Of the 10 girls’ in our MBA class, 5 said ‘Yes’ to the proposition. This was 3 months ago. The other 5, like most people, had reasons that did not make coming possible – priorities of children’s exams, work, managing home etc. One even said she felt too lazy to make it. More often, it’s our perception of others and ourselves and niggling doubts of ‘what it might be like?’ or ‘is it even worth the effort,’ that’s the hurdle hardest to cross, for decisions such as these.
To be honest I wasn’t sure about going on the trip, at first. With both my girls’ being in their senior year at school, this hardly seemed the time to be gallivanting around. I guess all I needed was a little nudge. The nudge that most of us need, most of the time to take the first step; to cross those invisible, self-made boundaries.
“Its for 2 days! Nothing’s going to come crashing. But its’ going to make a world of difference to you, if you go,” said my husband. My girls’ seconded it. It turned out to be an invaluable lesson to my girls’.
And so I booked my tickets.
Come November 8th, after 3 months of planning, I boarded the flight to Goa. Even the cyclone that had been predicted by Meteorological department disappeared after making some noise; leaving the sun shining brightly.
I was finally going to meet the girls’ with whom I had spent two whole years’ of my life in my early twenties. Being in the hostel – hating the food provided – suffering the same inconveniences and enjoying the same treats was the bond we shared. That, and a shared sense of fear of what the future might hold for each of us. Twenty-two years’ later, we were like a bunch of fruits put into a mixing bowl – sweet, tangy, mellow, raw, ripe, crunchy- each chiseled differently by the waves of life. We made for a rather exotic concoction. The competition in college, the pressure of projects, the fear of being left behind, uncertainty mixed with a readiness to hold the reins, was a twine that intricately wove us together.
Over the past twenty-two years’ since college, the five of us hadn’t kept in touch; not in a way that we could have, if we wanted to. We had gone our ways; each having met the other once or twice in the past 2 decades and holding no more than a polite conversation during that meeting. We were as disconnected from each other as one could be. And yet, here we were, on our way, to spend the weekend in a place away from home – one coming all the way from Muscat and the others travelling from different parts of India- Orissa, Calcutta, Kerala and Mumbai. We made for one heady brew – one that carried with it intense emotions which under the right temperature and conditions, still had the power to ignite and spark.
What did I expect from this trip? Honestly, ‘Nothing!’ I’m sure none of the others’ expected anything too or knew what to expect. I guess we were all open to the experience and were waiting to see where it took us.
With zero expectations and the readiness to go with the flow, and a memory that bordered on being just a little more than a faint line, we met in Goa. And we began talking – about the car-pick, the traffic on the road, the distance to the hotel, about Goa – Icebreakers. The hotel was an hour and a half away from the airport – in Candolim area. Radisson Blu was a lovely, unobtrusive hotel, a kilometer away from the beach.
The two days in Goa, was like going into a time capsule for me. None of us had changed! The only thing that had changed was the extra flab, the new laughter lines and the comfort we felt in our skins.
We watched the sunset, caught the sunrise, climbed up a fort, wore head-bands with tiny little flowers (ones that you’d wear for a baby shower but who cares), posed, giggled and went back to being the free twenty years olds we once were – free of responsibilities.
We walked along the beach, sat there till late watching the crimson-orange skies turn black till all we could hear was the sound of the waves and see the white surf ; we soaked in the silence of the ocean and allowed the waves to lap our feet, holding each others’ hands; we saw uniformed men train on the beach and marveled at their discipline, and we bargained with street-side vendors unabashedly, with the experience of women in their forties and the freedom of the teens.
The years’ that had passed by, rolled back and we were again the girls’ we were in college – each the same. We laughed, we cried, we argued, we made peace and made a promise to each other. But I will not talk about it here because promises mustn’t be shared or else there are more chances of them being broken. Who said it? I don’t know. But I don’t want to jinx it. 🙂
A lot of my friends asked me when I returned, “How was Goa?” To all of them I’ve said, “I had a great time – but what happens in Goa, stays in Goa!”
The five of us had a lot of fun in those 2 days. Had we become closer than we were earlier, at the end of it? I don’t know. Did we know each other a little more than we did earlier? I don’t think so. But I do know that this group worked for me for I could be myself with them. And I guess, at the end of the day, that’s all one wants – to be oneself without any qualms. We were like the five fingers in a hand – different and yet good together.
To all those girls who haven’t been on a all-girls’ trip, I really think you should go; even if it means putting aside things that you think are priority. It works more miracles on your skin than all the night creams in the world and does more good to your soul than all the meditation. Its therapeutic. And Goa with it’s ‘live and let live,’ attitude, is the perfect place to bond.
I am glad we made it happen! Have you been on a trip with your friends? Would love to hear of your experience.
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