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If there is any state in this country that has seen a population influx in the last one year, it is Goa. We all know someone who moved to the state during the lockdown for a few weeks, months or more. Srimoyi Bhattacharya, founder of luxury PR agency Peepul PR, had her heart set on moving to Goa as part of her mid-life plan. But then the pandemic hit and it changed the day-to-day professional and personal realities of many people. Srimoyi realised waiting another decade for her dream move didn’t make sense anymore. She relocated from New Delhi to lush Goa, spent the first few months setting up her home and then the monsoon hit.
“When I moved from Mumbai to New Delhi a few years ago I was mainly glad to never experience monsoon again,” she says, having been through the muck, traffic and flooding of the city. But just a few weeks of rain in Goa changed her experience of the season. “I have now literally become that person who drinks her coffee admiring the rain. The smells and sounds are wonderful, and even visually it’s beautiful,” she says. But the key to the peaceful enjoyment was being prepared for the effects of lashings of rain to their new home. “This is the first time we are living in a house and not an apartment. After the first rain we realised the things we needed to take care of in the house. The first thing we did was covered our patio with a roof and that helped a lot. Now it has become our spot to have meals and coffee. My husband also works out of there,” she says.
Now, having done everything required to ensure her first monsoon at home in Goa is a more peaceful one, Srimoyi shares some of her tips and ideas on making your home monsoon ready if you live in a place like this. “My biggest learning through all of this has been to just enjoy the rain. I never thought I would get there.”
FOR THE OUTDOORS
1. Equip your home. Make sure you protect your roof. We added
terracotta tiles but you can try plastic covers that are easy to
Srimoyi Bhattacharya, founder of luxury PR agency Peepul PR, had her heart set on moving to Goa as part of her mid-life plan. Photography by Pulkit Sehgal
2. I used the opportunity to plant flowers that could benefit from the monsoon—alamanda, bougainvillea, palm trees, garlic creepers, buttercups and citronella that is considered a mosquito repellent. This is also when I learnt how you can plant according to seasons.
3. We keep our doors closed tightly especially during the night so that frogs, rattlesnakes etc. can’t sneak in.
4. It’s important to have storage space to keep things like cushions, certain furniture pieces etc. normally used outdoors that you don’t want to get wet.
To avoid mold in your things, it is best not to have closed wardrobes in monsoon. Use curtains instead.
FOR THE INDOORS
1. I love carpets and rugs and have about 11-12 around the
house, but I removed all of them as the monsoon hit.
2. We added dehumidifier products like Absorbia in our
wardrobe. We use an electric dehumidifier in our storage
3. Do not have closed wardrobes in Goa. Your things will get
mold and get ruined. We have got curtains and I splurged on
beautiful ones and that has saved my shoes, bags, and
clothes. In any case I clean and dust my leather articles on a
monthly basis. My jewelry is kept safe in hermetically sealed
4. Make sure your electronics are not close to a window and are
well protected against moisture.
5. If you live in Goa, be prepared for power cuts. It’s wise to
invest in an inverter or generator. Eventually we will move to
solar because generators do create pollution. We also have
power banks, torches, Wi Fi dongles to manage through
6. We have armed ourselves with a lot of incense to get rid of musty smells, flies and mosquitoes. Around 4.30-5 pm everyone here has their
lobans coming out and I think it is also a beautiful ritual.
7. Wipe the back of all your paintings at least once a month, because the walls do get a little moist and you need to have a hawk’s eye on
Srimoyi has planted flowers that thrive in the monsoon season.
Having coffee and meals outside watching the rain has made the season more special for her family.
A ritual of lighting lobans every evening keeps the flies and mosquitoes away, and also feels good.
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