Tuesday, 4 June 2013

No Goa, Know Goa, Now Goa

People – in their encounter with Goa -- appear to fall into 3 categories.

1.     No Goa – these are the people who couldn’t care less what Goa is like. They are an ignorant lot who are carried away by the pulchritude portrayed in the press. They are complacent in the stereotypes of Goa as a land of sex, sand and sin. These people dare not venture out to form their impressions about facets of Goa -- or change the ones they already have. They half-heartedly dip their toes in the Goan seas and are the first to cavil on the trains back to their homes that they were short-changed when they were here. Having no mind of their own they don’t have their own take on Goa.

2.     Know Goa – These have the intention of knowing Goa but are not proactive enough to discover her. Many who live in North Goa don’t know what South Goa looks like. Another set of touristy dudes buzz around in their wheels and crisscross the state as though there was no tomorrow. They apprehend Goa at best superficially, and bask in the illusion that they have decoded its DNA. They refuse to discover Goa generically in its different hues. Their take on Goa is static.

3.     Now Goa these mortals are suffused by the media barrage about what Goa is all about. But they don’t take all this at face value. They are a discerning lot who approach Goa with a sense of its history -- a history which is always mediated by time and change. They appreciate the contemporary with the classic. They realize that there cannot be one truth for Goa because it is a land with its own mystique.  They travel across Goa as seekers of its spirit – its elan vital. Their take on Goa is dynamic.

At some time some of us in Goa have been all of these. We move from one phase to the next and sometimes back. At the pace at which Goa is changing, one cannot afford to be complacent.  We moved back to Goa because we were transiting from phase 1 to phase 2. All we had was now.

When we drove from Vasco to Canacona it was more about pushing our frontiers and bonding as a family. Besides, being spoiled in a charming old Goan house –- a homestay –- seemed so alluring. Being in Goa, we had never gone so deep South before.  As Cuncolim, Chinchinim sped by, all we needed to know was to hug NH 17. We beguiled time at Palolem beach and sampled the veg. pakodas at Ciarans. The next day baba frolicked in the roof-top pool at Oceanic. Francesca -- our young Italian hostess at Turiya villa and spa -- rustled up a candle-lit dinner. This was timeless Goa flowing before our very eyes. We were living in the now. The galinha de Bercelos  (cock of Bercelos) unified cultures as the crescent moon rose over the pebbled waters.
Written by Brian Mendonca and published in Gomantak Times, Weekender on Sunday, 26 May 2013, St. Inez. Goa. All pix by Brian Mendonca on Canon 4x. Brian with family at Turiya villa, Canacona on 16 May 2013 (top); Brian with family at Palolem beach on 15 May 2013 (bottom)

1 comment:

Jemina said...

Beaches in south goa are friendly, super-relaxed and enjoy a diverse mix of tourists – independent travelers, couples and families – that helps create a most pleasant atmosphere. It’s certainly not a wild party place but it’s certainly not a boring, nothing-to-do destination either. Time spent with family at that place is always blissful..:):)