Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Sound of Silence: an excerpt

Nagoa Beach, Diu.

The following is an excerpt from a travel piece I wrote for RSJ. The article will appear in the coming edition of the magazine. The piece was written keeping in mind the readership and general profile of the magazine.

When the going gets tough…..head to Diu! That was pretty much the mantra for us while we were busy pursuing a novel education in Ahmedabad. It was always the easiest place to get to and it was never too hard to find more than willing fellow travelers. For me the lure of Diu was always the promise of an invigorating weekend at the beach away from the madness of busy lives in the city. And the fact that this particular island destination comes without the tourist hoopla that surrounds most beach-towns was the icing on the cake.

A quaint little hamlet, the island of Diu is situated off the Saurashtra coast of Gujarat. Though it is accessible by rail and by air, we always made the overnight trip by bus – a neat 180 Rs to get you from Ahmedabad to Diu. The bus is no luxury coach but the slight discomfort seemed a small price to pay for what lay ahead. By around 7 in the morning, just as you begin to rub the sleep from your eyes, the smell of the sea tells you that you have arrived. Even now, despite having been there before, every time we make the trip, the first sight of the sea never fails to excite me.

A former Portuguese colony, Diu still retains some of its old world charm. The remains of a colonial past are there for those who wish to see it - in the churches and forts, the names of restaurants and the elusive half Portuguese half Indian families that still inhabit the island. Those who have been to Goa will recognize the vibe – a multicultural strain trying to hold its own in the midst of the local milieu. In Diu though, unlike Goa, this strain stands out simply because it tries not to. And if you’re not careful, you might miss it altogether.

[ to be continued.....]

1 comment:

Kavita Arvind said...

glad to see a post after so long...