My Memorable Trip To Goa
It was my best friend’s wedding in the last week of November 2017. I was overjoyed and really, really happy for her, but at the same time, a little wistful as I know she will now not be able to spend as much time with me. She is originally from Goa, her family still lives there, but came to Mumbai 4 years ago for work and that’s where we became really close over all these years as I too work for the same organization.
Rochelle, that’s my best friend, and myself had been making several plans for her wedding ceremonies and I was in the know about almost everything. Right from her dress, decorations, functions and food……..it was all so exciting and we had been waiting for the day anxiously. She had also chosen to make me the bride’s maid. Rochelle and her to-be husband Daniel, from Mumbai, had decided to get married in Goa. So for all purposes, this was a destination wedding for us.
For the wedding, they had decided to travel to Goa with Daniel’s close family and very close friends by bus. So tickets for all, were booked in bulk on www.abhibus.com. That’s where the party began! We boarded the bus at 7.30 in the morning, stocked with some delicious, snacky, home-made food, the guitar and of course all our baggage. I noticed the bus was full. There was 17 of us and so the rest of the bus was occupied by either individuals, couples or other small groups. The journey was one pleasurable experience with lots of talking, laughing, napping, eating and sharing with our fellow-bus travelers. We also had very enjoyable singing sessions intermittently, both in English and Hindi, with the permission of our fellow-travellers. This was all the more fun, because they joined in too and as a result we hardly felt the travel distance and time. When it was time to get off at our stops in the evening, it felt like we were leaving behind friends. But then, that’s what life is about……you meet new people and make new relationships.
Rochelle’s family home was in South Goa at Colva and was an amazing property, passed down from a few generations. It looked even more impressive and inviting because it had recently been renovated for the wedding. And I was the lucky one who was invited to stay with the bride and boy, was I delighted! The groom and his side of the family, had chosen to book a few rooms at one of the condos in Candolim, which is in North Goa and this is where our bus party separated. Starting from the next day, was the fun and several ceremonies that preceded the wedding. We retired early that night, but excited about what awaited us in the coming days.
As we had four days before the wedding, we had decided that the first day was an all-out hen-party/ picnic….ie a last party session for the spinster before marriage. We started the day with an early morning swim at the beautiful Benaulim beach, followed by a lovely breakfast at one of their shacks. Lazed there for a while and then did some fun shopping at the local flea markets. We stopped over for a light, delicious lunch at some other restaurant and finally headed to a bistro-bar for some live party-music, dancing, drinks and food. We were joined by 5 of Rochelle’s young cousins and 4 of her very close friends. This was a day that Rochelle would definitely cherish as she was with her closest pals and family and it turned out to be such a chilled out, super fun day.
The next day was the Roce ceremony for Rochelle at her beautiful house and this turned out to be a combination of both, traditional rituals and fun activities. Family members and close friends applied coconut milk to the bride’s face and hands and legs and also mine, being the bride’s maid and then teased us by breaking eggs on our head and emptying the bowl of coconut milk all over us. It was one messy affair but fun. Sumptuous food, music and dance followed. In this manner, the next few days turned out to be just great food, partying, fun and frolic at the various ceremonies which were held at different venues.
For the wedding, which was scheduled 2 days after the Roce, the bride and her immediate family, which of course included me, was booked into a lovely house close to vagator beach. This was the most convenient, as a section of the thalassa Restaurant at the beach was booked out as the wedding venue, since it was a small crowd of just around 40 people. After the meaningful church ceremony held early evening, we headed to the venue just before the sun set. One could not have asked for a more dream-like wedding! The ambience was divine and the setting beautiful as the restaurant is perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. This added all the magic to the wedding celebration as we enjoyed the breath-taking view, wonderful Mediterranean food, varied drinks, the lovely traditional and fun greek dance put up by the restaurant owners and just about everything that took place at that time. This was definitely a dreamy, romantic wedding and Daniel and Rochelle could not have asked for more. The next 2 days were again all about celebration, fun and dinners hosted by the bride and groom’s families. And before I knew it, a week had flown past and it was time to head back to home and work for me.
Need I say, this was one trip I’ll never forget! “Goa, I’m coming back for more!”
Picture Credit : My Wedding Planning, goagrapevine.com