By Bhavani Sundaram
Anyone from Goa, wherever they are, will surely resonate with the saying, “Once you come to Goa, you will fall in love with this place and the people, and you will come back for more.”
If you are a true “Goenkar” away from Goa, you will hear sentimental words like, Sussegado, Kalli, Caju, Feni, Mankurad, Sorpotel, Vindaloo, Bebinca…The list is lengthened increasingly.
Goa is the only place where people, no matter what religion, caste or creed they belong to, express their frustration and anger by saying “Paad-Podun”, and where the bus driver motivates us by constantly saying “ Chol Chol, Fouden Chol”.
Any Goenkar will prefer to eat Patal Bhaji, Sukhi Baji, Mirchi and Katryancho Pav with fish and prawns in Vindaloo, Balchao or simply fried with their glass of Feni, instead of fast foods like burgers and pizzas.
Shopkeepers in Goa, come what may, rain or shine, will lower the shutters of their shops at 1 p.m. sharp and head home for fish curry and rice and a good long siesta , and will not reopen their stores until 4 p.m. . Later, they stop for a drink and a chat with friends at cafes like Bhonsle, Real or Tato.
Goa is where people come for a visit, come out of curiosity, then fall in love with the place, then decide to settle down and in time become a true Goenkar. It’s a place where everyone calls others “Bhaile” and says “Hanv Goenkar Fed up!”.
Goa is the only place a bus will stop for you if you just wave your hand and say “Rav Re”
When you land in Goa you are greeted with stunning views of the sea coast as the plane flies overhead and tourist taxis await you at Dabolim Airport or Vasco station welcomes you not as a tourist, but as a longtime friend. Another thing in Goa is that you never say “are you mad? » ; Instead, people ask, “Saarko Aasa mare?
In Goa you will find a liquor bar or shack on the side of the road every 10 minutes, but you will never see a Goan drinking in the streets, and if you see someone with an open bottle of beer or a can in hand, trust him to be a tourist. Goans rarely drink tea. Instead, they ask: “Te single maartat” and when they call their friends for a drink, they say: “Basuya Mare?
Goa is one of the few places where you can hire a motorbike taxi and be off in the blink of an eye, and cars are driven on the space left between two motorbikes. They will never turn tourists away, even when asked “where is the Fort of Dil Chahta Hai ?” The only place where there are many bridges to cross and ferries where you can drive your vehicle and enjoy the ride.
A true Goenkar, while having breakfast in the morning, will always keep a small piece of his bread and eat it after dipping it in his cup of tea. A true Goenkar will love being in Goa during the Rainy season and will enjoy the rain beating down on his roof and floor as he relaxes in his rocking chair on his porch.
It is all this and more that keeps Goa coming back again and again to enjoy the love and hospitality of the locals and sing “Come to Goa, come to Goa, Goa is for all!”
About the Author:
Bhavani Sundaram is based in Himachal Pradesh and is a freelance blogger. She writes on topics related to animals, pets, everyday life, history and travel. She has also written poems which are available as e-books on Amazon. She was educated in Mussoorie and Mumbai and has extensive experience with animals and pet related issues. She blogs at www.mesmusesetpensées.blogspot.com