(Old blog) Day One: Goa

I was on the plane to Goa, not knowing what to expect from this city and this World Vegetarian Congress. The experience leading up to this trip, in which some promised registration documents never arrived despite my repeated enquiries, the warning about the country I had read from the guidebook, and the scenes I had witnessed at the sorry-looking Delhi airport did not exactly help my confidence.

I leafed through a magazine that came with the local paper. In it was this article called Raisin' Health. The article, which began with this beautiful definition that "raisins are nothing but grapes and sunshine", contained the history, some facts, stories and recipes about this food. The article quoted the following from the Bible:

"... And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights." ---1 Samuel 30: 12

I switched to the sports page of the paper and learned that Martin Navratilova had made it to the final of the mixed doubles of the US Open with partner Bob Bryan. The 49-year-old tennis legend was firmly in the mind of adding to the long list of achievements in her illustrious career by winning it one last time. She was quoted as saying:

"You are only as old as you feel and I certainly don't feel forty-nine. I just wanted to inspire people."

Outside the window, day was breaking. The plane was floating on the marshmellow-like clouds again the backdrop of a multi-coloured sky made brighter every minute by the rising sun.

Maybe I didn't have to feel quite so wary of the country, the Congress and everything?

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