By Santanu Sengupta

It was carnival time in Goa.
It seemed the heavens had geared up to make the occasion a grand success. The skies were the bluest that ever was, the sea an enamel blue and the breeze was at its caressing and loving best.

Let me give a brief description of Goa and the carnival first.

Goa is a state in India known for its beautiful beaches. It was under Portugese rule till the early part of this century. So there are obvious Portugese influences in this state. The place boasts of the most beautiful churches in India and many buildings built in Portugese style. Portugese rule has left its indellible mark on the people as well. Many Indians were converted to Christianity by the Portugese rulers. So occasions like Christmas are celebrated with great fanfare in this beautiful state. Carnival time comprises the last week of December… till the new year.

The whole place wore a festive look. It was a riot of colors. The houses had been decked with colorful festoons and tiny bulbs. The beaches were a huge sea of men, women and children of all shapes, colors and sizes.

It was dusk. Lucy and I were having a stroll on the beach. It was one of those perfect Hallmark moments.

Coming to Lucy… Iove known her for… lets see… three years now. I still recall vividly the day we met. We were introduced by a common friend of ours. Lucy had been staying with his family for some time. They were family friends.

She had the cutest eyes I had ever seen… a liquid brown with tiny black dots in the center. The singular quality which first attracted me to her was her silence… she hardly spoke. Yet I could understand everything she wanted me to from her eyes. Iove never seen such expressive eyes before… and after.

We met a few more times at my friends place, went out a couple of times…each time drawn closer to each other. After exactly two months, she came over to live with me and weve never been parted since. Pretty fast…huh? well… I dont regret it!!

Its been three years now and I cannot imagine my existence without her. We have grown so used to each other. Its the little things we do… the evening walks, the morning breakfasts, the nights spent gazing at the stars … that make our relationship so special.

Coming back to Goa…

After a longish stroll, we finally decided to sit for a while on the golden sand. Minutes, hours passed in companionable silence. After some time, she put her head on my lap.

I began stroking her soft, curly brown hair… she began making one of those contented, I like what you are doing to me sounds… and nuzzled closer to my chest.

Lest I lost control of myself and my emotions, I decided we both go back to our hotel. So I got up, dusted myself and bade her to follow me.

She barked in agreement.

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