The Monsoon in Goa

 

There is something quite majestic about the monsoon in Goa as is batters down in fury on the dry earth.

Im sitting in my upstairs Suite at my Mitaroy Goa Hotel and as I type this, I can hear the rain thundering down on the tiled roof above me. Whenever I stay at my Mitaroy Goa Hotel in the monsoons, I make it a point to stay in the upstairs Suite so that I can hear the rain as it hits the tiles.

There is something in the Indian Monsoon that brings out the writer in one and the Monsoon in Goa has the same effect. Images of hot samosas (homemade by one of the ladies in Fontainhas) and adrak wali Masala chai automatically pop into my mind. It was 7th standard Hindi class, if I remember correctly, where we had this one story about a man who came back home after work and had the hot samosas and masala chai that his wife had prepared for him. And the image has stuck in my mind.

During the day, I love to sit on the my Suite balcony and watch the rain as it cascades incessantly from the rooftops. The coconut trees sway in the background, bowed down by the constant rain that falls on it. Sitting on my Suite balcony and watching the rain pour down, I am both enamoured and awed by the force and fury of the monsoon. I also watch as the small rivulets turn into gushing little streams and how the students from the nearby school walk in these streams on their way back home. Like the cliche, it seems to be the girls who carefully and daintily side step the streams while the boys make it a point to step right into the big puddles!

The advent of the Monsoon in Goa also signifies the end of the tourist season in Goa. On the beach mile in North Goa (read Baga, Calangute, Candolim etc), the shacks are securely shut and covered, to be opened after the monsoon has passed. Surprisingly, there are still tourists in Fontainhas and for some reason known to them alone, they all seem to be French. Although originally the Portuguese Quarter of Panjim, it is now French that can be heard in the streets as the French tourists walk around with their cameras and their umbrellas.

The Panjim riverfront is a popular Monsoon hangout for local and tourist couples alike as they hold hands and walk along the Mandovi river. Unmindful of the pouring rain, it seems that these couples only have eyes for each other.

Another popular Monsoon sightseeing spot is the Dona Paula jetty, a few kilometres drive from Panjim. If you climb to the top of the small outcrop, near the statue of Dona Paula and her lover, you can marvel at the force of the waves as they thrash and pound at the Dona Paula jetty, sending their spray  high into the air.

But the Monsoon is best enjoyed outside the city of Panjim. Driving through the verdant green fields and small villages outside Panjim it seems as if the whole of Goa has been washed clean by an unseen hand!

Mihir Nayak

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