“I have never traveled alone. Jaz, Do you really think I should do this?”
“There is always a first-time Aisha.”
“I’m scared, I have barely gone on any trips in the last couple of year, but I think I’ll go”
That was the name of my villa. A state in which where there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self. On point! I can’t put it out any better. Maybe there still is a bit of desire. Desire to get back with Varun. I get this often, considering the no of times he broke up with me.
No solo trip ever began without a pint of beer. So I grabbed a chilled Magnum and settled down. There was a cute guy on the corner table. At that point, it dawned upon me that I didn’t know (after all these years or maybe in the last couple of years) how to make a move. As soon as he started noticing me, I panicked as usual and made no eye contact. I kept gulping down my beer and one bottle down, I had this wide smile on my face.
“One more beer pleaseeeeee”, I shouted from my table. Was I high already?
“You know its self-service here, you have to pay first“. The waiter yelled back.
Okay, I picked up another beer and walked outside the shack. Being the loner I was, I decided to sit on the beach and do some flashback.
I am 29, Single, Okayish job, with barely any savings. All my girls are either getting married or going for an MBA/MS. Somehow they all seem to have a plan. It was just me who did not have one.
Well, I had a plan, towards which I was inching day by day. MBA degree from an Ivy League college. I had devoted all my time, money, and energy to that one goal. It gave me a purpose. I stretched myself for it despite long office hours and on weekends. I was hitting 700+ in all the mock exams I gave. I was so close. I was pretty sure I was gonna nail it this year.
Then one fine day my dad was diagnosed with Stage III Lung cancer. The day I should have spent writing my test, I spent seeing my father struggling to breathe. I could not give the test. I had spent 3 years preparing for it, waiting for the right time. Maybe there was no right time.
Luck was not in our favor. Dad was suffering. Even my health was not in my favor anymore. I was suffering from PCOD, digestive issues, breathing problems, a hell lot of diseases. I was clearly losing my cool. Chemo was expensive and drained our bank balances too. We finally lost him.
Now I had lost my motivation, my drive, my focus. I have lost all of it. I’m loosing out on my years, I may be able to attempt it a couple more times, but is there anything left out of me? I was planning on switching jobs as Plan B. But now even that seems out of reach. Nobody could see me like this. That is when Jaz pushed me to go on this trip.
“Mind if I join?” asked a deep voice near me.
Holy! Cute guy?
“Ahh... I don’t know”
“That is a complicated answer to a simple question”
“Maybe I am like my answer”
“Uhh, Another complicated answer. But since you did not say a loud and clear NO, I think I should join you”
“You seem to be good at this.”
“Finally, the world has found something I am good at.”
We both paused. Then both of us burst into laughter.
“Do you wanna maybe grab a Serradura with me tonight?”
There is an amazing Portuguese restaurant near Anjuna. I just had it yesterday. But I can go for that sawdust pudding brilliance an infinite number of times.
“I don’t even know your name, what makes you think I'll come with you?”
“Akash, 31, Mumbai, Was a Content Designer, Quit my job preparing for GMAT, didn’t get through, had plans for a start-up, again didn’t happen, finally decided to get married to my long term girlfriend, again didn’t happen. I think I have covered most of it. Now you know me”
We both paused. We burst into laughter again. I haven’t had a good laugh in ages it seemed like. Was that even funny enough to make me laugh? He sure had a charm.
“That was a whole lot of struggle you said and I burst into laughter. I am so sorry”
“Na leave it, I used to be all negative about it, but not anymore”
“What? How? You are clearly having a terrible time”
“Yes, my plans did not work out. I was depressed. But that also made me who I am today, and I am happy about this newfound me”
“Amazing, I wish I had the slightest tint of your positivity levels”
“Spend time with me, I am a good influence on people”, he winked. “Btw, you didn’t tell me your name”
“Aisha, also from Mumbai”
Somebody wise once said there is a right time and place for everything! Our right place had to be Goa.
“Our? Aren’t you moving too fast?. I haven’t even said yes to your Serradura”
“You didn’t? You are complicated Aisha also from Mumbai!”
We laughed again. I had no clue what was happening. I am definitely not one of those love at first sight types, I am choosy and super reserved. But I liked his company. Maybe one good company is all that we crave for in life.
I said Yes to Serradura.