Fair warning This article is more like watching the film X-Men: First Class in the cinemas where a bunch of wannabe fan-boys cussed and screamed at Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine for getting only what you could call a cameo. Although its a major bone of contention that it was one of the better made films from the franchise.
My “fun times in Goa” begins at the new Dabolim airport, post my tranquil sojourn, en-route to Delhi. Well, technically I’m still in Goa.
The airport waiting lounge is a petri-dish from NCR. Handpicked from parts of the capital are a smattering of ‘barely legal’ young women in groups animatedly announcing their exploits at former hippie joints and such; gargantuan joint-family from the West of Delhi gently tanned at the beach shacks of North Goa at a comfortable distance from the likes of Curlies which can not be deemed fit for respectable families; newly betrothed and bejeweled couples, women resplendent with the red, white and gold bangles right up to their elbows – an unmistakeable mark of being taken (not that anyone was asking); quiet corporate content-looking family from Gurgaon; leopard-print aunties with hoity toity hand-bags and spanking new strolleys that require stowing help from friendly and neighbourly gentlemen on the flight; stinking remnants of the flower period with matted hair, tantric patterned uppers and brilliantly coloured harem pants, right out of the 60’s-70’s when our boys from the Air force used to fly their babies at belly-kissing altitudes over Goan beaches; middle-aged, mid-life crisis-ed uncles sporting running-shoes, long socks and shorts always weirdly in groups of three raising eyebrows whenever the young women mention an unmentionable; young men with bulging arms with the three-day stubble manicured to perfection using a sword also alarmingly in groups of three reminding one of the severe cultural impact that Dil Chahta Hai left us with; and of-course bored on-looking loners like myself who are in the unique position of judging this lot because we’ve finished our fortnightly magazine, degusted our coffee, finished fidgeting with our American gadgetry, contemplating hard at striking a polite conversation with our equivalents of the opposite sex within close proximity, getting collectively depressed at the thought of flight food and desperately waiting to sleep on the flight.
One of the high-points of my trip was when the lovely people hosting me at Goa took me out for dinner at Gunpowder, that last bastion of South-Indian goodness at Hauz Khas Village that fell sometime last year.
|Batik wrapping papers by COOJ, at Paperworks, Goa|
Dabolim Airport has 5 outlets to be precise one of which sells ubiquitous snacks – sordid samosas, fake plastic pizzas and what have you. Amongst others are a forgettable Goa memorabilia store, and another one trying to ape the hopeless Tantra t-shirts of yore from which the joint family is buying bundles of clothes, one for each of the family members who’ve gotten left out at home for reasons unbeknownst to humanity and of-course a few for the hard-working loyal domestic help and such; which takes me back to Paperworks, near Miramar, which sells hand-made papers and paper products. Like most paper stores Paperworks also displays hundreds of useless knick-knacks which people buy but never use. Amongst all the pile of rubbish, I find these delightful Batik wrapping papers in all their colourful glory, meticulously produced by the mentally ill at COOJ (http://www.cooj.co.in/index.html).
|Bite-sized portions of the genius that was Mario Miranda|
And of-course no Goa trip is complete without picking up some art from the tiny stores making a living out of hawking bite-sized portions of the genius that was Mario Miranda and some of that sweet, sweet potion that people choose to call Port Wine because it makes for some effortless sangria.