It Ain’t All About Sex In Goa

My cellphone rang!!!

It was 11:30pm. Who could have called??

I caught hold of the cell, it flashed Nikhil………

Nikhil, one of my best buddies, recently joined Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT).
We had a casual chat about his new college, subjects, teachers, his new friends and lots more.

Just for the sake of curiosity I asked him about how his friends felt about our state, Goa.

I was shocked by the reply!

All of them praised Goa for the silver sand beaches and the world-famous Churches but primarily the question they asked was “Wow!!! Goa? What luck yar…. Lot of girls there are willing to take off their clothes for money. Do you know any “massage parlour” where we can get a nice body massage, we can enjoy when we visit next time?”

What???

Are they serious?

Is this what they think about my beloved state??

I had to write this post after hearing all that bullshit.

Needless to say, Goa, with lot of beaches, Churches, Temples and many more scenic locations (especially during rains) is a famous tourist destination.

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But I would love to put forth the accusations too.

Now look, I am not going to say “Oh, Goa is so picture perfect, not even a single flaw” and all that.

No I am not going to say that.

Let us just face it.

I agree prostitution ( The world’s oldest profession!!! ) happens in Goa. Yes.

But so it is, in almost every part of India and the world.

No matter how cleverly our politicians might deny this, facts aren’t going to change.

What surprises me is that compared to several other places in India it is very low. Has anyone heard about the Sonagachi in West Bengal, Garstin Bastion Road in New Delhi, Kamathipura in Mumbai??? Anyone?

Compared to this areas, it’s negligible in Goa.
Besides, why only Goa is being pointed out when prostitution is practiced almost everywhere in India??

Goans are also accused of being drunk all the time.

It is just that the tax on liquor here is very low compared to the other states. Hence alcoholic drinks are cheaper.

According to a survey conducted recently, close to 70 percent (68 to be precise!!) Goans do not drink alcoholic beverages. Astonishing, isn’t it!!!

The fact is that, when Indian tourists come down to Goa, they purchase liquor of twice the amount they usually do since they feel being in drunkard’s paradise.

But since liquor is cheap, they actually end up drinking more than 5 times the alcohol they usually drink!!!
That to in twice the amount they usually spend.

So who are the drunkards then? Goans or the Tourists??
It’s time for a reality-check baby!!!

Goan women are often considered scantily dressed ( Goa is quite liberal towards women). Contrary to that, the women tourist from across India that arrive in Goa actually wear the skimpiest clothes they ever had (because nobody is going to recognize them here).

And you say Goan women are scantily dressed?
Hypocrisy at its peak!!!

I do agree that there are plethora of foreigners moving in bikinis on the beach ( The beaches are titled as “Nude beaches” sometimes ).
But what else do you expect from them?
It’s beach, hence beachwear. It’s perfectly fine for them, for their culture.

Finally, guys I would urge you not to believe those Bollywood movies depicting Goa; many a time these are work of fiction that is supposed to end once you are out of the theatre.
Goa is very different compared to what is projected on the screen.

Off course, there are problems like prostitution, drugs and many others.
But Goa is a very peaceful state, famous for its Churches,exotic beaches,temples and nature.
It’s exquisite cuisine and Portuguese influence in various spheres of life.

And above all that, its congenial and friendly people.

But it’s definitely not all about sex in this Heaven on Earth.

The Unanswered Questions

Oh My God!!!

That was what I blurted out when I saw the queue. I was aware that the queue would be a long one, but this long???
Whoaaaa!!!!

As usual I was late!

It was carnival of sorts…………
People were shouting, screaming in a slightly low volume.

I was standing in a queue to contribute for the Uttarakhand Relief Fund. In fact, each one of us was.

“Oh God! I just can’t bear this heat. It really sucks when rain vanishes all of a sudden”. I heard a women telling her friend with an annoying tone.

Those two women were dressed as if they dressed to attend a wedding, with so much jewellery and make-up (Actually that bullshit make-up made them look like middle-aged harlots…………really).

Their garrulous talks continued………

“This heat is ruining my make-up. Do you know how much this mascara costs?? Its made-in-Australia.” One of them said.

“Yeah I know, the rates are so high. I mean how can the rates of life essential commodities be so high??”

Mascara……….Life essential??
What The ****!!!

They both continued.

“My husband is very generous, you know. He is very keen in donating stuff. So, I am donating thousand rupees. How much are you offering?”

“Same here. I think, it is up to us rich people to donate and stuff like that. I mean, lower middle-class people don’t donate, let alone poor people”.

I just couldn’t take it any more.
So I turned away my head. I started to search for some entertainment.
And instantly, I found it.

I saw a small girl walking on a tight rope, high above the ground. Her walk, with a bamboo in her hands for balancing, was quite rhythmic.

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There was another performer too, probably her brother, who thrilled the passers-by with his mastery over the skills in gymnastics.

The ease with which both the kids were displaying their skills made me wonder why India lags behind in Gymnastics at the Olympics.

At the end of their road-side show, the two kids started moving from person to person to collect the money.

The reality now started to creep in that for these impoverished children that wasn’t a Gymnastic routine. It was their bread, sans butter.

