January 10, 2016

10 myths about Goa

For those of you who don't know where I come from (literally), allow me to make you go green with envy. Hang on! Maybe we can play a small guessing game first.
Imagine vast expanses surrounded by lush greenery, beautiful beaches with warm golden sand and fresh blue water, lots and lots of seafood, and laid back residents flaunting benevolence to everyone visiting the place. Yes, I am talking of Goa, the land of sun, sand and beaches which also happens to be the one place most tourists harbor misconceptions about (special thanks to our very own Bollywood movies).

So without further ado, here are a few things I'd like to clear about my Goa and my fellow Goans.

1) Their life is not a prolonged afternoon siesta, as is depicted in those movies. The average Goan male is just as concerned about his work and wallet as you are. The average Goan female, on the other hand, does not spend her day cleaning fish and making pork vindaloo, nor does she sun bathe on the beach wearing skimpy outfits all day, as is often the typecast in Bollywood potboilers.

2) We got a much better fashion sense than the bright sunflower shirts and gaudy hibiscus dresses that make up the Goan stereotype on the silver screen. The modern Goan's wardrobe will have the same variety of outfits (if not more) than yours. Besides, when it comes to shopping, we can give you a run for your money. Now, you do the math!
Having said that, bikini clad Goan babes are just a figment of your imagination. The only babes in swimwear you'd get to see here are usually tourists. (General fact alert. I'm not judging you.)

3) Not every Goan strums a Guitar and croons over a lost love. I know this is a real downer, and I wish it was a quality we all possessed. Apologies for the disappointment. But we have other ways of getting over heartbreak than bursting into a local song in front of a bunch of overenthusiastic tourists who are all ready to join in the chorus with a heavily accented drunken drawl. Yes, I know Goan men on TV drink wine by the bottle after which they either hurl abuses at their wife or get into a heated argument over the price of fish, or strum an old romantic tune (that sounds like a slower version of 'undir mama aaylo' or 'haav sayba poltodi veta' because Bollywood directors usually do not bother to research and know only these two Goan numbers). However, apologies once again. This post seems to be proving to be much of a disappointment, eh? But Goan men, in reality, do nothing of that sort. At the most, they may reminisce over an old memory, or politely nudge their wife to get the bebinca from the kitchen. That too only if they really like you.

4) Please do not ask us to pass on your regards to some Mr Shirodkar or some Mrs D'souza assuming that we know them all. Goa is not such a small place (even though we might all like to think it is) and unless Mr Shirodkar or Mrs D'souza is the CM or our local pav-wala. Even then, we might feign ignorance and politely turn down your request.

5) Being a Goan does not mean we go for rave parties and do drugs. We do not start our mornings and end our nights with a bottle of beer like you expect us to do.

6) Just because we are friendly, it does not mean we cannot get mean. If you want to check out the wrath of a Goan, try eve-teasing our women. Be prepared for similar reactions on ridiculing any of Mario Miranda's paintings. While we have the right to stereotype Goa, you do not. Why? Well, we are driven by love...love for fellow Goans. We'd like you too, if you respect our women, love our culture, and enjoy life the Goan way. But try taking us for granted, and you'd receive the middle finger salute.

7) What happens in Goa never stays in Goa. So if you are thinking of murder, rape or a one night stand expecting it to stay a secret forever, you might want to think again. Goa has this way of catching up on your deepest darkest secrets at the worst possible points in your life. Bwahahahaha!

8) Those of you who have watched the movie 'Socha na tha', will definitely remember the peppy track shot in Goa that starts with the following lines:
"Ek pyaari Goan main phasau,
Phir usse shaadi banau,
Aur uske hi ghar mein ghar basake,
Jaise bhi ho zindagi yahin bitau...
Abhi abhi mere dil mein khayal aaya hain,
abhi abhi mere dil mein khayal aaya hain..."

To this every Goan girl would have only one thing to say, 

In your dreams!!!

No Sir! We have nothing against the semi clad gang of tourists rollicking on the beach and partying hard. However, what we find a little amusing is how you manage to take the quintessential Goan girl for granted.
OK. Here's a fun fact: No matter how much you molly coddle, serenade and sweet talk her into your beautiful tapestry of emotions, you just cannot get away with the blasphemous living-off-her-money-in-Goa strategy (irrespective of her undying love for the place).  She may be highly emotional when it comes to the relationship, but rest assured, she has her brain in the right place too. So stop dreaming of her as a one-way ticket to a dream destination. 

Abhi abhi tere dil mein jo khayal aaya hai, 
woh dil mein hi rahe toh accha...

Thank you very much!

Last but not the least, our vocabulary is not half as colorful as you think. Yes, the local Goan might know a few native swear words which he might hurl at you when terribly angry, but isn't that true for people from all states? Our conversations do not start and end with phrases like 'What man', 'Bugger like' and 'I will kick your bum' and neither does our voice have that musical lull that you manage to stereotype a Goanese accent with, in your movies. Hell, 'Goanese' is not even a word in the first place.

10) Contrary to popular belief, Christmas is not the only festival celebrated in Goa. Roughly 30% of Goa’s population is Christian, 65% are Hindu and 5% Muslim. However, we are all united as Goans and celebrate all religious festivals with equal pomp and splendor.

Now that we have finally spoken about the pink elephant in the room, allow me to conclude with a bit of free advice. 
Next time you come to Goa for a holiday, don't just be a tourist boozing and fagging out the north end of Goa. Visit the south as well. Save a day to explore the quaint locales. Appreciate the scenic beauty when sober. Watch the setting sun with a loved one. Dance under the canopy of a star studded sky. Sway to the music of waves. Close your eyes and let your feet sink in the soft white sand and breathe in Goa's fresh night air.
Stop branding Goa a wild party place. It is much more than inexpensive alcohol and blaring music at Sunburn. It is a lot more than dancing away at Tito's and getting sloshed at the shacks by the beach.
And by the way, Albert Pinto and Anthony Gonsalves figure nowhere in our family tree. Neither does Rosemary Marlo. So as much as we enjoy a good joke, please know that next time you pass that wise ass remark, we are judging you already.

Instead, for a change, shed all these misconceptions and drive around Goa with a clear mind--a mind that will allow you to soak the beauty of this place without the filter of bias.
Appreciate the blend of traditional Portuguese heritage and modern architecture. Kneel down and offer a humble prayer at the St Francis Xavier Church at Old Goa, the famous Shanta Durga temple at Kavlem. Be it the high domed roofs, balustraded facades and octagonal towers inside temples or the whitewashed interiors embellished with elaborate gilt reredos, paintings and chandeliers inside churches, the splendid design of our places of worship is not just breathtakingly beautiful but also offer a strange calmness to the holy ambiance.
Try talking to the locals without the filter of prejudice. Share your story with them, and watch them open up a treasure trove of experiences. People in Goa love to exchange notes on life.They are extremely hospitable. But one wrong vibe, and they wont hesitate to kick you out as well.
That is the beauty of us small-townies---we are straight forward, no-nonsense people. What you see is what you get. Diplomacy is not our forte. We either like you or hate you. There is no in between.

So next time you plan a trip to Goa, please make sure you travel light; leave behind a bit of baggage---the baggage of your misconceptions.

This post has been selected for BlogAdda's Tangy Tuesday Picks (January 12th 2016)


Team BlogAdda said...

Congratulations! Your blog post was selected for Tangy Tuesday Picks edition on Jan 12, 2016 at BlogAdda.

Please find it here:

Pri said...

Thank you, BlogAdda. I am honoured :)

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