Friday, September 13, 2013

Through a Goan’s Lens

Miramar Beach

Probably the most favoured tourist destination, Goa is more often than not looked upon as the perfect gateway… for friends to celebrate, newly married couples to honeymoon, stressed out office colleagues, enthusiastic HR teams working on overdrive to develop team building exercises, you name the occasion, the solution is usually a trip to Goa.

Soaking in that feeling of freshness and rejuvenation, that enlivening experience of a place so different from your regular Indian “shehar” where days are not driven by traffic jams and local train timings, where you bring in the evenings with molten sunsets and the quiet rustle of the coconut palms that dot the Arabian coastline. No wonder Goa is a spot to be ticked off every escaping reveler’s map.

It makes me break into a smile when I witness the craze everyone has for this western state, the ooohs and the awwwws that I get when they hear where I hail from. They think the world of this place, a never ending crush for some, an affair for many… those who have visited with triumphant glee and a longing to do it again… those who haven’t with a strong sense of jealousy and urge to plan their next vacation there. Vacations could not get anymore blissful now…could they?

Through this torrid love affair I wonder if anyone takes a minute to look around to give the locals a thought, those very locals whose hospitality they enjoy….to wonder what they feel about these frequent escapades…

Goans are a relaxed and friendly lot, they love having visitors over to whom they can proudly show off their land’s abundance, their friendly nature makes them extremely accommodating too… yet sometimes things happen that cross their tolerance levels, however high they may be.

Litter on the roads and beaches, plastics suffocating those wavy palms, indecent behavior along the golden and silver sands, obscenity and most common of all drunken behavior any time of the day… any time of the night… truly 24X7.

Yes, Goa is a place where one can let loose… be free…but does that mean one takes the place for granted just because the locals are nice enough not to openly protest or comment? - There is a thin line of difference between revelry and taking liberty, a line that gets crossed more often than not.

Men, dressed in ensembles typically worn in the privacy of one’s homes, found fallen along the country side at 2PM in the afternoon with beer bottles for company do not make a pretty sight anywhere. Nobody enjoys watching women dressed in barely anything gallivanting around regardless of the place (read places of worship, public places etc.) or the time of the day. One wonders if the lot is held so fiercely captive back in their hometowns, that all sense of decency and courtesy are shed in gay abandon. Nothing else could explain the blatant lewd behavior many tourists display on the beaches, as if they haven’t laid their eyes on the fairer sex before. God forbid she turns out to be a westerner soaking in some sun at a beach! Empty packets of chips, groundnut shells… beer bottles, however hard one tries it is impossible to see how they add to the landscape that everyone seem to feverishly gravitate to.

With time the helpless deterioration of the state has become all the more blatant.  Turn the pages of history and you can see the difference from the fifties and sixties to today.

All said and done Tourism is and always will be one of the main factors that drive economic growth for Goa. Goans will always welcome tourists with open arms despite the pain that is many a times unknowingly inflicted onto them… for they know the love for their home land is genuine, they just fervently wish that the love would be accompanied with a feeling of respect, accountability and commitment as well… that there would be an urge to keep Goa clean and pristine so that everyone can enjoy and love its treasures for posterity..

If this wish were to be granted it would warm the cockles of every goan heart for sure…


  1. Brought back fond memories of my trip to Goa few years ago!! :)

  2. First of all, thanks for inviting me to this post. I loved it. For the simple reason that I could make more sense of what I felt in Goa. You have answered one of the mysteries I experienced in Goa. I'm not going to tell you what it is, but you can understand.

  3. @Tomichan- glad you liked it and I think I do understand :) Like I said you can always reach out to solve any other mysteries you might have.


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