I realized the queue was now much shorter, rather only 7-8 people were remaining. Those performing kids made me forget all the surroundings.

Finally, it was my turn after close to two hours.
I handed the amount, the person collecting the money handed the receipt.

I started towards my bike. Suddenly these two kids appeared again.
I thought they were about to start the new show.

But they moved past me, towards the donation camp.
The girl handed a note of 20 Rupees to the cashier.

Baffled, I inquired with the person at the camp.

He said “For the past 6 days these kids are performing in front of the crowd and at the end of the show they hand over 20 Rupees everyday to me as a contribution to the Uttarakhand victims. These kids don’t even know where Uttarakhand is. All they know is that there are kids of their age in Uttarakhand, and right now they are in far worse condition than them”.

I realized that you don’t have to earn millions to donate, the only thing you need is heart.

I just wondered which one of these was the real India?
The one that so-called rich, jewellery-flashing, bullshit-talking women represented or the compassionate India that those kids represent.

The one that our ever-quarrelling politicians (who try to make headlines and garner support even in tragedies like the one just happened in Uttarakhand) represent??

Or the India that is represented by selfless Indian Army that saved thousands of lives in the tragedy, without caring a bit about themselves??

It’s time for the answers…………

The Monsoon Saga

I just don’t get these people……………..

I really hate to see those grim-faced idiots when it starts raining.
Sometimes, when it rains, people frown because according to them it makes their umbrellas wet!!!
Yes, literally. I mean what in the world are umbrellas made for??

For me, I just love rains………

When the first few drops of water fall from the heaven, the aroma it creates………..mystical.
It can compete with the best perfumes in the world.

Rain has always been subject of my fascination since I was a little kid.

For me, as a kid, the first day of the school was the hardest…………..and the happiest.
Trying to balance my weight, with backpack and the wet umbrella in one hand…………in a running bus.
A real circus.

When the whole world says “Rain Rain Go Away“, we Indians echo Ye Re Ye Re Pausa ( meaning Oh Rain Come Along ).
I mean, wouldn’t it be awesome for Johnny to play in the rains???
We used to play in the muddy water, completely drenched in rain( I still do it sometimes! )

Mom used to shout at me furiously.

The aftermath??? ……………….No prizes for guessing this one correct. The running nose.

And those homemade medicines ( Mom-made actually!! ) tasted as if cyanide was a better substitute.

And the thundering that would send chills down the spine…….

Those unused notebooks pages………. we used to tear secretly to make the paper boats of different sizes. And the joy of seeing them floating on the rain water …………..magical.
I bet most of you, reading this one probably did that too.

Those moments when I used to reach home after heavy rains and mom used to hand me a cup of tea, and the aroma of the snacks ( pakode especially!!) would tease my taste buds. Ahhhh……….It makes me feel nostalgic.

The puddles of water everywhere, the greenery, the rice fields, farmers working rigorously in the fields have mesmerized me on countless occasions.

The Gulmohar ( Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant ) standing on the roadside is as usual charismatic. The raindrops on the leaves sparkled liked diamonds when the sunrays kissed them gently.

The climate during the rains is just soothing and refreshing……..both to the body and mind.
I feel I am really blessed that I was born in a state which comes under the heavy rainfall category.

And the most important thing that I love about the rains is the romance that it stirs in me……………..

In my teens ( or for that matter most of you did ), I used to dream that someday WE will be walking down the street in a single umbrella during heavy rains!!! That’s the ultimate romantic thing for me.
Like the “pyar hua ikraar hua hai” kinda romance. Bollywood style……….
Bollywood has churned out some iconic rain-romance sequences. And the greatest of them all is “pyar hua ikraar hua hai”.

After so many years, nothing has changed much………not really.

Well, I am still single ( Those interested can message on durgakumars@yahoo.com or better contact me on 94044372**…….keep guessing) and I still dream about getting cozy under the umbrella with that special one.

Those home-made medicines still suck big time.

And the old classic Hindi songs still touch my soul ( those songs somehow tend to be more romantic in monsoon!!!).

There are some minute changes though.

Well, I am not a kid anymore or so I think!!!

Those snacks, pakodas that mom prepared are now sometimes replaced by 2-minute Maggi noodles ( 2-minute??? Impossible!!! ) or may be sometimes with unhealthy, not-so-good junk stuff.

Number of children making paper boats with their tiny hands and longing to see their boat floating on water to eternity is shrinking monsoon by monsoon.

And well, ever busy people (like all of us) partly due to their hectic, tiresome schedule, who sometimes don’t even remember when was the last time they submitted themselves completely to the rain.

So people, I urge you to get out of your house this monsoon. Take out time from your busy schedule.
Go, get yourselves drenched in the rain. Just relive those special moments, which you were once dying for.

Find that special one with whom you can share your umbrella affectionately.

But till then listen to this beautiful song by Jagjit Singh:

ye daulat bhi le lo, ye shoharat bhi le lo
bhale chhin lo mujhse meri javani
magar mujhko lauta do bachapan ka saavan
vo kagaz ki kashti, vo barish ka pani

(Which roughly means: Take away the money, take away the glow of the youth, instead return my childhood, the paper boats and the monsoons)