Thursday, June 30, 2011

Casino Carnival.

I guess its true with every city. You live there for a couple of days, understand how the buses work, remember to keep the exact change in your shirt pocket so that you don't have to fidget with your wallet inside them, find out where the nearest laundry to your home is and spend an afternoon in the fish market. Its like feeling a pulse. Now you feel more comfortable walking alone on these streets with only the curiously beautiful antique street lamps for company at midnight. The stray dogs of Nina Pinto colony know you now. Thats a good thing.
This city has always struck me as very...contemplative. It is slow, and enjoyably so. When it rains it becomes more beautiful than it already is. It sleeps like a baby, early at night. Most of it does, anyway. Then takes another nap in the afternoon. Like a baby. It is as if people decide to be happy when they come here. And God, they try so hard to be. Sometimes a bit too hard, maybe. This city was made to stop and stare. To look around, and for one moment, stop thinking. About the girl, about the job, about the money. Stop thinking. And watch the waves lap up the rocks on the jetty.
I tend to overanalyse. I tend to generalise about life and its meaning for hours while knowing that its the most pointless, and in a way, obscene thing to do. Its good not to think sometimes. Sigh. A lot more than sometimes.
"Time kya hua hai?"
The guy wore dirty white shorts and an ancient faded Goa t shirt they sell on the beaches around here. He squatted beside me looking at the river while I checked the time. Its eight thirty pm, I told him.
"Aap tourist hain?"
Are you a tourist? The guy was either a pimp or an agent. Same difference. He didn't want the time. He wanted to sell me a hotel room. Or a prostitute. Or both I guess. Not a tourist, I said.
"Oh, aap Goa se hain?"
He asked with a you're-of-no-use-to-me-buddy face. I nodded. In the spur of the moment. To avoid more questions, more than anything else.
But after he went away, as I sat looking at the Casino Carnival floating in the still Mandovi waters, I wished, no, I hoped, just for a moment, that it was true.

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