February 13, 2013 § Leave a comment
Goa: it’s green, glistening, and absolutely gorgeous. Silky sand, crystalline shores, and temperatures that soar upwards of ninety are just a few reasons I set my sights on the coastal state. I wanted to slow it down – way down.
The seaside town of Palolem is nestled along a small crescent beach, and was one of Goa’s undiscovered gems with very few tourists and facilities to offer them, as little as ten to fifteen years ago, when things were booming up north. Fast-forward to now, and it’s no longer hidden (nowhere is!), but remains one of the sleepier, and in my opinion, extremely stunning spots. If you want to avoid the ultra-hippies who bathe in patchouli oil, and are obsessed with their pooja prayers and mantras, as well as the trance seeking, drug taking, everything’s a party crowd, then this is your spot. Palm trees, tea plantations, and coco-huts. What more can you ask for?
I spent the first few nights inland, but eventually made my way to the shores, and was lucky enough to find the perfect thatched-roof hut. With an adorable porch, fit with a hammock, I was able to spend my days swaying like the palms around me, soaking up the sun, going for long walks, and peddling through the countryside. It was the perfect place to sit and contemplate all that has transpired. Not just here in India, but beyond that. I’m a firm believer that it’s healthy to take a step back and asses your circumstances, every so often: where you are, where you’ve been, and where you want to go. Who’s in your life, why do they matter, and do you do unto them, as you wish done to you.
In India, spirituality and religion are apart of everything you touch, taste, feel, and hear. It’s all around you. Hindus believe that earthly life is cyclical: you are born again and again, the quality of these rebirths being dependent upon your conduct in previous lives – your Karma. It’s your actions, not your words that define you. Living a righteous life and fulfilling your dharma (social duty) will enhance your chances of improving your circumstances in the next life. Alternatively, if enough bad karma has accumulated, rebirth can take animal form, and if that shall happen, there’s no going back or saying you’re sorry… your soul must move on, and carry out its sentence.
Now, I am not Hindu. I don’t believe in the Brahman, Vishnu, or Shiva. But I do believe that our time on this earth matters – that how we treat each other truly matters – and that we will be held accountable for our actions, whether it’s in this life, or the next…