The magic of Goa cannot be taken away
by a few steamy stories!
Ever since I’ve returned from Goa from my recent holiday, I have been
reading and contemplating on news and views of Goa from a different
perspective. The updates, articles and happenings which I receive from
time to time are indeed interesting but most strike a common note – doom
and gloom for Goa. Why? Does Goa have two faces to its existence?
In an earlier piece I wrote about the wonderful time I spent with my
family and friends over Christmas 2009 and the joys I shared with people
by simply being in the place of my forefathers. It was the closest thing
I’ve experienced to being a Goan. This phenomenon is something which
Goa’s tourism godfathers should try and sell to Goa’s own sons and
daughters who are settled with their families in large numbers all over
From comments that I overheard in conversations during my sojourn were
laments that young Goans, especially those who were born abroad or were
brought up in distant places, are quite averse to Goan traditions and
culture. There is nothing alarming about this phenomenon because it is a
natural process to be immersed in norms that surround your immediate
environment. This is no fault of the kids.
If you look at it from another angle, people move from one place to
another in search of greener pastures and this ‘reason’ too is quite
normal for people to migrate and settle abroad. If this then is the
dilemma, what will Goans have to do to retain their identities, culture
and links to Goa? The answer, in my opinion, lies with us, you and me,
to take on the mantle and find ways to strengthen relationships between
Goans in Goa and Goans elsewhere. The question is…how and what?
Technology is at our fingertips to manage the ‘how’ element’ but it is
the ‘what’ that we need to work on.
If Goa is to find, lure and recruit its true ambassadors, they could be
none other than people from Goan diasporas nestled in various parts of
the globe. Their experiences of Goa, when they visit their ancestral
land, would give a clearer picture of India’s most enigmatic, glamorous
and allegedly notorious resort than what is being perceived by what one
reads so frequently in the media.
Goa’s beaches are beautiful, very natural, but may not be the hardest of
sells for a place of pristine beauty and which is shrouded with an
enchanted past, a conflicting present and a future that may change the
face of Goa forever. The Goan Diaspora hold Goa too close to their
hearts and may not know some of the ground realities but this
predicament should not be grounds for casting a shadow on Goa.
A shift in Goa’s unique selling proposition from the perennial beach
resort to a holiday destination for family-fun, history, architecture,
food, art, music, theatre, sport, culture, literature, traditions,
festivities and customs, can surely bring respite to a flurry of bad
press in recent times. This daunting challenge is ours because if we
don’t chip in with the many good things we know or have experienced of
Goa, others will spread the little bad they know of Goa and leave us
choking with guilt.
They say every single drop makes an ocean so let us start right away!
Those of you, who have been to Goa, lets say in the past five years,
write down your observations and experiences and put it into cyber
space. It will be seen and read by somebody somewhere and hopefully,
word of mouth will travel far and wide bringing in its wake awareness of
‘the real charm’ of Goa!
While in Goa my observations convinced me that besides local and
overseas Goans, people from everywhere are also in love with Goa and
they don’t know why! They come because others come and because they’ve
heard good things about Goa. I doubt this category of visitors (and
there would be several tiers) know and get an opportunity to experience
the ‘real Goa’ – an experience that only Goans can share with likeminded
people, it’s a culture thingy!
That is why I think that the charm and magic of Goa cannot be taken away
by a few steamy stories.
back to articles..