And then there was Arco

December 28, 2008

Arco Iris

Arco Iris

This is an old article of mine that appeared in an online newsletter called the Goanet. Was written and published nearly 24 months back. The best part about it was that we got a fair number of responses from subscribers to the newsletter and who were also looking at acquiring property in Goa, specifically in South Goa. They were looking for assistance in identifying available properties in the area. Over a period of them, some of them have become good friends of Beni’s. In a way this was what got me interested in writing and blogging and kind of gave me the confidence that the brickbats would be manageable. So here goes:

It was a joyous moment for me and my wife when, after a search operation that lasted for over 6 months, we became proud owners of a piece of Goan land. But, I guess I am jumping the gun and ignoring the chronology of events as they unfolded.

My wife, Beni, is a Goan and ignoring trivial details like my place of birth and the fact that I prefer vegetables to meat and I can’t stand the smell of fish being cooked, I believe I am as much a “Goan” as anyone else fortunate enough to be from that place under the sun. It was around a year ago that both of us decided that we’d rather be in Goa than in any other place for the rest of our lives. This was not withstanding the fact that we have two daughters, aged 5 and 3, and the general consensus being that the increasingly unlivable Bangalore, where we reside currently, is a much better place, from an academic and other extracurricular activities perpectives, to bring up children than resplendent Goa. After thinking this over for all of 4 minutes, we decided to go ahead and take the first step towards relocating to Goa. The first step for us was to identify a piece of land where we believed we could spend the rest of our lives without being affected by the pulls and pressures of all that would be happening around us. During the period, I was lucky to be exposed, for the first time to the splendors of Goa, beyond the sandy beaches and the placid sea. Given our financial constraints, it did also help that most of the properties overlooking the sea were well beyond our reach.

Arco Iris then

Arco Iris then

Arco Iris now

Arco Iris now

During the search period we were disappointed a couple of times when supposedly “sealed” transactions evaporated due to a variety of reasons, not the least being the better deals offered by the land grabbing mafia that seemed to have suddenly descended on this Utopia. As they say, all is well that ends well and I can say that finally purchased something which, on the face of it, satisfies most of the requirements that we had in mind (including a 110 year old house) a couple of weeks back. The house has not been occupied for the last more than 25 years and is in an unbelievable state of disrepair. However, we are confident that given some time and effort, we should be able to bring it back somewhere close to its former glory. This heaven in earth is located in the quaint village of Curtorim, in the south, nothing more than a one horse town so to speak. I was also given to understand by Beni that our travails are not over and au contraire have just begun as we embark on the ardous journey of making the place habitable. But what the heck, nothing worthy of possession, came without a fight.

PS: My elder daughter, Trusha, saw the place and for reasons best known to her kept referring to the place as Rainbow City. And hence the name “Arco Iris” which translates to rainbow in Portuguese. During the last nearly 22 months, Beni has been able to make significant progress with the restoration of the place and all going well, we intend ringing in 2009 from Arco.


9 Responses to “And then there was Arco”

  1. Mohan Sundaram Says:

    Nice thing Gani. Best wishes for a lovely happy abode.

  2. Ravi Says:

    My wife and Daughter loved Arco Iris. They couldn’t believe seeing “Then” and “Now” pictures. Sampoorna loved the colours esp the Yellow in the entrance.
    Now its going to be easy to make that Goa trip.

    All the Best,

  3. Bennita Ganesh Says:

    Ravi, Thanks a ton for the feedback. Believe me, it means a lot to us. It been a really trying time and has taken us almost 2 years and there is still more to be done. During this time, we have faced almost all the problems associated with restoration including 2 contractors/ 1 roof contractor abandoning the project midway at the most critical stages and a whole host of other associated problems. The single factor keeping us going all this time was the thought of sharing some crazy times with our special friends like you there. So do plan that Goa trip soon!!!

    This is also an open invitation to all our friends to come over soon provided you also pass some nice comments about Arco Iris like Ravi has.

  4. Ravi Says:

    Beni, Your hardwork shows in the output.I am sure it will be wonderful when you complete it with furnishing and landscaping. Thanks for the invitation. We will definitely make a trip to Goa during our next India visit.

  5. Vidya Says:

    Congratulations on such a beautiful home and your hardwork shows!! Arco Iris is splendid in Yellow and am sure you have the satisfaction of “winning” over your hardships !! Here’s to a wonderful 2009 and all of the years you spend in Goa. All the best.

  6. Sanjeev Says:

    Congrats on the transformation of the house… Looks like a fun place to be… Are you also going to have all rainbow colours in the house?

  7. Bennita Ganesh Says:

    Spot on Sanjeev!! Yes, we have VIBGYOR bedrooms……..

  8. sridhar rentala Says:

    I Mean like ” WOW” –
    Benny – Just awesome job on the restoration…and Gani- what can i say- ur a pioneer dude,ur in a class of ur own:)
    have u actually moved lock stock and barrel to Goa- what happened to sarjapur?am still planning on visiting u gusy in blr…hehehe!

  9. Gani Says:

    Thanks Sridhar for being so effusive in your praise for Arco. We are still stuck in Sarjapur. So you can visit us any time. Hopefully we can plan a holiday in Arco in the near future.

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