I have visited Goa on a couple of occasions in sunny weather and have had a whale of a time. But this time around I was going to Goa bang in the middle of monsoons. I was wondering whether it would be monsoon mayhem or monsoon magic!
The occasion too was rather special. I was to attend an Illustrator’s Workshop organised by National Book Trust called ‘Colouring India’. I was the only author among 21 top illustrators of the country. It seemed like a classic case of ‘Begani shaadi mein, Abdullah diwana’.
The workshop started off at a slow pace but soon picked up. Soon, from it being a case of ‘begaani shaadi’ it became ‘apni shaadi’ and Abdullah mastana.
The idea of the workshop was to create picture books for pre-school readers based on the concepts given by the participants. Five of my stories were selected by the illustrators much to my delight. As I watched the stories come alive in the hands of the creative maestros, my heart imitated Wordsworth’s when he beheld a rainbow. Pastels, pencils and paint created riot on paper and characters in the stories took a life of their own.
The three day long workshop had a few interludes. A visit to Dauna Paula bay, in between rain breaks, was fun. The choppy sea, the blue grey skies and ominous clouds did not subdue the ‘sun’ within each of us.
We also paid a visit to the renovated Reis Magos Fort where an Exhibition and Retrospective of Mario de Miranda, the most famous son of Goa, was being held. The delightful cartoons, a few of them a bit risqué, held us in thrall. The fort overlooks the sea and the view from there was gorgeous. A magnificent banyan tree with its own little story to tell added to the mystique of Mario and the fort.
As I left for the airport in the wee hours of the morning it was raining kittens and pups. The signature of the monsoon had been free and firm during my stay in Goa. But I realised if the sea, sand and surf made Goa fun in summer, the monsoon in Goa, at least for me, had weaved its magic in more ways than one.