Early morning in Anjuna is muy tranquilo. The sun is hazy, as if the eyes of light are only small cracks, barely awake. The humidity is tolerable but nudging its sticky back around the corner quickly. Peacocks roam in the neighboring fields, bobbing their heads above the grass, while making the strangest sounds.
When I first heard them, I thought they were cats. The sound they make is almost like an excruciating meow. Ever since a friend of mine mentioned that the noise sounds like they are saying “Help!” I get a daily giggle. Now, all I can hear is “Helllllllp! Helllllllp!” in a strange falsetto with an elongated L. It’s hilariously reminiscent of Dustin Hoffman’s Tootsie voice.
The pale yellow light in the morning is the kind that invokes contemplating the poetry of life’s idiosyncrasies, whilst enjoying a good cuppa, and reveling in the early silence. Sometimes I get a romantic longing for far away loved ones, or places, or even my bratty, old, and ever so cherished cat, Ophelia. Being a wanderer means you can’t take everything with you. It’s the trade for new and exciting experiences. I am very thankful to a dear friend who braves the job of loving Ophelia while I’m away.
To quench my longing heart pains, my cartoon husband adopted two babies for me. Days at the Chill Inn Guesthouse are spent with these furry rascals and they are constant cuddling comedians. . . . .Orion and Shanti.
Shortly after we arrived in Goa, we waltzed into the animal shelter flirting with the idea of maybe getting a cat, but upon hearing the blood curdling screams of the feline inmates, we thought for sure the only thing that was going home with us was a couple of broken hearts. And then we saw those EARS and the rest is history.
I call them my gremlins but I don’t think they mind. They just won the cat lottery! Since we live on the roof of the Chill-Inn (the roof? yes…haha) Orion and Shanti are litter trained. That seems normal to a lot of Westerners, but to Indians, it’s a very foreign notion. As a result, the litter box gets frequent visits by curious passerbys. “They dig in the sand?” people ask, while watching the cats in action. I never thought that one day I’d give regular tours of a litter box, but I suppose life is all about the simple pleasures, huh.
We also have a 14 year old daughter, Oshanna. She’s your typical, hormonal, cute, and dramatic teenager. When she laughs, she cackles like an insane witch, and she’s a textbook Scorpio. . . .whatever that means!
Afternoon time in Goa is siesta time. Everyone sleeps from 1-4. I don’t usually partake in a nap, but some days when the humidity is high or I’m exhausted from an early run, it’s pretty sweet that catching some z’s is a cultural norm. I don’t mind it at all.
Most evenings, around dot 8pm, Mr. Kit-Kat comes up to our place with a plastic bottle filled with “holy” water and splashes me, Amit, Oshanna, and even the cats with blessings. The sun looks like a blood-orange globe hanging above the palm tree horizon. Bright pink colors waft through the sky above our house, and the heat finally rests.