Time is a most wonderfully deceptive concept. When you are stuck in a cubicle or are institutionalised in a trap of your own making, time screams for attention and draws you into the idea that its existence defines yours. All our days are almost always divided into neat bits, separated by deadlines, lunch hours, tea breaks, meetings or rush hours on the road. But after we both quit our jobs, time became this expansive, broad abstraction of an idea that no longer reigned over our life. We have no wall clocks nor do we care about what time has to say or what it expects us to be doing. Our biological clocks sing their own tunes and we work when we want to and take it easy when we want to.
The only discernible pattern comes in the form of evenings, when like clockwork, the great outdoors put on its best show at our balcony
just to entice us out of the house. The golden hour
(as the hour before sunset or after sunrise is called) syndrome just starts painting the world in a godly light. I start getting restless and the thought of riding through those tiny roads of the Goan villages
with endless stretches of green on either side outshines any magical trick that could be up the Internet’s sleeve. So, we have made it a practice now. When evening approaches, it’s time to head outside! Time to go on a ride or a drive (depending on the rain gods), grab some chao
(as I have learned to call chai and bajjis ever since I moved to Goa) with friends or just become mighty explorers of ordinary neighbourhoods. Every small street offers a promise of finding some place new, some place beautiful. Every inconspicuous turn demands investigation. Every tiny corner holds a surprise.
It was on one such drive
that we landed up near a creek in Torda. We were supposed to be keeping a doctor’s appointment, but the long line of people at the waiting room coupled with the gorgeous evening colours gave us an excuse to forget everything and just drive. The first sight of the ridiculously lush fields, freshly kissed by the monsoon sun was just something else. I see it every day and everywhere in Goa
. Every time we step out of the house. But that doesn’t make it any less novel. It always takes your breath away.
50 shades of green.
Torda is this unassuming little village, serene and quiet, just a few kilometres away from the chaotic Porvorim. We drove along a lake that drank out of the monsoon bounty, surrounded by fields of a velveteen hue that made the landscape looked like it was swathed in a gorgeous green brocade that catches the golden light when it moves. If this had to be a nail colour, I’d call it Goa’s Golden Hour.
Men at work on the rich paddy crops.
Even the most ordinary sights turn magical in an instant in the Golden Hour. Every blade of grass and every leaf gets outlined with a glint of gold. Beautiful birds and butterflies turn into silhouettes. The delicate wings of the dragonflies fluttering around act like little mirrors of light. People get bathed in a soft, diffused lighting that just can’t be recreated artificially. Needless to say, Lovell and his camera had a good time while I watched the evening go by us in a golden haze.
The women chat away as they work hard on the fields.
One of them notices us and flashes the camera a smile.
Watching the evening drama unfold.
We were not the only shutterbugs here. A photographer with some pretty high-end equipment was seen shooting the local birds and babes.
Sowing some seeds.
Locals at work.
The evening walk.
The evening walk.
Dried stems stand out against the lush green blades in the paddy fields at Torda.
Riding along the fields.
The distracted assistant.
The lone boat bobs on.
Locals determining the dinner menu.
Rain clouds come to play.