Monday, 27 July 2015

Love Goa, Love Chupplejeep

I'm Goan. I grew up there, but I live in England now. When I was 8 we moved to Goa and I loved it. What was not to love? We had complete freedom, a beautiful house overlooking the Arabian Sea and we knew each and every one of our neighbours. The colony where we lived was a safe haven - a place for just being a kid, where you were almost certain that no harm would come to you.

As we grew up we took advantage of the night-life Goa had to offer ; the beach parties, the nightclubs and the 'rave' scene. It was fun. I look back at those years withwith a warm nostalgia and I suppose a bit of yearning for a time gone by - a youth I cannot re-capture.

Flash forward 20 odd years and even though I go to Goa regularly, the change in the last ten years has been dramatic. The colony is full of high-rises and I only know a handful of residents - there is little feeling of safety amongst the residents now; the party scene has exploded - infamously so. Like most things in today's society we want everything in excess and Goa has borne the brunt of this where tourism is concerned.

Sure, we wanted tourism in the state - we encouraged it, exploited it - because, after all, tourism accounts for the livelihood of many Goans and with tourists comes money.  

I have to admit that up until a few years ago I felt a bit jaded by what was happening in Goa and what it had become, but after a few visits to the villages , my love for Goa has been renewed afresh. The soul of Goa has been preserved here in the old colonial houses and white-washed churches - where the pace of life is slower, but hard earned.   As Gandhi said - India lives in its villages, lets keep it that way.

If you, like me, are a regular visitor to Goa, or perhaps you are going there for your first time - take time to explore the villages - discover the real t Goa, but look after it too. We need to preserve this beauty one way or another.

Under the Coconut Tree - A Chupplejeep Mystery  is a light-hearted detective novel, set in rural Goa and is available now. You can buy a copy here

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