different. People were peacefully conducting their lives without much ado.
We visited family and friends within the few days on this trip. Our guest on this trip, a Brother, who helps us in community building work, took time off, to take in the breath of Goa.
Most likely his presence was instrumental in the grace we experienced. We were given warm welcomes at different homes. Hospitality in Goa is such that the best is offered at the dining table. ‘ No thank you, that’s enough’ is a phrase which will not be entertained. You can just imagine what happens when you visit three homes in one day.
The conversations brought back memories of the past. Pets, gardens and the well laid out properties, were a good part of this fellowship. In one of the cousins place we witnessed Goa of old, where even farming was given importance. Ponds brimming with fish, cattle, ( with Gobar gas to provide home fuel), coconut trees, pet dogs reminded me of the natural Goa, which is slowly evolving to a modern Goa.
Methinks , that an avid photographer will thoroughly enjoy such moments; to capture memories and look back at them, is priceless. Now I understand why there are so many pictures of sunsets and sunrises. When you visit the beaches of Goa, the sunset takes your breath away. It is so beautiful that you will just look with awe; surely God is the Marvellous Artist in all His creation.
During this short sojourn, I was very keen on visiting an old cousin who I had not seen for the past 4-5 years. It gave me great joy to see him. He also shared some of his profound experiences of God speaking into his life. He lives alone and yet is in touch with the world around him. Another uncle was happy to see us, but did not speak much. Our presence was enough to bring him solace.
A very touching moment of visits to family was one to another cousin who has been diagnosed with cancer. Joy, suffering , love and faith, and the expression of this faith in action was a revelation. We prayed together, more importantly for acceptance of the moment and God’s will. Her faith in God, over the years and specially now through her suffering, has brought about a transformation in my cousin’s family, wherein her immediate family have become faithfilled and have renewed lives.
Our final day in Goa, was at the Bay15, a quaint place close to the seaside. Words cannot describe the sunset we experienced at this place. The ambience of the resort matched the environment.
Log cabins, a little swimming pool, a spread out dining area with each table having a natural thatched roof, was so beautiful. That was the last day, but the best , as we had enough time on hand to relax and just enjoy the moment with a quiet meal.
I have only shared about the sunsets in Goa. On the journey back to Mumbai, we left before sunrise. We were just past the outskirts of Goa, when the sun rose in all its splendor. I was flushed with excitement, and saw this while driving and also in the side mirror. My wish was…..to photograph this scene. But all wishes cannot be granted. I was not alone , and the urgency to move on, prevailed.
Much later while reaching Amboli, we stopped for breakfast. Here we made up for the missed oppportunity of clicking the sunrise. We got a scenic view of the valley from the mountain top , a reflection of the sun’s rays from behind our vantage point. This moment requires to be still and just take in the awesomeness of nature.
We breezed through the remaining journey. At lunch hour I got the windmills on their slow rotation. The best part of the journey was sailing through the Pune Expressway , above Pune, which made our drive that much shorter. I had never driven from Pune to Mumbai in 2 hours, but was thrilled when this happened. The bonus of the entire trip was that we did not have to pay any toll fees throughout the journey, thanks to the relief measure to offset the turmoil of short change against the retired Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
I ask you a question. Can we smile even when we are immersed in difficulities. Can we be joyous inspite of the miserable conditions prevailing.
My answer is a resounding ‘Yes’ ! As this Brother says ,we can always rise above our circumstances. Nothing can stop that, when we have the eyes of a loving Father ‘God’ who cares for us as His own son/daughter.