AN OLD HIPPIE’S LAMENT
Poor, poor good old Goa.
Lost. Sold out. Corrupted to the bone.
Long ago converted and worshipping the Dollar God.
Goa: the world famous trance party place , a well advertized tourist spot , a place of Business.
I rememember Goa of the early 70s. A pristine virgin, a paradise. Silent under the sun in the day and silent under the stars at night. The only sound was that of the waves, of the palm fronds in the breeze , of those smart crows that will snatch your breakfast in a split second of inattention , of dogs and the pigs… No electricity. Just candlelight at night.
On the beach, a small bunch of naked hippies lying about and a bunch of equally (un)dressed fishermen spreading their fish on the sand to dry in the sun. Each minding their own business. Coexisting peacefully , living their simple , separate , parallel lives.
The Portugese had only just left a few years previously … Their beach cottages on Baga and Calangute still stood empty for the most part. An old deserted catholic monastery looming on the hill across the Baga river.
We would cross the river on foot where we knew the water was shallow ,walk past the monastery, over the hill, from Baga to Anjuna beach. That was as far as we went.
To us , Anjuna was the remote place then, where only a few loners among the hippies had settled . Guys like Three Finger Eddy. One of the Americans who wouldn’t go to Vietnam. We had quite a few of them among us in those days.
Most of us lived on Baga and Calangute.
Only one paved road from Calangute beach to Calangute village … A bus to Mapusa and Panjim. No motorbikes, no Russians, no Israelis… No techno trance music mercilessly clashing with the nature with its artificial beat that evokes the sound of the pneumatc hammers and the factories…
No resorts, no guest houses, no tatoo parlors, no bars, no teepees, no hand gliding, no endless yoga instructors, reiki healers, no drug saturated trance parties, no theft, rapes and murders.
For all of you who haven’t been there then, it must sound inbeleivable, probably impossible to picture. Goa was then as close to the garden of Eden as I could ever imagine. In a simple, basic, frugal way. We bathed by the well. We knew the time by the movement of the sun. The most precise appointments were made at the sunset — you could hardly miss that.
Nobody remembers that Goa any more. Except me. Only the rare few are even still alive now. I just happen to have been by far the youngest one at the time, so I still hopefully have a few good years left to keep the record of those days. I had crossed the border between Pakistan and India mere days before the war broke out. It was in 1971.
Since nobody had walked around with the cameras — let alone mobile phones in those days, this is all captured only in my memory. I have 3 photos in total from those days . One of them was for my Indian visa extention . The other two I haven’t seen in ages. Maybe even lost them for all I know. The one for the visa extention has survived because my parents had copied and enlarged it. I was 15 then.