There’s a nip in the air as I sit down to write this under countless stars, with the waves adding a soft symphony to my otherwise monotonous life. The way this cool breeze feels on my skin is etching a picture in my mind, of the few hours spent at this beautiful place that I’m sure to hold close to my heart for a long time.
Far from the colorful beach huts of Palolem and the hippie and backpacker vibes of Anjuna, lies Mandrem beach nestled in northern Goa. Having parked my car at a resort along the highway, I had to climb my way downhill, crossing a brook over a wooden bridge before Mandrem revealed it’s astounding beauty to me. This tiny stream that connects the mainland to the beach lends a rather aesthetic entrance to one of Goa’s prettiest beaches. Once here, I knew this was going to be the highlight of my trip.
The place has a soothing vibe to itself, courtesy the relatively white sand, clear waters and minimal human interference. Yes, as beautiful as Mandrem is, it usually witnesses very less crowd, making it the most sought after place for individuals to catch up with themselves and be dazzled by the beauty of the place.
Settled in north Goa, Mandrem is one of the silent and isolated beaches blessed with enchanted beauty. While I have to accept that the food is not-so-great with only a few cafes, but hey, the beauty of this place is so enchanting that food is definitely not going to be on your mind for a while.
I settled myself on a patch of perfect sand, looking at the sky change colors; from a nifty orange to pink, turning rose gold with hints of purple. Oh, the sight! The serene beauty of Mandrem was accentuated by the pristine waves that seemed to be playing tag with my feet; one touch and off they go, only to return within moments.
Long walks along the shore had never felt so relaxing. Like you, until now I had heard people say how the magnanimity of the ocean made them feel small, how they felt intimidated by its strength. But with every step I took (trust me, I took countless), I felt empowered. The same ocean that scares people was hitting me with all its strength and here I stood, tall. Strong. Yes, I lost my balance sometimes but I didn’t fall, maintaining my stance. For once I felt not weak but tough.
With every step I took, I created a ripple in these pristine waters. And even for just a moment, I felt strong; strong enough to make my presence felt in his mighty ocean. Strong enough to matter, to create, to exist. What if like I saw it here, I could see the endless strings of consequences my actions were going to invite in life?
Strength comes in multiple shapes and sizes. For me, it arose from the ocean. Mandrem has shown me the side of the world that makes me want to believe in the beauty of it again. Mandrem has made me hopeful again.
I realize that up until now, I had a very amateur definition of love. I associated the feeling with people and things. But Mandrem has made me fall in love with myself. With my strength.
Mandrem is magic.
Time is like the ocean, you can only hold a little in your hand. But time seemed to have stopped here, and the ocean? Well, I’m going to carry that in my heart for a long, long time.
(I visited Mandrem this month for my first solo vacation and that has been my best decision in 2017 so far. Pictures used in the post have been clicked by me on my phone.)