Following my yesterday's post on Goa, I got a feedback from a friend in the form of an email today that my post was not like my usual posts, and that the details sounded more like a presentation for promoting a travel site. Probably what was expected of me was to voice out my chirpy thoughts and make it a post full of personal experiences.
Well, I do admit that, yesterday while at work, I came across those few pictures of Goa on my office pc and when I had a few moments to spare, I uploaded them and quickly wrote a few sentences and hurriedly pressed publish.
Now that I am home right now, I have found some more pictures on my laptop of my December trip to Goa, and I thought I would upload some of these and try to write with a more personal approach before publishing them. The question is: what could I write about ever popular Goa that has not yet been written about on the world wide web? I do not think I can come up with anything new or interesting, however, let me try and write something.
What could I write about? Ah, yes. How could I forget about the much talked about Scarlett Keeling murder case. Enough has been said and discussed on that, but if you wish to hear my two cents worth on it, I want to say please do not be slanted and blame it all on the mother. Which mother would want her daughter molested and murdered? Is it so complicated to know who is at fault there? Enough of blame game. Dammit, condemn the drugging and molesting, condemn the violence and murder and if you can, do something good, and if you cannot do that, be quiet! Or else you would be indirectly collaborating with the wrong-doer(s) when you are speaking against the deceased and her mother. No one has a right to take another person's life - it's as simple as that. I'm done ranting. Thank you for reading.
In my view, despite the Scarlett case, tourism in Goa would not remain affected for long. I hope Goa continues to remain a safe place for all, and please tell me, who would wish that the confidence of a young lady like this, walking on the beach of Goa in the night, be shattered?
Now about Konkani, the official language of the State of Goa. Yes, I can speak Konkani though the dialect can a little awkward sometimes. I know enough of it to reply and retort, if and when the need arises, whether it is in thoughts, words or action, err, I mean to say, to read, write or speak.
What else about Goa? Oh yes, no one cares what your sexual preference is. According to an archaic law, 'gayness' is prohibited and still illegal in India, but as I said in my last post Goa presents a somewhat different picture when compared to the rest of India, and as long as overt displays of affection are avoided, there should be no problems in Goa.
What else? Are psychedelic and other recreational drugs legal in Goa? The answer is of course not. They are illegal, however, is it not a known fact that drug business is going on, like in so many other places? If one is caught in possession of even a minute quantity, severe penalties can be imposed.
Did I try Feni while in Goa? Yes. A few drops. Gosh, the spirit is so potent, I'd need five bottles of soda water to mix with 30 ml of the Cashyo. (I know, I know, it is not supposed to be consumed that way).
What is an average person's idea of a good holiday in Goa? The most likely response would be: Have a good time on the beautiful beaches. I went about being an average person and did just that - I got into the ''eat, drink and be merry'' mode.
Rather than going about exploring the same old (but interesting) churches and temples, and the usual tourist spots, this time I spent most of the time on the finest stretches of sandy beaches and I was content doing just that while enjoying some delicious Goan food. Goa's cuisine is a fine blend of Portuguese and native cultures.
The bright sun, the warm sands, the shimmering waters of the sea and the graceful coconut trees, as captured in many filmi songs of Bollywood, never fail to fascinate me. It is no wonder Goa has become one of the most popular destinations and a honeymooning ''hotspot'' for newlyweds (ahem, Kolkata hear me!?). The moments I spent this time also included a post midnight bike trip to Baga beach and boy, oh boy, it was fun enjoying the cold waters in the wee hours of the morning with the sand clinging on to the skin while the cool December breeze was blowing on my face as I watched a glorious sunrise!
In spite of bellowing of countless hawkers, superfluous souvenirs, traffic filled roads, and its commercialization, Goa is attractive. There is a certain charm and romance about the atmosphere of Goa that I enjoy.
I could write more on the Goan happy-go-lucky attitude, and about Goa’s love for rhythmic music and dance, its festivals, its arts and crafts, and its culture in general. But, now that I got down to writing a bit of my experience, my mind is once again wandering and filling up with wave after wave of good memories spent on the shores of Goa as the cool winds kiss my face, and I can once again hear the symphony of the sea in my ears.
So allow me to listen to those sounds and that would spare you from any further reading.