Hee Hee Heeee Goa! -(The Goa of Childhood after 1970).
I will narrate my experiences here in three phases as in childhood, youth and adulthood.
Globally Goa has gained fame more for being a tourist destination and you might have come here for a bit of fun and indulgences. This attitude cannot be mistaken and it would be a lie to say that you come to relax in Goa. Some people claim to relax on a Goan beach, to me it is more exerting to be on the beach than any other place. On a beach I feel more alive and active the roaring shore, the humming winds make me feel the throbbing pulse of nature. Well an evening spend on the beach give me the best night rest.
The Capital city – Panaji
My education has been in Panaji and we would cycle around the city with every opportunity, it was safe then, not much motor vehicles, very few cars mostly Govt. owned Ambassador cars and private Fiat cars and buses. There were one or two tall buildings and the Tourist Hostel was the tallest with Dempo building. There were many big green trees here and many lonely spots too.
In the villages the roads were non-existent and traveling by Cycle was more comfortable than walking. We could see a few bullock carts around. Electricity was the happening thing and telephones were only in the landlords houses and in the cities (STD/ISD/LOCAL).
The first people to discover Goa were the hippies in the 80’s. We would see them often in the streets looking like imported adivasis. My memory is of dirty looking people with long hair, tattoos all over the body draped in one or two linen with variety of beads around the neck, hands and legs, nose and ears pierced. They usually smelled dirty. Most of us wouldn’t make the difference between the decent foreigners visiting and the hippies. There weren’t many Indian tourists.
Our full time entertainer was the Radio AM-Band with All India Radio. SW-2 with Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation for English music at early morning.
Most of the neighbors who were sailors would have vinyl records.
For every feast there would be the Tiatr (Konkani Drama) the loud speakers played music both in English and konkani from the vinyl records to entertain the villagers.
The month of April & May were full of fun being holidays there were various games, weddings, beat shows, dances, etc usually after Easter. Out cousins from Bombay would come down to holiday with us.
There would be football and volleyball tournaments in every village club.
It was picnic time at the springs (there were many of them) and at the beaches.
Carnival time was to high with musical shows, plays color pelting, etc.
The film department would host old black and white films in the villages. The cinema tickets were just 2 or 3 rupees and we would go to see only Bruce Lee or Mohammad Ali and John Travolta films. Every Amitabh Bachan film was a must.
There were many book libraries around and it was fun sharing comic books. I read many konkani novels when I first learned to read in Roman Konkani.
Most people had government jobs and it was okay, alternatively some went to Bombay or flew to the Arabian-Gulf.
The major employers were Dempos, Mormugao Port Trust, Shipyards, Zuari Agro Chemicals and other few.
There were farmers farming their land, fishermen filling at sea, toddy tapers climbing coconut trees, Cashew plantations yielded well. Almost everyone had their own fruit and flower garden. Salt pans produced salt and the Mining industry was the top most employer. Education was mostly by the Priests and Nuns.
Education was actively supplemented with a lot of outdoor sports and athletics.
Next is Haa Haa Haaa Goa! (The Goa of Youth after 1970)