Dec 19, 2007

Goa 2.0

If you are one of the types who work long stressful hours all the time, and sleep away half of your weekends, it is a good idea to get away from it all once in a while and recharge. Live a simpler life for a couple of days, in a simpler town, leaving your usual world far behind. It works much better than anything you do on a holiday in the same city where you work.

Last year, I'd gone to Goa and had a wonderful time. I resolved i'd do it every year. And I'm glad I stuck to that resolution in spite of the mayhem in the office.

Tush and I went from Blore and Jo joined us from Mumbai. We had an absolutely awesome time. Water sports, beer on the beach, shirt-less drive thru the city, excellent sea food, swim in the sea as well as the hotel pool, soaking in the scenic beauty from atop a fort, partying at a Cliffhanger nightclub, racing like kids on the beach, playing cards in the hotel. It's tough to believe how much fun can be had in a single weekend, unless you've been to Goa with a bunch of good pals.

The other striking thing was the change in the town's character. Now, Im sure many readers would have seen or heard about the foreigners-loaded, anything-goes, rave-partying, Hare-Rama-Hare-Krishna-(smoke-it-up) scene that existed in Goa till recently. It's all gone. The Govt has cracked down on behavior unbecoming of our 'Indian culture' - they've denied visas to the hippies and shut down all the rave parties and most of the clubs that used to be the centers of free-fun in Goa.

The starkest change was noticed by Tush at Paradiso. The last time he'd been there - it was a completely charsi place, with firangs lying on the floor completely zoned out, lesbians openly making out, and Vedic chants playing in the background. Now its like any other disc in B'lore - commercial and desi music, lotsa desi crowd, hell they even have a CCD in there now. So, if you were planning on having a wild time in Goa, the option's been taken away by the Govt.

But it's still a lovely, laidback, friendly place - now less crowded and cheaper than earlier. And I, for one, am surely going again next year!

Sidenote: This post is entirely about North Goa - the Candolim, Calangute, Vagator, Anjuna region. South Goa - with all its 5-star hotels, resorts and casinos - is an entirely different place.

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