Posted by: Noni | December 1, 2020

Stuck in Chapora

Chapora Goa

Living in south India has been a surreal and life changing experience this past year.

Sure, everyone has made huge changes.  We’re on global lockdown after all but I had made those changes before any news of a virus. I arrived in Delhi on May 1st, 2019 and was supposed to fly back to Vancouver Oct 30. A series of events, all outside my control, led to the fact that I am still in India.

My habits haven’t changed much with lockdown. I’ve always traveled solo, lived solo many years, and worked for myself. Then in January 2020 I  started a project that perfectly synced with my goals and needs.

It’s been a treat to participate in the creation of a film series for the Goan Department of Forestry.

Working with Ashish Shah of DarkComet Films on nature conservation videos has been incredibly challenging while highly rewarding.

I’ve visited parts of Goa which were restricted from the general public during the lockdown; 5 wildlife sanctuaries in this smallest state of India which boasts incredible biodiversity.

Whiptail Scorpion Spider
Bondla wildlife sanctuary

I have seen frogs the size of chickens, deadly snakes, cloud forest wild flowers, tribal communities, sacred groves and learned more about the traditions and culture of tribal Goans.

I look forward to each shoot knowing that my time in the forest being surrounded by nature, I am rejuvenating and healing.  The energy is my therapeutic cure all.

I climbed the Treehouse in Cotigao sanctuary while my director (fear of heights) instructed the drone operators on capturing my ascent.

We’ve finished the principal photography for the 8 film series. I’m honored to work on such a timely, relevant and much needed project which aims to promote sustainable eco tourism.

I was lucky to be out in Nature while so many were stuck in cities, locked in homes or breathing through artificial filters. The quality of air, rich in oxygen and nutrients, found in the rain forest here in south India is intoxicating and healing.

Shooting in Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary

Back at home in my apartment overlooking the Chapora Fort, I watch the crows defend territory against Bramani Kites and Indian Eagles. I study the tides and have learned the habits of the fishermen and locals as they go about their daily routines.

Tom’s Corner Chapora, Goa

I never dreamed that at the age of 61 I’d be dancing on the beach under the full moon and greeting the morning sun. But here I am, in sync with Nature, swaying to the beat of trance and psychedelic music with waves lapping over my toes.

Devotional space beachside, Goa

India is a deeply spiritual nation. There are temples, churches, mosques, synagogues, ashrams, sacred groves and worship spaces everywhere. Even animals are holy and hold significant importance in daily rituals.

I’ve forgotten about shopping malls and traffic jams. I don’t miss the rat race for a minute. My life is simple and uncomplicated. My diet is fresh and plant based. The concerns of past have faded under the tropical sun. The stress of society blown away by Monsoon winds. The dirt of industry washed away by warm rains and whisked away by the waves.

I’m grateful for my experiences in India. I am grounded. The elements have blessed me. The food has nourished me. My proverbial cup overfloweth.

The opportunities I have been gifted have not been squandered. I am developing a series to share my knowledge and collective experience with others. I feel called to encourage healthier lifestyles and curbed consumption so will share the beauty of my own passage.



  1. […] Life in a fishing village […]

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