Although the uphill distance between the Resort de Aguada and the Aguada fort is said to be not more than a couple of miles, if you look around as you drive along the zigzagged road, it is bound to extend into one eventful voyage.
As you begin to climb, first you find a narrow channel of rivulet beside to your left; a type of makeshift quay enveloped in the lush of the greens cradling a few colourful ferries. Romeo, Meena, Dono Paula, Samrat, Miramar – these are some of the names anchored home for the time being. And even as you wish to savour it a bit more, the rivulet graduates into a fading estuary and vanishes deep into a mist of grey and eventually into a marine memory.
Drive further up and the air turns lighter and the alongside trees sparser, gently ushering you out in the open, naked to the burning sun overhead.
Along with your mumbles about the heat you slowly ascend the steeping road to be accosted by the growing horizon all around. You are due to struggle here with a feel of vaulting somewhere in the hollow provinces of this mid air handshake between the spotless chromed sky above and the scorched earth beneath.
Higher up, as the road levels; an odd moocow grazing lazily, a couple of electric poles, a remnant of a signpost and your moving shadow are all that you can expect to keep your company until you reach the fort atop the hill.
The fort, as you discover is but a segment of oddly shaped serpentine sepia wall groping out from within, mute in its mighty abandon. The main passage stoops down south only to rise again to the right arching initially into a tarmac and then into the ruins of erstwhile ramparts.
It is here you might find of interest to engage with a grey bearded elder squatting in the shade of a lonely bramble; who would, subject to his mood obviously, recount how the aging bricks of the fort are witness to the stories of birth, grandeur and bereavement. And true to his words you notice how like a grand old lady she ceaselessly swallows a retreating past overlooking an arabesque future of the liquid, solid and sky.
As the view claims a pinch of belief to register, you spare an odd thought to the fortune of all those sentries of the past who would have stood guard here everyday laying a vigilant gaze over the horizons, for even the last one of them would have died a poet for sure.
Perched atop on the far end of this summit, the distant face of the sea, dressed in shades of emerald, turquoise, indigo, taupe, grey, and at places smudged by the shadows of slow moving clouds and at places bristling in silver, stroked by the long hands of the sun is exceptionally serene in its silence and expanse. The floating freckles of petite islands in between are best described as sporadic, and so are the multi-ethnic vessels that float about in so painful a torpid that you are forced to give up on their activity after a while of close anticipation.
Your left horizon is taken by the strip of the city, mainly put together by the varied colours of concrete kiosks, draped by the berets and baggies of greens and quite often but not always- interrupted, protected and invaded by both the silent and foamy white arms of the ocean. A few metal spires intended for wireless communications stand atall here and there in the distant haze. You could surely imagine how in the night, the wind would haul ripples along the black waters distorting the pockets of orange reflects in the mist of city lights.
Unbiased, the sky hovers lazily over both the city and the ocean alike as if just in an eager wait to slide behind the veil that the murk of the night draws.
Once you have absorbed an eyeful of the all these , it is here, in the surrounds of this sentinel, you wish to come during those winter evenings when the breeze is just about pleasant to study some Neruda and perhaps Brodsky too[?], reminiscing over life among other such things.
For that, is unbearably beautiful, even to imagine.
~Aguada, Goa, India.
June 2005 draft very edited later.
PS: For FSB, thanks for the interruption.