Discover The Real Goa
Forbes Life India|January/February 2017

Take the off-the-beaten path to discover the real beauty of the region.

Jessica Faleiro

It’s true, what you’ve read in the papers. Like a well-worn lover, Goa isn’t carrying middle age very well. It’s been 55 years since her independence, but the concrete jungle is quickly spreading, garbage is strewn everywhere and the industrial complex is making inroads into the lives of those who call Goa home. The romance of the sussegad lifestyle is showing cracks and leaving many disenchanted, including tourists. But if you’re willing to slow down and stay off the beaten track, you’ll find the beauty and character of Goa nestled in the details that reveal themselves to you— only if you are patient. If you’re keen to step off the usual conveyor belt of sightseeing staples, here are some of my favourite things to see and do while still having a memorable stay.

Find a village homestay

The image of Goa that tends to stick in people’s minds is of booze-fuelled partying and beach-swims. But the best way to see Goa is to wander through its villages on a two-wheeler or, better yet, a bicycle. Find a village that speaks to you and set up camp in one of the family-run guest houses that advertise rooms with signposts on their front gates. Tucked away in one of those villages, you’ll find yourself waking up to charming birdsong and the clarion call of the local poder (baker), delivering fresh bread from the nearby bakery in a basket perched on his bicycle. Choose between my favourite variety—slightly grainy poee, or fluffy palm-sized cubes of pao. Warm and fresh with a thick pat of butter, local Goan bread with strong morning chai is the only way to truly enjoy breakfast.

Coffee and a book in a heritage house

I’ve been getting to know ex-Delhi lawyer Diviya Kapur during our monthly book club gathering at her bookstore, where even Diviya’s gentle eight-year old golden labrador Frida gets to have a say on the latest book being discussed. Imagine a 100-year-old Portuguese-era house, with a living room lined with books from floor to ceiling. That’s Café Literati, Diviya’s beautiful vision come to life tucked away in the recesses of bustling Calangute. Diviya’s warmth and passion for books infuse the place with a hypnotic allure that makes you want to go there for a book and stay for a siesta. The monthly book club is a friendly group which discusses books over wine and potluck. If you visit, ask her for stories about the place and she might tell you about the time someone left a stack of second-hand books at the doorstep and rushed off so quickly that she wasn’t able to thank him. She realised the reason for his elusiveness only when she noticed he’d donated a collection of erotic literature.

Goa’s ethnography museum

Victor Hugo Gomes is a restorer of art, artefacts and heritage houses by profession. But you only have to spend two minutes in his company to realise his true passion is the preservation of ‘authentic’ Goan culture and lifestyle. When I drop by Goa Chitra, his museum of Goan ethnography in Benaulim, Victor is in a meeting with a restaurateur who’ll be managing the new café. He finds me later, strolling through the rooms with collections showcasing Goa’s colonial past. When I ask Victor if he has a favourite object, he thinks for a moment and says, “You can’t ask me that. I love them all. Each has a story.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FORBES LIFE INDIAView All

Hrithik Roshan Emerged Stronger Calmer Happier

Hrithik Roshan’s professional success has often been offset by personal setbacks and injury. But the actor has found a way to stay unfazed: By focusing on family, films and fitness.

10+ mins read
Forbes Life India
January/February 2017

Discover The Real Goa

Take the off-the-beaten path to discover the real beauty of the region.

8 mins read
Forbes Life India
January/February 2017

The Writing Bug

After 10 years of penning thrillers, Ashwin Sanghi is now exploring a collaborative, ‘bloody good’ business model in non-fiction.

9 mins read
Forbes Life India
January/February 2017

Bring On The Blues

Dining at his rooftop restaurant overlooking the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, you have to work hard not to fall under the spell of the multi-faceted Bablu.

8 mins read
Forbes Life India
January/February 2017

Beyond Vegas

The casino town is only half the story of Nevada. The loneliest road in America is the other.

7 mins read
Forbes Life India
November-December 2016

Mira and the Movies of Life

Though she draws from the street to tell stories that endure, Mira Nair calls herself a shameless populist who doesn’t want her movies to be homework. With her acclaimed Monsoon Wedding soon to hit the American stage as a musical, the 59-year-old filmmaker continues to find new ways to entertain and inform.

10+ mins read
Forbes Life India
November-December 2016

The 'Glocal' Rush

Curators of Interesting Ideas.

4 mins read
Forbes Life India
November-December 2016

The Taste Of The Hills

The flavour profile of Northeast India is as diverse as it is delicious. But if you were given only three words to describe it, you’d call it authentic, simple and unmistakable.

9 mins read
Forbes Life India
September-October 2016

On A Wheel And A Platter

A culinary trail through the busy streets of Ho Chi Minh City uncovers many layers of Vietnam’s bustling city.

9 mins read
Forbes Life India
September-October 2016

Objects of Desire

Mani, who heads a Rajinikanth fan club in Chennai, actually pawned his wife’s jewellery to pay for the iconic Tamil film star’s local birthday celebrations.

4 mins read
Forbes Life India
September-October 2016
RELATED STORIES

The Rolling Stones: Goats Head Soup Super Deluxe Edition

Show of hands, please—how many of you rate August 1973’s Goats Head Soup as your favorite Rolling Stones album? Anyone? No? Can’t say I blame you.

3 mins read
Sound & Vision
February - March 2021

Yes, you *can* have everything you want

It’s time to manifest your biggest dreams. Because making (and not keeping) new year’s resolutions is so last year.

5 mins read
Girls' Life magazine
February/March 2021

Goa and Greenhouses

A well-to-do Russian tries to bring his green new ideal to life in a Russian village. Not all goes to plan.

6 mins read
Russian Life
November/December 2020

A Fresh Space For Your Child With Special Needs

For the majority of Americans, the start of a new year means setting new goals and resolutions.

2 mins read
Charlotte Parent
January 2020

NIGHT FALL

OVERBOARD IN A DESERTED ANCHORAGE AT NIGHT, CULLY PETTIGREW IS IN TROUBLE

8 mins read
Yachting World
January 2020

Top Scholars Road To Success Requires Setting The Bar Higher

The pathway to success in career and life starts with goals, motivation, and commitment. Setting the bar high academically is but one of many routes to success, as is pursuing professional experience through internships and seeking leadership opportunities.

4 mins read
Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology
Fall 2019 Volume 34 Issue 2

Get Freakin' Started

This time of year, everybody loves to make wildly ambitious fitness resolutions. But the truth is, converting your body from a doughy blob of fat to a sexy slab of muscle is far easier said than done. As much as it takes discipline and hard work, it also requires a solid game plan. Here’s yours.

7 mins read
Muscle & Fitness
January 2019

The Power Of Visualization

Sometimes it’s not enough to have a goal. Sometimes you have to picture yourself achieving it.

5 mins read
Guideposts
February 2019

How To Help Children Set And Achieve Goals

Helping children set and achieve goals

3 mins read
Charlotte Parent
January 2019

What's Your BTS Make Over Mood?

Want an instant upgrade for the new year? Change is good—and we’re here to help with a smart, cinchy strategy for those #newyou vibes...

5 mins read
Girls' Life magazine
August/September 2018