The International Writers
me back because I need to be reminded of what I left behind. Take
me back where? I don't really know anymore: a time, a place, a
memory? But just take me back...to a beach cloaked in darkness,
with a winter moon shining and the silence broken only by the
waves breaking onto the shore and the rustle of the trees in the
wind. Take me back to a place where there were no worries, no
grey skies and no cold winters. Take me back to Anjuna.
Anjuna in north Goa is a place where, in some ways, the passing of time
does not matter because the next moment always seems much better than
the one before. When I was there in early 2006, each sunset seemed more
embracing than the preceding one and each dawn more appealing than the
previous. As the days went by I fell more in love with the place: its
serene back lanes, which crisscrossed the greenery, and the easy-going
atmosphere of the village. It was a sensation I felt inside but could
never really explain.
But the best place to be was down on the beach where the bending coconut
trees towered as giants against the night sky, hiding the lush paddy fields
beyond, happily whispering to one another in the light breeze. Low hanging
cotton wool clouds would drift eerily above the specks of light from the
fishing boats glistening on the horizon, over which existed another world,
so apart from this one of silky seas and carefree laughter. Indeed I often
wondered if anyone out there in a world filled with trouble even remembered
And when each new day broke and the mist hung low, those who had made
the journey to be there were rewarded with an inspirational dawn and the
haunting distant calls of birds that hovered above the rolling waves.
Every morning the black sea transformed into shimmering verdant shades
at daybreak and at that point all seemed well with the world.
Anjuna village and beach usually frothed with the vibrancy of the young
foreign tourists who had travelled from afar to be there. As I watched
them go about their daily business, I thought that their time in Anjuna
was ultimately doomed. Their moments there would all too quickly become
faded memories. They would soon pass. Being too acutely aware of this,
I often felt a tinge of melancholy. The hours near the beach and days
in the sun could not be recaptured once they had gone. As they relentlessly
dripped away, I tried to treasure each and every moment. But it is impossible
to grasp time. It departs as it arrives and to all intents and purposes
is impossible to board.
Although I now look out of the window and watch the cold English winter
days go by, that far away place and the people I once knew there will
always look as they do in my mind's eye, frozen in time. And now all that
once was has been lost, I sit alone on the other side of the world and
ponder whether I will ever return. I look back at those beautiful Goan
moments and in my thoughts the white mist still lingers enticingly on
the water and the towering giants still whisper. As I try to recall my
time in Anjuna, the memories fade almost as soon as they appear. Time
and beauty are fleeting; they are merciless deceivers.
Now I all I can do is think about the place from a distance. But it's
not enough. Take me back. I want to be there once more. Anjuna, take me
back to a time when you captivated...take me back to you.
© Colin Todhunter March 2007
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