Standing on the elevated viewpoint of the Dona Paula beach in Goa, surrounded by hundreds of tourists, I felt lonely. There are so many people, people and people, and yet not many whom we can hug and say, “I love you.” People jostled each other all around me. I was watching the solitary figure in the sea far below the elevated viewpoint. A boy (or a grown up man, I couldn’t be sure) was catching fish standing on a rock in the sea. He waited and waited. A long time passed. I waited and watched. For a fish to bite the bait.
I had to leave the boy and the beach heeding the call of my duty; I am a fish that is inescapably hooked to a bait. The boy’s image continues to haunt my imagination. Aren’t most of us similar to that solitary figure, I wonder. There are people and people all around. Yet we are alone!
I was one of the four teachers who took a group of students on a tour of Mumbai and Goa. Goa fascinated me with its laid back appearance. It appeared to be a very relaxed city in spite of the hundreds or thousands of tourists who hurry along its streets day and night. The contrast with Delhi, where I live, was too obvious.
The beaches welcome you seductively. Pimps accost you on and off promising an hour in paradise. All along the way to the beaches there are shops and shops, an endless number of them, that offer bottled up intoxication. Perhaps, the whole of Goa is a bottled up intoxication, I thought. There is an air of resignation to some unpleasant but unavoidable destiny on the faces of the people of Goa. Is the boy in the ocean, standing all alone amid the waves, a symbol of the people of the place?
I liked Goa because of the apparent mystery that envelopes it. I wish to explore it more. At my own leisure.
In the meanwhile here are some pictures from Goa.
|A view from the Aguada Fort|
|Another view from the Aguada Fort|
|Yet another view from the same fort|
|Some of my students on Calangute beach|
|Mingling of cultures at the Bom Jesus Basilica|