|HOME | LIFE/STYLE | COLUMNISTS | ANTI-VIEW|
|November 17, 1997||
Life's a beach
Some places become notorious simply because they are famous. So while we Indians love to thrust our temples and monuments on foreign tourists, we are chary when they indulge in a bit of fun in their bikinis. Suddenly, the aliens who we so assiduously woo to taste our heritage become debauched vultures descending on us in their chartered planes. Goa, our little haven of frolic, has suffered because of this attitude.
Media reports tell us that the Goans are livid every time something unsavoury is said about their lifestyle: that they are lazy, fun-loving, hard-drinking.
If the Goans are truly worried about their image, one wonders why all the hotels and tourist plans harp on the same marketing tricks -- curled up figures lounging lethargically in hammocks. Even the service at the hotels follows this slow sabbatical pace as though tomorrow is merely an extension of today.
One is not quite sure about what spirits the Goan imbibes, but on a Sunday the booze shops manage to do brisk business and the stinking kaju feni leaves its unholy mark further than the trail of Vasco da Gama, who has been posteritised rather nicely in a modern painting looking like he has conquered a great deal for himself, as his girth would suggest.
These are images and they are often more potent than the reality. Partly to blame are the people concerned, that is if they take exception to the fact. Instead of getting defensive, as they are accused of, they should wallow in the fact that their lands offers innumerable delights to the visitor, so much so that after a surfeit of open spaces and sunlight one felt claustrophobic for days after in confined areas.
The simple explanation for Goan anger is angst. They are stiff bored. And they are human. They are trying to camouflage their weakness by pronouncing that they have nothing to do with it.
The true objective picture came from a Kashmiri in Calangute town who comes here after the monsoon to make a living. He has some contempt for the locals. Said he, "What do they make in Goa besides daru (liquor)?"
Actually, that is not true. They make people, which should rightly be the advertising strategy. They are friendly human beings.
The best way to sell Goa is to let it be itself and not by thrusting
down ridiculous notions of culture.
Tell us what you think of this column
INFOTECH | TRAVEL | LIFE/STYLE | FREEDOM | FEEDBACK