"Goa is the best in the monsoons," every seasoned visitor to Goa will proclaim with that 'all knowing' air. But to a newbie, Goa without the beaches and the beach shacks, is like arriving at a dance party without a DJ. So, how are they expected to play 'antakshari' while the rain decides to stop? No. Well, that too, but no. There are other things, other than the usual - things full of joy and delight. And we at Aashyana encourage you to indulge. Go out preparing to soak it in. Not literally. Carry an umbrella; wear light clothes, rain shoes and shorts. Sling on a waterproof bag to tuck away the phone, wallet, a towel and a dry shirt. Pack a snack and carry something to drink. This is going to be off the beaten trail.
Get Wet Day 1
Take a long walk on a desolate beach. The sea would be roaring, the wind piercing, the clouds majestic, and the changing light mesmerizing. If the rain beats down, don’t even attempt that umbrella and get into a tangle. Just let the blessed thing hit you. Open up your arms and let the heavens pour down. What you will feel next cannot be described. People are known to run deliriously, screaming joyously, going around and round with arms flapping, running into the waves, stomping on puddles… Soon you too will feel foolish for acting like a child. But there will be no one to look at you. Just you, or people with whom you can 'be your'elf'. The water is clean, the air is fresh and there is no traffic or madding crowd. The world is safe and you are in happiness.
Get Wet Day 2
Find a fishing rod and go down to a water body. Find a jetty or bridge, by a river or the sea, even a small stream or a pond will do. You will always find good company: young and the old, men and women, with hooks, rods, baskets and baits trying to catch fish, crabs, clams and oysters. No worries if you don’t know a thing about fishing, you will figure and you are guaranteed to catch fish as the waters are teeming with it, and if you are lucky you may even hook one big enough for dinner. Someone may sell you a bunch of fresh clams. The Aashyana kitchen shall be more than happy to prepare it for you. Your day will be made, that’s for sure.
Get Wet Day 3
Travel a little inland, hire a boat, or rent a kayak. Or simply drive down, crossing over in the ferry and along the river. The water gurgles, the grass is lush, the rain drips and the ripples make fascinating patterns. Find a nice perch, under a tree, or on a rock, with a view to savor. There is much bird watching to do – kingfishers, herons, egrets, ducks, kites and storks. The pied kingfisher hovers like a helicopter and dives like a kamikaze, the darter goes under water and pops out unexpected, the jacanas walk on floating greens… There is amazing flora too: water lilies, lotuses and wild flowers in all hues. There are a variety of butterflies, beetles, dragonflies and exotic bugs that you have never seen. In the rains everything is washed, fresh and resplendent - showing themselves off to you. If you are into photography, a macro world will open up: water droplets on petals at f1.4, glittering spider webs via 300mm, hovering bees at 240 fps…
Get Wet Day 4
If you are a surrealist, the wet world will provide you enough reflections, refractions and rainbows to keep you fascinated. You could paint watercolours if you are of an artistic bent, or just plain dyslexic. Let the colours flow and smudge and merge as they feel. You will be creating marvels and masterpieces in no time. Aashyana encourages art, craft and green activities. You will also find gardening tools. Help us sow seeds and grow plants – monsoon is the time for it. Collect herbs and vegetables from our garden and pick a few flowers to decorate your room. And if you want to just play with wet mud, we can guarantee it’s the most fun.
Steaming and Crispy
A wet day has to be capped with a steaming and crispy snack: hot 'pakoras' and spiced tea, or hot chocolate and crispy pancakes – heartwarming and soul pleasing stuff. At Aashyana we rejoice at treating our guests. We serve snacks fresh and hot, which you could bite into at the deck overlooking the sea, or the patio opening into the garden, or in your own private sit-out – basically wherever you wish to spread out and just relax. A barbeque at this time is most delightful, accompanied with drinks suffused with fresh summer fruit. A light strain of musical strings merging with the singing cicadas provides the perfect background score for these happy moments.
The Dark Night
The monsoon days are fun, but the nights are special too! Here is a special inky darkness, the rain clatters, the wind bellows, the clouds thunder, the frogs croak in unison… You experience this "noisy" silence from your safe and dry retreat. It’s the occasion for long conversations with yourself and with ones close to you. Time to play truth and dare, or a board game … perhaps with a twist? Wait, did someone suggest a ghost story session? And now you want 'antakshari'? Its already three in the morning, the rain has not let up…
Really, "Goa is the best in the monsoons", you are bound to agree.