If you are a first-time flyer to Goa and have planned an under-five-day trip, I suggest, you cancel it. Why would you want to take a chance of getting an unfulfilling feeling at the end of it, after all. Wish someone told me exactly that. Well, yes, It was my first teeny-weeny visit to India’s party land and I have come back with lots of takeaways, some grudges of not having spent enough time and of course, sweet memories.
The short-trip wasn’t planned intentionally. It all happened within a day’s notice. So, usually when someone plans for a first ever Goa trip, I can imagine how the preparations must be like – shopping for the destination-to-be, cameras readied for the already-imagined Facebook album and not to forget, the gearing up for the twitter-friendly posts with self-made hashtags. Pure self-indulgence. And what did I manage? Almost all but it was a twisty achievement. I shopped for a travel bag so that it looks nice on-screen and a sun-screen to save my skin when I’m out in the sun shooting. I also got the cameras ready but for the planned show and, while I did tweet all that I wanted to, it was only limited to my mind. Sigh!
And by that description you now know, it was more of an official trip than a personal one. We went there to shoot the GoaFest 2013 at Zuri White Sands Resort with an attempt to give the coverage a different touch. The agenda was clear only till the time we reached Goa. All the thinking began to fade away as I sat in the hotel cab and pass through the towering coconut trees, feeling the positive stillness in the air. The feeling to feel the vibe of any new city I visit comes very naturally to me. And Goa, won this test with a fair margin.
From shooting GoaFest to beach to Fisherman’s Wharf, we covered it all. The weather was kind on us on the first day but the temperature soared on day two and three. Day 1 at the GoaFest saw some of the marketing mavens speaking at the Conclave while media professionals brainstormed of big fishes to be netted.
But I had an unusual plan and Day 2 brought me closer to it. I spent the entire day with one of the advertising veterans, Satbir Singh (Managing Partner & Chief Creative Officer, Havas Worldwide) and we had a ball. (watch here) He has a killing sense of humour and has some of the most fantastic one-liners (you must read his tweets to know what I’m talking about). My favorite moment was when I saw our first destination – The Leela Beach – from a distance and knew it is only going to leave me gasping. And it did. I just wanted to sit down where the waters foreplay with the sand and stare at nothing. Write my name in the most caliched way may be, but safe from the power of water to wash it away. Pick up shells and relish God’s artistic flavours for hours. Have the most interesting person beside me and conversate like there’s no fear of time to ditch us.
So what! I still have lived all of it in my imagination, good enough for it to come real. And though it isn’t a good feeling to have missed doing all the wishful stuff, I’m glad my visit was more of a spontaneous one. It had the essence of unexpectedness and exploration. It was my first outdoor shoot and the learning was immense. First-hand account of it has also given me every reason to laud all those who make travelogues and even more, the 70mm-movie creators.
There were also some moments when I felt absolutely blank while there were also those that made me come alive in the middle of nowhere – a beautiful potpourri of emotions.
In all, it was nothing but three days of madness and fun shooting all that we could to show Goa through my eyes. Madness, yes… but God! I am longing for some more ‘Goaness’…
(Originally published in Zee News)