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Like a mad man, he screamed at the top of his voice and jumped out of the house. The metal on his belt flashed in the crazy light from the hot sun. He ran and ran. People split to let him pass by. Some of them stood watching him run and wondered what it was that made this man look so happy. His toothy grin and his flaying hair made him look like a crazy bum. His clothes or the lack of them, for he only wore his torn jeans, made people pity him. Yet they were surprised that this poor, wretched creature seemed happy like none other. The man ran into the pier and stood at the edge of the pier. The sea gulls swooped around, looking at him with curiosity. He smelled of something nice that the birds would've liked to feed upon. They circled around for a while and then knowing that this was just another human being the gulls went on their way.

The man shouted something out to the sea. Alas, there was no one around to hear him speak. The sea boiled on without giving him another thought. He might have been speaking in a language that none knew. His monologue with the sea continued until he grew exhausted. He was vexed that nobody cared to know that he was hurt, angry and feeling miserable. The grin on his face was involuntary. He didn't know what else to do with the enormous misery coursing through his veins.

He turned away from the ocean and ran into the road, not waiting for the traffic to stop. He only wished that his death be quick. It wasn't!

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Yeah, had a mind-blowing birthday in Bangalore and then went to Goa for a vacation.

Four days in Goa later, I was getting a bit fed-up with beaches.. I love the ocean and all that, yet it was too much of the beach I think. The sweltering heat didn't help much either. Thank god, we were in an air-conditioned car when we travelled around Goa.

Goa, to me, was about the awesome food and travelling down the brilliant narrow roads. The roads are very scenic, with trees all over and hilly ups-and-downs. The ocean would make brief appearances and so would the rivers. The roads are also scary. They are pretty narrow and driving around Goa is a pray-that-you-miss affair. The designated driving-guys in my gang did a good job, I should say. I am still alive, aren't I?

We had a map with us for navigation but sometimes just took turns and straights for the heck of it. Thanks to the fact that we weren't looking for a specific travel itinerary, it was quite enjoyable. We usually landed up at some nice place or the other. So that was fine.

The season for Goa was just beginning and so there wasn't a huge crowd, which was good. Our resort was right next to the beach and being a little away from the main Calangute beach, it was a lot less crowded. I wasn't in Goa to party and loved the laid-back days that we had. Also tried our hands at para-gliding and this thing called banana-ride - you are made to sit on a dangerous looking buoy-like contraption, taken into the sea and tumbled into the sea (with a life-jacket on).

We stayed away from some of the Goan stuff that friends from Goa called boorish - the sunset cruises for one. No eating at beach shacks too. The loud, garish music was not to my taste. I guess all of us preferred a more relaxed and calmer setting for food. We skipped the churches too because we weren't in Goa to see sights either.

Goa was fun but a little over-hyped if you ask me. It's unreasonably expensive too, everything is sold at a premium. Prices supposedly double or triple during the peak season, which is between December and January. Like a friend said - "You pay to get sun-burnt in Goa".

Some pictures from the trip, courtesy of Rajesh.

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