ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Some Kind of Bliss

A walk along the beaches of south Goa opened eyes and burst blisters but felt like being on cloud nine.

The thing about Goa? They say it’s a place for leisure, vacations, relaxing, sunning on the beach. That may be unfair to a lot of hardworking Goans, but it remains partly their fault, for they have made “sussegade” famous. It’s a word that refers to long afternoon siestas when everything shuts down and everyone naps, a tailing-off of energy that overflows into a general laidbackness.

One Friday in mid-January, I stepped off a train into this maelstrom of lethargy, though with things not quite lethargic on my mind. With a couple of dozen others, I was going to walk longer than I had ever walked in a day – 55 km back and forth along the strip of sand that is south Goa’s beaches, in a fundraiser for a non-governmental organisation (NGO) called Ummeed. The contrast between Goa immersed in sussegade and what we’d be doing was already stark: Us, trudging on the sand; all of Goa, siesta-ing. Mad dogs and Englishmen, indeed.

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