The year 2015 started well. Like every year, I began my year with midnight mass thanking God for the year that’s gone by and for what is in store ahead. 8 days later, I got a chance to thank HIM once again specially for keeping me alive, and adding another year to my life, I turned 33 on the 9th of January this year.
’33 running on 34’…sounds very scary, not for the fact that I am still single but a whole lot of other things that need to get done before time runs out.
My birthday present this year was different from the other years and it was a welcome one. Though I was told about it a month and a half before hand, it still was as exciting as if dad presented it to me on my birthday itself. The Gift – Yes! A week long holiday / tour / pilgrimage to Sri Lanka along with 60 other people from different other parts of Goa with the group called ‘The Crusaders for Jesus with Mary’. A trip (pilgrimage) to witness the canonization of Goa’s Bl. Joseph Vaz to a saint followed by the Papal mass at Sri Lanka’s Galle Face. Definitely a ‘first’ for me, one to actually witness a canonization ceremony and secondly but most importantly to see Pope Francis (papa) live. An opportunity I was definitely looking forward to.
For all my friends who know that I love travelling, this was going to be one week that I wasn’t going to forget for a long time to come. Only this time I wasn’t travelling alone but with 60 others and most importantly it would give dad and myself some quality father-son bonding time. We were set to travel early morning on the 10th of January.
I love travelling, around India I do it best with trains or buses. I realized that wouldn’t be possible in an international trip. So my first airplane journey in some time, not that I haven’t travelled before in midair but it’s not been regular thing with me and besides 10 years back is a long time ago!
First stop Dabolim Airport. The new Dabolim terminal was something I haven’t had a look from inside, so this was my opportunity. I didn’t go like OMG~! It was different, surely bigger and going by my memory of what I saw 10 years ago of the old terminal, everything looked new to me, even the trolleys.
Within an hour or so, we were ready to catch our first flight and begin of what would as I recollect now, the best 7 days of 2015 thus far. Our flight was to Chennai, from there to Colombo. Air India took us to Chennai. Another ‘first’ for me was ‘Madras International Airport’. It was quite amusing to see the way the Chennaites behave at the airport (or the madrasis as some people address them as) chaotic airport to say the least. The language mainly, well the staff blaming each other as our luggage’s were to be directly shifted from the Goa flight only to be collected at Colombo directly. That didn’t happen causing chaos, well after talking to ‘someone intelligent’ we managed to get that done. Wow! Call for good service at an Airport and the Airlines officials… well Air India for you. A wait over 2 hours at the ‘Madras International Airport’ before catching our next flight to Colombo. It was only early evening when we reached Bandaranaike International Airport – Colombo, with that probably one of Sri Lanka’s first pilgrims had arrived into the country for the Canonization of Bl. Joseph Vaz.
Christmas was long over but it seemed Sri Lanka was still in festive spirit with the Christmas trees and decorations all over the place making it look for very pretty viewing.
…So I was a tourist and officially on foreign soil, it felt really good. I didn’t miss India one bit, at least for that week.
Sri Lanka is indeed a beautiful place, coming up in the next part 🙂