The day started out like any other. Cold shower, I threw on a bathing suit (because if you’re going to sweat, you may as well sweat in a bikini), and then I put on some shorts and a loose neon shirt.
I was travelling through India with my sister, Ashley, and our adopted Indian family from Toronto at the time. (My boss’s daughter was getting married in India, and since the man is practically like family, my sister and I also tagged along with all their relatives that made the journey for the wedding. Now how’s that for a trip?!)
The pre-wedding days were filled with shopping in Indian markets, eating delicious curries, exploring a little bit of Mumbai in search for Sharukh Khan’s home in Bandra (sadly, we didn’t spot the King of Bollywood), and some crazy rides on a rickshaw.
After about a week and a half together, the whole family (us included) travelled down to Goa for a holiday, and this is where to story unfolds.
The day’s attraction was a short drive south to Old Goa to visit the statue of Dona Paula, and so the seven of us hopped into a little van and set off to explore the setting of a tragic love story. (Truth or myth, no one seems to know.)
This is how the tale goes:“Once upon time a girl named Dona Paula fell in love with a young Goan man. Dona Paula was the daughter of a wealthy Portuguese viceroy, while her love interest was a local fisherman without a great fortune. The match, of course, did not sit very well with the girl’s family and Dona Paula was forbidden from seeing her lover ever again. Not being able to imagine a life without this boy, Dona Paula threw herself into the Arabian Sea to bring an end to her woes…”
And that is why a statue of the two young lovers now sits on the rocky shores.
Having heard this story, along with several variations of it on the drive over, we all walked down the pier to see the star-crossed lovers. We then went up to the viewing point to take a few photos, and that’s when the paparazzi shenanigans began…
It started out with one man. He looked our way, evidently thought we looked quite…distinct, and took a picture. Snap! I guess it didn’t turn out the way he liked, because he then took a few more.
Seeing that we weren’t too bothered by this one man’s attention, another approached with his camera in hand and did the same. Snap! And then the family that was standing nearby followed.
Now, have you ever noticed how when a few people gather around a specific street food vendor it seems to attract more people? If a few people are standing around, then there must be something good around, so more people join in… Well, that’s how it was with the photos. Once three cameras were pointed our way, everyone else jumped on the bandwagon.
Snap, snap, *flash*, snap, *flash*!
I’m all for snapping a few discrete photos of strangers (heck, I even do so on occasion!), but there was not even a hint of subtlety in the number of cameras that were being directly pointed our way.
If you were to have a look at some of the photos the paparazzi snapped that day, they would probably look at lot like this…
That is a photo that our Indian mom took for us while this commotion was going on. Even her sons got caught in the cross fire… Impressive, right? (I can already hear the laughter on the other side.)
Yep, I’m the one in green on the left. Point a dozen cameras my way, and that is how I react. I laugh in your face.
This isn’t the kind photo that you put on your mantlepiece once you get back home, but whenever I think of Goa this is the memory that springs to mind.
It is far from photogenic – we all have the most random looks on our faces ranging from hilarity to bewilderment with a little sprinkling of ‘WTF?!’, but it sums up our little outing so well.
Forget Dona Paula, that day I was a star!