I landed in Goa aboard Qatar Airways flight QR0224 beside an excitable and anxious Swedish girl called Emelie.
She was in search of her boyfriend, who, talk would reveal, was collecting her from the airport.
We fell into the midst and muddle of night-time taxi hawkers standing outside Dabolim airport, preying upon our crisp bank notes, jostling for attention and acceptance.
She smoked and kept watch for a face she recognised. I stood, breathing in the damp late-monsoon air, each particle lifted me.
He, the boyfriend, suddenly arrived, staggered into our view, shoeless, vacant and dressed like a four-year-old playing hippie dress-up, a wandering pseudo-nomad, six weeks in Arambol and he’d left his mind somewhere just north of Panjim, spending his nights getting high, living in fear of his own reflection.
He took one look at me, a fresh faced arrival, encroaching on his journey and his girlfriend, and without so much as a word, disappeared into the baying crowd, who were at this point feverish for my ticket to ride. All I wanted were some companions with which to share a taxi to south Goa.
I looked at Emelie, offered her a look of understanding, as her toddler stamped his feet into the distance, and wished her luck on her travels.
I winded down the window as the taxi drove wearily down highway 17 towards Margao. It was four-am and the roads were dark and deserted, we rolled through familiar landmarks, buildings, roads, shrines, that welcomed my return.
A calm had wrapped around me, left me motionless to the peace that oozed from my pours. I was home. I am home.
I wandered through Margao, dodging puddles, and as the light rose I felt the air and moisture cling to me, hang upon my every move, at one point I’m sure it even became me.
My eyes wandered intensely, as my legs grounded. I’m here.
The people, the grace, the humility.
I disappeared into the background, a ghost amongst the living.
Goa, India // 10”10”13