Don’t be a fool for the city lights.
One fine day, I just packed a swimsuit, a pair of flip-flops, sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen and some lip gloss and took off into the sunset. I had beer for breakfast and salt water for lunch, sand scrubs for pedicures and strangers for friends. I watched sunsets by the beach and listened to the same songs all day, everyday. I let the salty air cause havoc to my hair as I leaned out of the car window to smell the fragrance of nature. I let the long winding roads take me to their secret hideouts. I had a good book for company and midday naps for when I wanted to shut off and listen to the ocean. I was perfectly lonely – nothing to do, nowhere to be, a simple little kind of free. Except, I went with two of my best guy friends on this much dreamt-on vaction to Goa – and together with the ocean, they gave me the most carefree four days of my life.
They stopped mid-sentence to look at women clad in bikinis, they treated me like an equal, they weight-lifted my beach bag, always handed me the dry towel, gave me the eye-level shelf in the closet, did not drink and drive but made sure I had a beer in one hand at any given point in time, and never let me miss a sunset. And they stayed slightly sane so I didn’t have to do the same. I knew I could let go and finally live.
I always knew it, but they reminded me that the love a childhood friendship fosters, belongs to a whole different league. It’s simple, pure, genuine, honest and uninhibited. It’s the only place where you are you 24/7.
And hence began 72 hours of hopping from one blank space to another in my mind, and one tranquil beach to another in our small, cosy Wagon R. If there was a routine, it was only because at some point our grumbling tummies needed a break from the liquid diet and pee stops had to be taken into account to cater for the obsessive liquid intake. If there was time to kill, it was only because the crashing waves, the sun, and sand filled us with a languid laziness. If there was silence in the lack of conversation, it was only because the sound of it was taking us away from the city lights one moment at a time. And finally, if there was any regret, it was only because this addictive concoction of perfect rejuvenation and intense joy had no formula to memorise – we knew it could never be concocted again.
Idle mornings with hot cups of tea, music for the soul, and light-hearted tête-à-têtes became the unspoken ritual. Long, meandering drives through the green landscape, the smell of saltwater, and the flapping on flip-flops came next. There was a variety of ‘Khakra’ to choose from – manchurian, paani-puri, so on and so forth – thanks to one of my boys who came from Baroda. There were wet wipes (thanks to me) to ensure that the kharkra didn’t get into the eyes. There was uninhibited pleasure in the smallest of things. There was no sense of needing to be somewhere, do something or be someone. When tired bones talked after hours of dancing with the waves, we headed to watch the sunset. Another ritual that accentuated the inner calm. Hot showers, and more hot cups of tea. Louder, peppier music and conversations about growing up, growing old and childhood memories that made us. Laughter, stories, fears, secrets and plans. Late night playlists of ‘wish you were here’, ‘billie jean’, ‘on a day like today’ and ‘chocolate’. Midnights that led to early mornings. Early mornings without the alarm and without an agenda. Just more salt, sand, sea and sun. And love of a whole different dimension.
I couldn’t say that I needed a vacation because I needed to get away or needed to relieve pent-up stress. In fact, after what seemed like eternity, I was finally finding my rhythm, singing my songs, and looking forward to making more music as I go along. But I figured, there’s no better time to elevate a high that already exists. It’s like you first take your sad songs and make them better (as The Beatles sang), and then take that happy feeling and make it even better. You take all that love, magic and music, and come back with more, come back to more, come back for more. Like I wrote in an Instagram post “You set a deadline, you follow a timeline. You goal-set. Do the shanbang. And when you know you are all set to light the house on fire, you step back. You know you are finally ready with all the ammunition you’ll ever need. You know you’re gonna make it. So, you take off into the sunset with your people. You do it when you are happy, not because you seek it. It brings you unconditional love, magic and music. And you come back like a freakin’ power-puff girl. Geared for more love, magic and music. Because, back home you already have some saved for you, in an extra special shot glass – with a wedge of lime on the side.”
Today, I think back on this holiday in feelings, pictures, and visions – and subconsciously, I know I have created my next happy place in these memories. The place I go back to in my head when I need to believe.
You are my best friend and we’ve got some shit to shoot!
Best friend, Sofi Tukker
PS: This vacation I decided to take a break from blogging too, and hence no post was published five days ago. At the moment, life’s currents are pulling me in pretty damn strong and I don’t want to promise a post every 5 days – but maybe every week? Let’s see how we can make it work, without taking away from it’s music.
Until next time,