Ever since a child Goa has been extremely close to my family and myself,reason being our ancestors hail from this tiny state in India.
More renowned now for the Night life and Beaches. And off course the ever jaw dropping Scenery. Goa has been and will always be a place where tourists flock in abundance.
Growing up, visiting Goa so frequently and never realising how surreal and important it would become in my life. Goa always gives out an aura of love and peace and the local Goans are proof of that. Goans in general have a very simple life and live like there is no tomorrow. Off late the new generation in Goa is often influenced by the Western Culture that is more visible than its roots. Growing up it’s only natural for everyone to get influenced by the changing trends and surroundings.
In my childhood the month of May meant for a long vacation to Goa as it was the start of Summer Vacations and not because of any fancy Beach or Party but just to enjoy the the idea of living with the calm and slow life Goans are so famous for living. As a Child always thought it was a whole new country which made the thought of going to Goa all the more exciting. And off course getting to meet my cousins.
The 12hour train journey and the wait for visibility of the colour of Red mud was a clear sign that we have officially entered Goa. Commuting might be a tad difficult as their local taxi’s do not run according to the meters like Mumbai Taxi’s. A sign that getting you’re wallets ransacked was surely the one of the things as tourists do not always know the exact distance but with time that has surely stopped.
As a child, mornings in Goa would usually begin at 7am with Morning Mass at a church nearby Siolim a small village near Mapusa Market, after which either some breakfast which included soft loafs of bread and A couple of Fried eggs or some Goan delicacies like Curry and Bread. The entire day would probably go by playing in the fields with a pet dog named “Tiger” as I can recall. Feeding the pet hens, ducks was also an integral part. Not forgetting the swine which was also just being feed until it would be made into some pork vidalu/ pork roast/Port Sorpole (All Goan Delicacies ) for a special occasion that is Church Feast or the day the church was built, which happened to coincide with our summer vacation. Snakes are something we would usually found in the fields or near any Farm animals. One should not be alarmed if they encounter snakes because it is extremely normal out there. By the end of the day the most important job was getting all the farm animals in their respective cages. As there was always danger of them being eaten by wild animals.
Other days during the vacation would go either by visiting relatives or my cousin’s school which would really be kind of a big deal in my childhood. Trying to remove coconuts from a coconut tree was another way I would pass time helping my uncle,watering all the plants in their entire garden which was probably one acre in size. Going fishing in the wee hours of the morning prior to the sunrise was really something which I always looked forward to and these Fishermen didn’t have a fancy mechanical fishing rod ,it was just a long wooden stick with fishing cod along with small shrimps as bait. The idea of fishing seems really exciting but the outcome of that is really not the same. It’s alot more difficult than it looks.
Something’s which a City bred kid would relate to if visited the old Portuguese type houses, was having a Bathroom and Toilet being built outside the house which was atlest 50-80 meters away. Always gave me the creeps to go there in the night. Taking a shower outside in the open by the trees is something not everyone is comfortable with but it surely is worth the experience particularly when one has to remove water out from the well with a depth of atlest 3-4 floors. Every House have their own well or atlest every 2 houses have a well. Till date the houses in Goa rely on well water and it is still a manual job while some have installed the automated pumps. Rain water harvesting is extremely famous here. One of the best things which I always looked forward to prior to my trip to Goa suggest joy of jumping in a well or just having a bath with that fresh well water.
Waking up to the chirps of birds in morning in Goa as a child and breakfast being prepared by my grandparents was something I did really miss alot while in Bombay. Goa can treat you differently in different months of the year. What I mean to say would be in December it’s full of lights, music, sing songs and Dances not forgetting the nightlife and parties . Whereas if you visit Goa during or before the Rains it would feel like Paradise with almost everything covered in Greenery. Probably the best memories I’ve had was during the monsoon season in Goa, it surely isn’t very expensive on the wallet and not crowded with tourists. You would just have the regular localites going about their day to day chores.
Today the real essence of Goa is completely lost. Not many would embrace Goa for what it was but rather many have become so influenced by the Western Culture they forget their roots. Goa has become so commercialized that all we get to hear is “The Alcohol and Fuel cost a dime” Night life is something which has been around for many years in Goa but off late it has become a neusance to the locals. While Tourism is at the highest peak right now yet not many would be able to view Goa in its true sense like in the eyes of any locals. While Goans have managed to take advantage of this boom in tourism and food is becoming abnormally high just like the Metro cities.
Transport can a bit of a bother for people who aren’t used to local transport, I certainly loathe the transport system in Goa but it if you enjoy a joy ride I think that will be a perfect way to do that. They do have two wheeler taxi’s if that isn’t fun ,I wonder what is. They do have local buses which usually have a certain time to come and this does not run on any fancy app like most Metro cities.
Even though Goa has become such a hotspot for Tourist, they will surely not get such experiences, probably they may get charges for that now.Even after growing up and endless visits to Goa I just can’t seem to get enough and so many unseen places still yet to be discovered. If you get a chance to Visit Goa I suggest you pack up and head there.