Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The thought of Goa always comes accompanied with stubborn clich├ęs. The sea, the laidbackness, the raves, freedom, colour, the joie de vivre of people determined to let go and just be.

In the Arpora Saturday night market, I was caught up in all that when I suddenly hear some screams. A group of bouncers scream’ KILL HIM, bastard, kill him’. A small scrawny dark man was being dragged violently on the ground and taken outside the gates where he would presumably be ‘taken care of’. Everybody around just stopped and watched. I heard snatches of conversation in a sort of hodgepodge of new accents.

‘Yeah I heard these sort of fights are common this part of the world’ and everything else to that effect.

That scene disturbed me. It tainted the energetic sort of rhapsody of the place. He might have been a pickpocket but it scared me how people could have so much violence in them. That’s not the only thing however which scared me.
My friend kept pointing to people and remarking how they were so out of place in the scene. People like punju aunties, men in dhotis watching in amazement at the foreign trance like rendition of Sanskrit slokhas, Goan locals.
I noticed too how they stood out amidst the typical goan tourist crowd that dominated the place. Who are we to say however that they are out of place?

N was telling me about the ‘Malleshwaram type’ of Hindus who are scandalized by women in sleeveless tops. The Hindu community in Goa is not so prominently represented on these tourist brochures where the now much commercialized carnival, Christmas and the churches are important mentions. I wonder if in this entire attempt to market Goa to foreigners much of the Goan culture is unrepresented.

People sell things from all over the world in the flea market. I found this beautiful dress made of an old sari in a shop owned by a foreigner, I think an English woman. She said it cost one thousand three hundred bucks and I politely remarked that it was expensive.
She started one whole bitchy ramble ignoring our existence with another white woman.
‘Dude this is designer stuff that could fetch twenty times more in the Europe. I am sick of Indians complaining about the prices. It is SILK... And etc’ Fuck the bloody euro. To me it’s just a very sexy dress made out of old cheap silk saris that is not worth more than a hundred bucks.
My point is that how is it justified for foreigners to come to sell things only their kind can afford and sort of be blinkered to local sensibilities in every way . I wonder also if my argument is justified because in today’s world of blending cultural identities, who are we to say Goa belongs only to the locals? Is the software engineer from Delhi living in Bangalore less bangalorean than a Kannada teacher?
People from all over the world have made goa their home, permanent or temporary. How important is it for them to be accessible to the locals? Can they live within their seemingly impenetrable bubble of sand, sea, wealth and their essentially western lifestyle?
Terribly hungry, V and I decide to buy this tiny piece of strawberry cake which looked delicious. When I asked the local guy working in a firang stall, he said it was two hundred rupees for a piece and burst out laughing immediately as I did too. The prices were just bizarre.
Another thing which comes to mind is the exploitation of the relatively lax laws in India. The other Goa , an article is here.
(To be continued)
Here is an article on Mcleodganj on a similar topic that I wrote.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

tis the season to be jolly fa la la la la la la la la

I was back from Goa on Tuesday night but am still hangovering from it! And the only useful thing I have done since then is attend about three classes in college and the usefulness of that is highly debatable.
Goa was wonderful ..I think I'll never come back from there satisfied. Though it was the tourist season and crowded it was amazing.I loved the Saturday night flea market especially coz of the diversity of people, the sheer energy and exuberance of the bands playing there and the festive mood. Ofcourse there is the joyous walk into a shack and order cheap delecious kings beer and be whatever the hell you want to be and wear whatever the hell you want to excitement and new years and all that..
I want to go back............

Oh while we were travelling ot Goa we played this song only once I think but its still stuck in my head. Me believes its embedded and singing in my subconcious

Oh show me the way to the next whiskey bar
Oh don't ask why
Oh don't ask why
Oh show me the way to the next whiskey bar


I tell you we must die
I tell you
I tell you
I tell you we must die

pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa
I would post pretty pictures of swarms of exotic people in the coolest clothes, with dreadlocks, the sea, the beautiful architecture, GOA, blah but I didn't take my camera on the trip and what freedom it is once in a while to be free! To not worry about getting the best pictures , about it getting stolen etc.

Oh and while I was away some $#%@$%#$ #$%#$ (person, software? , ? ) did someting to my blog where the spam from my inbox was getting posted on my blog. If they have access to my spam folder they could post my mails as well. Freaky!!

Last night was V's birthday and we went to this beautiful( i need to go buy myself a vocabulary) place called fireflies. Arty type place ...eco friendly architecture, red oxide floors,stone walls, pillars from chettinad, real , organic non oily non masalafied food, bon fire, pansy alcohol and much fun was had.
You'll must go .How I'd like to run away for a bit somewhere like that , ead, write do my own thing and be relieved of brigade road/traffic/college/bangalore madness.
I know my post is one big mess.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007