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Goa, India

Plucking of the Coconuts

by Magali Vaz magalic.com

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It was nearing Christmas & there I was, unhappy as ever. It had been a rough few months & I couldn’t seem to catch a break. First it was being sick & having to get admitted to a hospital – my body had taken a beating, but I felt like my self-confidence had taken a worse one.
And then when I was ready to spend a quiet end of the year at home, attending a few friend’s weddings & just relaxing, my mom tells me we have to go to Goa.

 
Goa is the same, the lovely resorts, the terrible neighbours – I’ve been experiencing this for over 10 years, what’s new? I watched a TV show on the Spanish tradition of Tapas, & though the food looks yummy, I frown on the idea of the weekly meeting with families – almost every close family member other than my parents has brought pain & annoyance & I’m throughly sick of everyone glorifying family. Then we made the decision to stay with some family & friends for the rest of the trip. This depressed me further because I like ‘independence’ (or my idea of it, at least). Although these were people I liked, I also like eating when I want & sleeping when I want. But it was the right decision so I went with it.

 
The first day we were there my uncle told me that they would be hiring some workers to pluck the coconuts the next day so I should wake up early & keep my cameras ready. It’s a bi-annual thing in Goa, especially when you have a lot of land & though I had heard of it, I never got to see it before.
The next morning I woke up early & photographed the whole process, it was longer & much more tiring than I expected, that night I went to sleep tired but content. And I didn’t notice it then, but the next morning I woke up slightly happier. What followed was five days of visiting new places, having delicious seafood & wine with great conversation. I had finally understood Tapas as more than just food.

 
I don’t usually get to philosophical but something changed that day when I watched the coconuts being plucked. A small part of it was the self-satisfaction at getting great photos of something that doesn’t happen very often. But it was mostly because for just one day I was focussing on nature, on something bigger than me & not just my life & my problems. Life kicked me in the butt for a while, so what? Moping wasn’t going to get me anywhere so that day I didn’t overthink it, I just let go & made a decision to move on.
And when I did return to Mumbai I felt happy, grateful & optimistic.