The Everyday Pursuit Of Happiness & A Ride Through The Divar Island

There has been a long silence in this space for quite sometime now. No chronicling of travels or a narration of thoughts as they unfurl in my head. No excited eurekas of discovery on reaching beautiful new lands. Just silence. A reflection of how I feel on the inside too. A quiet sense of contentment.

While a part of me does feel guilty for not writing more, I’m happy to look back on the months that have passed in a blur of memorable moments, happy highs and a joyous feeling of being busy with work and life. That urging need to ‘get away’ constantly has given way to a peaceful sense of exploration and a feeling of gratitude for an everyday life that we actually don’t want to escape from. My once restless feet find more joy in curling up in a pretty nook in the neighbourhood or bird-watching from our balcony while sipping on tea. Watching the sun go down day after day from our window. Sitting on the banks of a lake, our feet dangling down, omlette pavs in our hands. Exploring a new road in a village and discovering sights of unbearable beauty that makes me break into haikus. Walking across an unused bridge that overlooks a pristine riverside scene. Parking ourselves on a bench on the manicured lawns of some of the most magnificent churches in Asia, just to gape in awe and watch people around us go about their lives. Finding a serene mangrove paradise on an island. Hunting for the best chai and bhaji this side of town. Each evening is a new quest for the small things that bring us joy. Each evening renews our sense of wonder for this world.

As nauseatingly sappy and maudlin as that may sound, that’s how I feel inside. Like a big melted pool of happy mush. Is there such a thing as too much happiness? Life has settled into a comfortable routine. There’s so much work coming my way that I’m in a place where I can choose what I want to spend my time doing. Our days are a comfortable pattern of working hard, discovering new music, reading together in silence on the couch, the occasional luxury of afternoon siestas and most importantly, a sense of effortless companionship in each other’s presence, despite spending 24 hours with each other. Like an old couple living a peaceful life of retirement.

And then evening comes and entices us by showing us a delightful cinema of sorts through our windows. Puffy clouds beckon, a gentle breeze entices and chirpy birds taunt us until we just have to stop doing everything else and go out to explore the world around us that bids farewell to the end of each day with such fanfare. A simple world we chose for ourselves and have completely fallen in love with. It helps that we live in the Goan hinterland and are surrounded by the lush beauty of the Konkan region, with so many places to stand and stare, just within a radius of five kilometres from our home.

Here’s a glimpse into that world of languorous, unhurried evenings, where there exists a river, idyllic islands, fields, misty hills, lakes, mangroves, birds, sunsets, a wide-eyed sense of wonder and an endless pursuit of happiness in the little moments.

Ferry at Divar

One evening, we decided to head to the Divar island, just 2-odd kms from our home. Here, we are on the ferry to Divar, with a view of the island on the other side.

A man parks his cycle

A man parks his cycle at the Old Goa ferry point.

A Barge on the Mandovi

A barge against the backdrop of a fiery sky and the molten River Mandovi

Barge on the Mandovi River

The barge on the Mandovi River

Local guy fishing

A typical evening scene in Goa: A local guy fishing.

Ferry takes off

It’s a full house! The ferry takes off.

A view of the Tower of St. Augustine

The tower of St Augustine stands tall over Old Goa’s skyline of coconut trees

The top of St. Cajetan's Church

The majestic dome of St Cajetan Church peeps from over the coconut trees.

divar-evening-goa-2

The mangrove creeks of Divar welcome us with this beautiful sight.

Our Lady of the Rosary

We enjoy this brilliant view of The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary from Divar

Locals at Divar

Fishing scenes on the Divar island with a view of the Sé Cathedral de Santa Catarina and the Church of St Francis of Assisi in the distance.

Mangroves at Divar

The mangrove ecosystem of Divar.

A local fisherman

A fisherman casts his net.

Divar locals on their bike

Residents of Divar make their way home from the ferry point.

Divar

The village of Divar.

Divar's mangroves

A serene scene in Divar

A little bird

A little bird strikes a pose.

Coconut trees at Divar

Off with their heads! A few decapitated coconut trees stand alongside their healthier counterparts.

A view of the Divar church

A view of the Church of Our Lady of Piety, Goa.

Road to the Old Aged Home

A tree-lined road leading to the Lar Santa Margarida Old-Age Home in Divar.

Riding through Divar

Riding through the island village of Divar.

The road leading to the ferry

The road leading to one of Divar’s ferry points. The fields on both sides of this beautiful road is a brilliant, lush green in the monsoons.

A tree in the fields

A tree in the fields. The same tree is pictured here in the monsoons.

Photographing Divar

A photograph of a photograph-in-the-making.

Locals playing football at Divar

The local boys play football here every evening.

The tree along the Divar road

A beautiful tree along the fields of Divar.

Priya takes a photo of the tree along the road at Divar

Taking a photograph of the tree.

The tree along the Divar road

The beautiful tree stands against the backdrop of the Divar fields and a view of the tower of St Augustine and the Church of Our Lady of Rosary in the distance.

Priya at Divar

Walking through the now-dry fields of Goa.

A black drongo

A black drongo perched on a twig

Our ride - Bapaycho Activa

Our ride – Bapaycho Activa

Sev Puri at Divar

No evening excursion is complete without food. Delicious sev puri at Divar.

Checking out the menu

Cafe Harmalkar is one of those charming, old-school cafes in Goa that serve cheap and tasty evening snacks and tea. I love that they still retain their hand-pained menu board. We enjoyed a few cups of chai along with sweet bun.

The ferry ride back to Old Goa

The ferry ride back to Old Goa.

View the photos on Flickr.