The 4 Sounds Of Goa That Draw Me Home

/////The 4 Sounds Of Goa That Draw Me Home

Quite recently we drove down to Goa with our cat. As we passed across the border between Goa and Karnataka, I began to ponder on what were the interesting sounds that welcomed me home. Odd right? You would think that the sounds in each part of the country are the same. I thought so too but I quickly realized that I was wrong. There are some sounds that may repeat and be heard across the country and even across the world. Growing up in Goa meant that no matter where I heard those sounds I would be drawn back to the place where my roots lay. That place is none other than Goa.

I digress. Let me get back to the point and introduce you to the sounds of Goa that make me long for home.


Sounds of Goa

The Poders standing at the city center in Margao.

For those of you who don’t know Konkani, ‘Poder’ means ‘Baker’. He plays an iconic role in almost every Goan house hold where ‘pao’ or ‘bread’ is delivered home. The Poder makes his round twice a day: once early morning and once in the evening. The sound of his horn sends people scurrying out of their houses because no one wants to miss him on his rounds. When I was younger the Poder used to make his rounds on a cycle with a humongous woven basket strapped on its back. The basket was usually covered with a large cloth to keep the contents from being exposed to the dirt around. Today I’ve heard that the Poder moves about on a motorbike. The iconic sound of his horn however remains.

If you ever hear the honking of the Poder through the villages of Goa, you will also hear shouts as neighbors call out greetings to each other. Buying your bread can also be a social event. Nothing like catching up over the day’s events as you select the type of bread you want.


Sounds of Goa

Stormy sounds captured on a day trip out recently. I love the rains!

The rain in Goa is not the usual drizzle that people in many parts of the world. At the start of the monsoon strong gusts of wind rip through the streets. Loud sounds of banging doors, rattling sheets and a stray plastic items warns that the first showers are imminent. If you are lucky enough to find yourself in a village, you will hear the wind play musical notes as the branches and leaves of the trees quite literally dance in tune.

The next part is something that brings back memories. You can hear the rain coming towards you. It starts at a point and the sound of it drumming down becomes louder and louder till it engulfs you. I miss the rains in Goa. Sure people associate it with power cuts and fallen trees. Me… I reminiscence of hot tea, buttered toast and slices of hot cake from the oven! Courtesy my grandmother of course!


Sounds of Goa

My best friend Natasha on a day when we took a long stroll on the beach so we could have a heart to heart talk.

A lot of people come to visit Goa because of its scenic coast line. For a person who has the vast majority of her life in Goa, the coast line is not something new. I had access to some of the most coveted beaches in the world ever since I was born. Going to the beach was always a treat as a child. Now as an adult I make sure that we visit the beach as often as we can when we go back to Goa.

The crashing of the waves in is one of the sounds of Goa that is embedded in my soul. They may sound the same to someone from another part of the world but the sound of those waves brings back memories. Picnics on the beach when we were younger, a short vacation with the family and even living by the beach for a few days after we got married. The sound of the waves crashing sure is linked to so many good times.


Sounds of Goa

Happy Church bells on the day we got married.

Goa has Churches in almost every corner. That is why it is not surprising that the chiming of the church bells is one of the sounds of Goa that I remember. As a child we were taught how to interpret the different sounds that the church bells made. The cheerful chiming of the church bells that signifies that something good has taken place. This usually takes place after a wedding or a feast. It’s a rapid succession of chimes.

Then there is the slow and sorrowful way in which the chimes are sounded. This signifies something sad and is usually rung during a funeral. The time of the day signifies also tells a different tale because the church bells are rung for the faithful to say the Angelus. A couple of decades chiming of the church bells were used to communicate with the people around. That’s why there were different kinds of chimes for different occasions.

It’s odd how you tend to ignore common things around you that your senses invariably pick up. I’m sure that if I ponder a bit longer I will be able to add more sounds of Goa to the list. Are there any sounds that remind you of your hometown? I would love to know what they are!

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2017-10-07T23:54:36+00:00 August 30th, 2017|Asia, Destinations, Goa, India|14 Comments


  1. Rajlakshmi August 30, 2017 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    I miss the crashing of the waves and the rustling of the wind … I saw one of the most peaceful and beautiful sunset in Goa… It made me fall in love with the place even more.

  2. Liz August 31, 2017 at 12:51 am - Reply

    I always wanted to go to Goa! Beautiful post, thanks for sharing!

  3. Maxine August 31, 2017 at 1:12 am - Reply

    What a unique idea for a post! I really enjoyed it 🙂
    Birds singing reminds me of my hometown, because it is small and peaceful with lots of nature.

    • Penny August 31, 2017 at 1:25 am - Reply

      I had forgotten about that one. There used to be a particular bird that used to sing mid afternoon. Which part of the world are you from Maxine?

  4. Anya Carion August 31, 2017 at 2:05 am - Reply

    This is written so beautifully, it feels like I’m there! I’ve been dying to go to India, and Goa looks (and sounds!) absolutely incredible.

    • Penny August 31, 2017 at 2:15 am - Reply

      Thank you Anya. I was a very personal topic. I’m glad you liked it.

  5. Shannon | Our Taste of Travel August 31, 2017 at 2:08 am - Reply

    The sound of waves has to be one of my all time favourite sounds. I like the sound of bread-buying being a social activity – there should be more of that in the world!

  6. Fay August 31, 2017 at 2:53 am - Reply

    A great read about reflecting on home, it’s so important. I’d love to visit Goa and I may not see it through your eyes but you make a goood case to visit 🙂

  7. Flo August 31, 2017 at 3:41 am - Reply

    What a lovely post about your hometown! A lot of the things you mentioned remind me of Sri Lanka, especially the sound of rain and waves crashing. I’d love to read about the scents that remind you of Goa next!

  8. Catherine - Red Door Ponderings August 31, 2017 at 4:38 am - Reply

    Love this! Can’t beat the crashing of the waves. Gorgeous pictures too.

    • Penny August 31, 2017 at 9:41 am - Reply

      Thanks Catherine! The pics are some of my favorites.

  9. Anna August 31, 2017 at 5:55 am - Reply

    I heard Goa is beautiful. I really want to go soon 🙂

  10. Raksha Rao August 31, 2017 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Hailing from Mangalore, crashing waves has been a part of me. It brings back so many memories. I don’t think I can ever get bored of it 🙂

  11. Ashay September 22, 2017 at 12:42 am - Reply

    This part of Goa I have missed seems. Thanks shawn for drawing me to this blogs on globetrove

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