A ride through my mother’s village.
The purpose of my last visit to Goa was simply to live everyday in the present moment. I planned nothing except my flights and AirBnB rooms. The rest I left up to my natural instinct… I chose to travel alone, for the opportunity to practice my natural instinct, my internal navigation system.
I tasted new beers and food, shared my dinner table with strangers, made new friends, talked politics, meditated, made love, took risks, explored, all while getting acquainted with new feelings. I was genuinely happy being home in those moments.
It was during the latter part of my time in northern Goa that made me quickly think of my mother’s village. Again, not having any desire to search or look for clues; the brief images of driving through her village came and went.
I arrived to Agonda Beach and settled into my little bamboo framed beach hut. The days passed with sights of the Arabian Sea, sounds of traveling musicians, and the taste of fresh sweet coconut water.
The bare beach was a place to feel alone, yet still have just the right amount of people to watch from afar. Thats when I notice him, perched up on a rock in the middle of the seashore. I was to later find out thats when he noticed me.
Time passed and he approached me with a gift, sweet coconut water. New experiences and new feelings with him for the next few days.
One afternoon, we changed our plans and he offered a trip to a neighboring beach town up north to pick up his clothes from the cleaners. With no hesitation, I accepted and jumped on his bike. The thought of my mother’s village came back to me. I noticed that we would be passing through, so I asked if we could drive through on our way back to Agonda. Without hesitation, he replied yes.
With the sun setting and his phone battery dying, we found our way back to the place I left a piece of my heart, just a few years ago.
He drove slowly, taking sharp turns with ease so I could observe the streets she used to walk, the people she probably knew, and the shop that she probably visited. We followed the flags that lined the roads from a festival that had just passed.
I was still.
He reached his hand back around and touched me.
How are you feeling?
I am angry.
I didn’t resist and I began to cry. He pulled over and wrapped his arms around me. The anger grows, and the tears flow.
At that moment, I realized my anger was towards the village, the people, the customs, the traditions, the detachment to the human experience of motherhood. It is their fault that my mother had to choose to…
We hear a voice from down the road.
“You can’t do that here. You need to leave. There are children out here.”
Our explanation of our relations and my tears did not convince him that I was simply crying while being gently hugged by a man.
If we were not welcomed to hug on the public street corner, I am sure single, pregnant women are still not welcomed back home.
Nothing has changed.