Wednesday, April 04, 2007


(this is a long pending post...)

There's something to Goa that you never tire of. Is it the sight of the green expanse fringed with silver and gold that you see from the skies? Is it the comfort that you can indulge in laziness as you sit in one of the beach shacks for hours together without as much as moving a little finger, while beer and sea food flows? Is it the tangible energy of the revellers that enfolds all, young and old, within its pulse? For all you know, it is just the sea breeze.

Is there anything that has not already been written about Goa? In this attempt at a travelogue, will I be able to say anything new? I am sure the answer is no. But then, Goa inspires. To write, to sing out loud, to live.

When Sunday melts into Monday, there are no blues to shoo away, no deadlines to keep. There is only the promise of the never ending waves, the omnipresent breeze and incessant energy. The promise that there is something for everyone. The snooty restaurants that serve Thai food and would rather serve only foreigners. The road side eatery exuding old world charm with comfy wooden furniture. Today's Special boards written in pink, blue and white. The ubiquitous Kashmiri shops selling Pashmina shawls to sun-burnt Europeans. Catchy Goan rhythms wafting alongside aromas of the vindaloo or xacuti sauces.

But this is the happy face that Goa puts up for its tourists. It is writhing within. Families are selling off family bungalows to developers. They are adding more rooms to their old houses and turning them into hotels. Locals are protesting the blind destruction of ecosystems in the name of development, done in favour of the tourist. They dread the end of the "season".

Driving us from one beach to another, the taxi driver says, "The season will soon be over. In a month's time, we will be sitting at home killing flies. Whatever we have earned now will be over in a flash. And very soon, we will fall into the debt trap. This happens every year, nothing new for us."

It is easiest to close your eyes to what lies beyond. And all I do is to wish him a good season, add a little tip to the actual fare, wave good bye and return to the party.