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A break from COVID

With railways, air and road travel (domestic for now) having resumed operations, albeit with strict guidelines in place, Goans who’ve missed out on this year’s summer vacation are hoping that they will get their holiday sooner or later, when the situation improves

Danuska Da Gama | NT BUZZ

At the start of 2020, people made their bucket lists, many of which probably included travelling to new places this year. If not, saving up for a holiday was also probably on the cards. However, the onset of COVID-19 disrupted all such plans and dreams.

But who doesn’t like looking at the brighter side of life? And indeed, even though the COVID cases might be seeing a spike in Goa, the good news is that recovery rate is high and mortality rate is low. With economic activity resuming, travel too has been allowed, of course with strict rules and guidelines. And hopefully people can fulfil their travel wishes again.

ON THE BUCKET LIST

General manager of Alcon Hyundai, Porvorim Shrikrishna Zambodker doesn’t intend to travel immediately after the lockdown ends, but eventually as things subside, he is considering travel to Hong Kong and Singapore. “Also, since I have a small daughter Jiza who is just seven months old I would like her international holiday debut to be at a favourite kid’s destination ie Disneyland,” he says.

Panaji-based lawyer Iftikhar Agha meanwhile says that he was truly lucky to have visited Mecca and Medina with his mother and return to Goa just before the ban on tourists and pilgrims entering Saudi Arabia. “Not only did we get to go for the ‘Hajj’ pilgrimage, but were able to return back safe and sound,” he tells us, adding that he loves travelling and otherwise would have travelled before Ramzan or after Eid.

“I would like to go to Dubai with my family to shop. I’ve been there before and know the place pretty well and I would like my family to see some places outside India,” he says. However, if he had to choose to travel in India now that the skies are open, Kashmir would be on his travel list.

For Margao-based photographer, Harsh Kamat, getting back to work is his main focus. “I want to get back to work and start shooting something. That’s what I’ve been missing terribly. But I would avoid travelling for the next one year or so, till everything calms down,” he says. Once things acquire a sense of normalcy, Kamat then plans to travel to the city of dreams – Mumbai – which has a high number of cases at the moment, or Lisbon in Portugal as he has several friends there and misses the city.

Singer, O’Luv from Chinchinim says that there is no better place than Goa to live in and holiday. But once the lockdown ends and international travel is allowed, he has plans of travelling far west to Canada as he wants to make a visa that has a long validity.

Proprietor of D’Ziners Vasco, Drewsall Azavedo also cannot wait to go on a holiday as soon as international fights resume, which according to reports might begin in August. “I want to go on a nice holiday to Turkey because it’s budget-friendly and I want to experience the culture there and try out the food they offer,” she says.

COVID BREAK
IN GOA BE LIKE

In the meanwhile, Goans have been keeping themselves busy during the lockdown. Zambodker who resumed work early May says that the lockdown break was a rich learning experience. It gave everyone a chance to spend time with loved ones at home and also taught us how to go back to living a basic and simple life. “Breathing fresh, eating good healthy and homemade food, and not wasting time and money in doing unwanted things – the art of basic living has been redefined for me now,” he tells us.

For Agha lockdown or no, Goa is always the place he is in especially during Ramzan due to fasting and prayers. But unfortunately, this year he suffered a bout of dengue and spent time in hospital recovering. But at the same time, the lockdown period was a time spent in prayer, reading books, and empathising with various communities who weren’t able to go to their holy place of worship. He also felt sad about the weaker section of society that faced several hardships because of the lockdown.

For Kamat spending the lockdown in Goa was peaceful. “I was with my mumma,” he says. “It’s always good to be home and be with your family and during such difficult times, that’s all you need.”

The forced holiday in Goa during the lockdown meant that O’Luv realised that he could do much more than sing and play music. “I landed up in the kitchen and made chapattis in the form of ghumot, guitar, etc,” he says. In fact, just six days ago, on May 20, he released ‘the Cashew song of Goa’.

Azavedo meanwhile had to cancel her planned honeymoon. “We delayed our honeymoon plans for April-May after getting married in February due to business. But this lockdown brought life to a standstill and we had to cancel our plans to travel. However, I got to spend some time with my husband and learned cooking,” she says.

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