The days were balmy, the clouds had strewn itself across the sky and the sun would sporadically play peek-a-boo, the tropical dampness could be felt on the skin all day at this time of the year. This was the month of May. Yet there were moments of respite when the cool wind would blow my hair and touch my face while I whizz past the lanes of Goa. After a hearty breakfast, my friend and I would often take the scooter, drive, stop by and explore the hidden gems and lesser-known spots. And life would feel so easy; slow, laid-back, unperturbed by anything. There is no hurry, ladies would tend to their vegetable gardens, feed their chickens, fishermen would disentangle the nets, and life seemed to move on beautifully.
For this way of life, the locals have a word for it – Susegad, which means peaceful, relaxed, and contentment.
Four days in this coastal town entailed long walks, flea markets, beaches and finding out local, independent bookstores; an activity that was an integral part of our itinerary. God bless the google search. We could spot one bookstore nearby, right in the heart of Calangute – the Literati Bookshop & Cafe. The property has a café too, it was temporarily closed though.
But how lovely it was to see the lush campus — all green, grassy, fertile and blooming.
Once you enter the property and walk a few steps, toward the right, you will see a typical Goan-Portuguese style house, which looked frayed and old, yet it had the strength and the vintage charm. So, there it was – the Literati bookshop. The verandah felt like the one transported from my granny’s house.
As my gaze inquired the little details of the place; from rubber plants to archaic bookshelf, from sofas to the mirror hanging outside on the wall and my reflection on it, I found myself taking in the atmosphere, the musty odor of the old books and everything that surrounded this cozy place. There were books all over the place and that’s such a wonderful sight to behold.
Although I couldn’t see an extensive collection of non-fiction, there was an abundance of fictions. I sense that this place will be a delight for antiquarians; they might stumble upon rare books preserved in some corner of the shelf.
What I loved about Literati were the inhabitants that coexisted – birds, bees, trees and not to forget the books. After spending some time here, we headed for the next unknown destination. Unknown because we didn’t have anything particular on our minds. With our senses wide open to anything that might look interesting — which could be small shops selling funky tees and bohemian earrings or hunting for another bookstore — we were simply on our quest to discover the little happiness of daily life.
Suddenly, life seemed completely slow, peaceful and content.
And, amid in our pursuit of happiness, we had accidentally experienced Susegad.