I don't think if there would be any Hindi movie fan who would not have watched 2001 Farhan Akhtar's new age classic... दिल चाहता है (Dil Chahta Hai which means The Heart Desires) . This movie was the 1st directorial movie by Farhan Akhtar. The movie is one of the iconic movies of the current genre of the movies and connects with the new IT era generation which had much greater exposure to the American culture and the American moviedom. It can also be said that the movie was the turning point for the many current generation of directors and one cannot fail to notice the generational tilt of the movies post दिल चाहता है era. . I will not be wrong if I say that Farhan was amongst those initial few film makers who were able to capture the millennial trend with a movie catering to theme of this generation.

The movie set-up Farhan's career in a different orbit which led to more movies with "out of the box themes" like Rock On and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Couple of years back, I went on a business offsite to Goa and we stayed at the Taj Holiday village (does this name strike a bell?)… this is the same place where Amir, Saif and Akshay stayed during their trip to Goa in the movie. The place is located on the beach side and provides a fantastic beach-side view. From the village, you could also see an abandoned ship on the beach side... not sure if it still is there or have been moved.

We were there for 2 day event and had plenty of time for ourselves apart from our group activities. Me and my friend Suraj wanted to explore and be a part of दिल चाहता है legacy… We decided to get up early in the morning next day and take a trip to Fort Aguada which is just about 10 minutes walk up on the road from Taj Holiday Village. The scene from movie in the pictures above was shot at Fort Aguada. We started at 5.00am and reached inside the Fort pretty quickly. Fort Aguada and its lighthouse is a seventeenth-century Portuguese fort. The fort was constructed in 1613 by Portuguese in defense against the Dutch and the Maratha's armies. It was a first halting place for the cargo and other ships coming from Europe at that time. This old fort is located on the shores of the Mandovi River near Arabian Sea.

A freshwater spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that used to stop by. This way the Fort acquired its name: Aguada which means Water. Crews of passing ships would often visit to replenish their fresh water stores. On the fort, there is a four-storey Portuguese lighthouse, erected in 1864 and the oldest of its kind in Asia. The fort was once the grandstand of 79 cannons. It has the capacity of storing 23,76,000 gallons of water, one of the biggest freshwater storage of the time in whole of Asia. This fort is divided in two segments: the upper part acted as fort and watering station, while the lower part served as a safe berth for Portuguese ships. Whereas the upper part has a moat, underground water storage chamber, gunpowder room, light house and bastions, it also has a secret escape passage to use during time of war and emergency. The lighthouse at initial stage was used to emit light once in 7 minutes. In 1834 it was changed to emit light creating eclipse every 30 seconds. It was later abandoned in 1976.

Once inside the Fort, the view was mesmerizing and enthralling. The wave of tranquility was floating around along with the cool sea breeze. One thing that we noticed and must admire is that the whole fort is really well maintained. The whole campus seemed like having been cleaned regularly as we did not find any trash littered inside. May be the people visiting the Fort had been the responsible citizens. Nonetheless, kudos to the agency responsible for maintaining this monument. Amir had mentioned in the movie in one of the scene at Fort Aguada that this is the place one should be visiting every year for a week and Akshay responded that though we would want to but we may not be able to even meet once in 10 years due to our careers. I think he was absolutely correct... I also had thought that I would be coming to this place every once in 2 year if not every year. But... it has been more than 5 years now and I have not been able to go there again... I am not sure when I would be able to visit again.

Let's see... when I can get back to those दिल चाहता है moments. However, one thing is sure that this time I will have a better camera and my pictures will be much better.

Travel Tips

If you are planning a trip to Goa, few tips on managing your logistics.

Reaching Goa

Goa is well connected by air with direct flights from many domestic and international destinations. This apart, it is well connected with direct trains and buses from various parts of the country.

Staying at Goa

Since I had been to Goa only once and stayed at the Taj Holiday Village, I can easily recommend the same. However, there are many other hotels of repute as well as the ones affiliated with international chains which offer fantastic services and customized options like water sports and site-seeing. The only advise I will give is that since Goa happens to be an extremely sought after holiday destination in India from both domestic as well as international travelers, you may plan your trip well in advance to get good prices and deals from airlines as well as hotels. This will also save you from last minute disappointment. Last but not the least, when in Goa, don't miss a trip to Fort Aguada... thus reliving your own दिल चाहता है (dil chahta hai) moments. If you are amongst few of those who have not yet watched the movie, please do watch it before the travel.