The Goa Diaries: When A Pleasant Surprise Went Unpleasant
We took the map from the hotel and set off. What a wonderful weather, what bursts of rain, what greenery and what Goan music! I fell in love with the music.
It was our day two in Goa. South Goa actually. We had taken a car on rent for the entire week so that our beautiful family feel might not be disturbed by an unknown person. Moreover because my hubby is more comfortable at driving with me by him than he by a driver.
As it was monsoon time in Goa, our trip advisor had recommended a few off beat places in Goa since we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the water sports.
DudhSagar was one of those. We took the map from the hotel and set off. What a wonderful weather, what bursts of rain, what greenery and what Goan music! I fell in love with the music.
Mansi, my eight year daughter, gave a wonderful explanation that perhaps we all loved those songs because we didn’t actually understand them and therefore were fancying our own respective meanings. Right!
Well the ride was fabulous, a long long drive comprising of around 60 kilometres!
We reached the place called Spice Gardens. There we met a chap named Kisna who tactfully discouraged us by telling that the way on to DoodhSagar was closed during monsoon n we couldn’t go any further. We could however enjoy an elephant ride in the gardens. He was distracting us from our decided plan.
Negotiations went on, first we had the suggested ride which we enjoyed along with kids and then he told that we could somehow be transported to the desired place if we really really wished to.
We foolishly agreed to be transported by an evening train that would drop us a few kilometres away from the destination. He assured to go along.
Having had lunch in the jungle restaurant we patiently waited for the train not actually knowing it was an illegal enterprise we were venturing into.
The Delhi to Goa train swallowed us in. He ushered us in the reservation coach with no tickets n himself went out of sight!!!
Mansi was scared beyond limit while we failed to assure her that Kisna uncle might be there in another coach n he would certainly be answerable in case we were interrogated.
It was half an hour ride n my daughter remained on pins n’ needless throughout. Even the most refreshing glimpses of beautiful waterfalls on the way n a number of long tunnels that might otherwise fascinate her…couldn’t set her at ease.
The ticket checker came, casting questioning looks at us. We candidly admitted we had none n narrated what was the scene.
He smiled! He asked us to get down the moment the train stopped. We were puzzled. What was going on? It was a big game perhaps.
Anyway, we did get down. Kisna the villain stood smiling too! ‘Arrey Mansi baby dar gayee? Darne ka kuch nahin. We are going to enjoy.‘ He explained, grabbing her arm. I grabbed it back at once for he had already caused so much anxiety to us and couldn’t be trusted.
We kept walking actually on the railway track for two kilometres or so with a bunch of other fools like us.
The tunnels were threatening indeed with tumultuous waterfalls all around making a deafening sound! We were guided by nothing but our mobile torches. Kisna appeared and disappeared at intervals. We felt like somebody was playing a trick upon us and we had no other option but to follow him and laugh at his silly jokes.
Sheer adventure! Sheer ecstasy!
Rain poured profuse in fits and starts. We were drenched, shuddering and shivering at the same time.
Aah! What a view! What an awesome glimpse of nature! We were swept off our feet the moment we beheld the much talked of DudhSagar!
Kisna read our expressions intently like it was he the real lord Kisna who had procured the scene by his magic!
‘Ab boliye madam ji!’
What to say! We were dumbfounded with pleasant surprise at the mastery of God who had created such magical things!
Sixty minutes flew off in the twinkling of an eye and we did not want to go back! But…wait a minute! How were we to go back? He had said not a word about it!
And where was he? Aah! He had not only been carrying our group but a few more, all duped the same way!
More and more people kept pouring into sight along with the bouts of fresh rain that made us quiver like leaves in the gust of air. A few ladies carried infants in their laps who kept crying out as it was chilly cold.
All our clothes dripping. Our shoulder bags were damp and heavy. It was dusk. The magnificently beautiful scenery around was now acquiring darker shades.
At last seeing our helpless faces Kisna, the hero for the day, did disclose what lay at the back of his mind.
“Why you all afraid? Kisna won’t cheat you. Madam maza toh aaya na?”
I could not disagree though I hated him at the moment. The kids gave him a wry smile. They knew we badly depended on this man.
To our shock we were told that approximately half an hour or so more there might be…might be…mind it…an engine which we needed to board at once if we wanted to get back to the place we had parked our vehicles!
By the way…did we actually remember the place where we had parked our vehicles?
A few crazy heads were still indulged in the favourite pass time… the selfie mania…to be uploaded on Facebook. They were lying literally on the track and what not!
We held our breaths for we could actually see an engine whistling from distance. Kisna made us run this way, and that way, which way not? The trickster… the cheater!
It was just an engine and we were perhaps more than thirty!
Babies cried loudly. The rain did not show any mercy. We were scared lest one of we four should be left behind!
I could not imagine the other precious three but myself. What if it was actually me? Would I be the same nature lover after this day? Would I be dancing in the rain amidst such magically unreal surroundings?
My hubby pushed me onto the engine first of all. I pulled Kashish, my son. While hubby ji was helping Mansi to reach me, the terrible ride began! A man with family who was still to board assured my hubby that he would have Mansi land safely by her mom and he should try for the other entry. Mansi faded with panic and so did we.
The engine was full of sweating and terrified couples with kids. Kashish stood out resting himself on nothing but an iron railing.
Me…? Don’t even ask! I had no railing in front of me to depend upon! Just a tool box, outside the engine with Mansi in my lap! Our blood froze. The damned engine was gathering speed and I could not really hold on without a support!
Was a doomed day this kind? Did devils come nowadays in your life with such names as Kisna?
“Where the hell is that fellow? ” I asked Kashish. Kashish looked at him as he stood just next to him!
“Kya hua madam? Kyon dar rahe ho? Kuch nahin hoga. Aap meri jagah pey aa jao railing pakad lo. Ek ghante ki toh baat hai!”
He could see how panicked we were. He somehow managed to usher us inside the engine where the women with infants stood alarmed. I looked for some biscuits to offer to the child but I found them all a soggy mess in my bag.
All this while my hubby stood on the other side leaning on the railing with few more adventurous souls taking pictures of the scenes around! Oh! And we could not see him from where we were. We did not call him either fearing it might lead to throwing him off balance.
After an hour that seemed no less than a year of agony and exertion we halted with a rude jerk. As a rule, I don’t ever curse anyone but I did curse him. I told him bluntly he was so reckless a man who could not be forgiven.
“Madam, adventure ke liye ghar se nikle the na? Puchiye Mansi baby se. She enjoyed or not. DudhSagar toh mast tha naa?”
I did not know what to answer him or not. Dudhsagar was beautiful but he had turned it into a nightmare for us.
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