If you were like me, a young Goan born in the deserts of Kuwait and lived most of your adult life in Mumbai, you too would have often wondered how it could be possible to still passionately love a state that only traces back to you through your family roots. Yet, be that as it may, I am sure, like me, you too are proud to be called a goenkar and the affinity you have for Goa only grows with time.
There are many such other Goans like you and me living in Mumbai who in-spite of being known as a typical ‘mumbaite’ is as attached to this lovely state and will have no qualms of professing their love for her. This attachment to Goa can be seen by all, in particular to the younger generation as well. A yearly visit or two to Goa is mandatory, for life doesn’t just seem complete unless a quick visit to this beautiful state has been made. These youngsters involve themselves in diverse professions. Some of them are in the world of advertising, journalism, engineering, some are even in the aviation industry as cabin crew, while others can be found working behind the scenes in the world of events and media. The common misconception that most Goans can be found only in the call centre profession is furthest from reality.
I spoke to a few of these young Goans to find out what they loved about Goa, what did they feel about being a Goan living in Mumbai. I asked them to share their views on Goa and how they would like to see Goa in the years to come and asked them how they would best describe Goa to someone who hadn’t ever visited the place.
Harry D’Souza, a 24 year old Production Executive with an event company in Mumbai says he loves Goa for being the way it is; a chilled out place. It’s an awesome place to be, minus the noise, traffic and the hustle and bustle one finds in Mumbai. He jokes that he can’t be a true susegad Goan in Mumbai, as he says the fast paced life of Mumbai hardly gives him enough time to really rest, like the luxury his fellow goenkars enjoy out there. He loves the hassle free aspect of Goa, you can party where you want, when you want, in the comfort of your own premises and not have the neighbours nor the police come pounding down your door to wind up or turn down the noise. His Goan nature is most evident to all in his affinity to have a drink with friends, and his love for food especially Goan dishes. If given the chance he would keep Goa a secret, as he feels it’s already got way too crowded, and Harry feels Goa needs to go back to its old rustic peaceful self. When he reaches his golden years, Harry would like to see his lovely Goa to be the calm peaceful place he remembers it to be, minus all the construction and urbanization, a place that would have retrieved back to its beautiful village ambience.
Anna Rebello, a 31 year old cabin crew with an international leading private airline feels it isn’t important to hold true to your individual identity when living in this great metro of Mumbai. Being who you are, your individualism doesn’t really matter she points out, it just adds to the uniqueness of living in Mumbai. Having said that, Anna feels the true Goan spirit of Goa comes from its people and their simplicity. This works in Goa’s favour and against as she feels the natives take Goa for granted and can do lot more to preserve her true essence and thinks they need to show more initiatives towards this. She loves Goan food the most – Nishteachi Kodi and Sungtam Kodi – are her all time favourite. Anna feels most Goans stand out in the work force with their simple and caring nature, the warmth they exuberate especially in the service related industry, and they do not emote selfish nor greedy traits. She says a Goan’s love for bread or pao has made them famous for being known as paowalas she jokes. She feels she would actively encourage a first time visitor to Goa, to experience the food, the culture and all the other interesting facades Goa has to offer. Anna hopes to see Goa be the best tourist destination of the world in the future where there would be unadulterated fun, food and alcohol for all to enjoy.
Satish D’Sa a 36 year old Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather feels being a Goan helps him survive in a stressful place like Mumbai. To him, a susegad Goan, not referring to a complacent individual, but rather a relaxed and calm individual is what best describes the attitude a true Goan emotes when handling with the various experiences one faces in this metro. Satish says Goa makes him feel like home. Everything about Goa to him is correct, its smells, its look, its nature – nothing can be wrong. To him Goa is connected to his childhood and every trip made to Goa is a different experience each time. He says depending on the mood one is in, one takes back a different memory of Goa along with them. Satish is the expert of Goa to his colleagues at work, anything you want to know, where to go and what to do, ask him, and he’ll have an answer ready for you. He feels Goa is getting lost in the commercialising of the place and feels its urbanisation is making it lose its uniqueness. If given a chance, he would like to see Goa being preserved just as one would preserve a wild life sanctuary, as he feels a big part of Goa is already dying away. But he sounds positive when he adds, that when a group of Goans, sit together back home, come together for any function, be it a rosse, a yearly trip or just a laid back holiday with family, Goa will forever be the same to him.
Carol Mendes a 28 year old Senior Customer Representative Associate at a BPO in Mumbai has left behind her lovely Goa and made Mumbai her home quite recently. She feels its means a lot to her to be a Goan forming her own identity here in Mumbai. She misses the peaceful, no traffic, no pollution traits of Goa and she misses the friendliness and warmth of the Goan people the most here in the metro. Having being brought up in Goa, she truly emotes a true Goan not only in her mannerism, but also in her talk, nature and her warmth. Carol would love to see Goa become more famous for the things she is already famous for, but at the same time feels that the over crowding of the place needs to be controlled.
Terrence Pinto, popularly known as Dj Terry is a 24 year old Production Engineer by day and moonlights as a mean machine Dj by night. Juggling the two is not easy, but it comes natural to this music loving Goan. Kickass is the term he would like to use to describe Goa, which when translated in regular lay man’s term, means, Goa is truly awesome. Everything about Goa to Terry is great, the beaches, the social scenes, the villages, and he adds that there is so much more he has yet to discover about his lovely hometown. He feels that Goa needs to go back to remaining its simple self, get less commercialised else it will soon come to resemble the chaotic Mumbai soon.
In having spoken to this small section of the young Goans of Mumbai, I have come to the conclusion that Goa has interesting days ahead. Goa has many champions and admirers routing for her from within and outside and it’s going be these young enterprising Goans who are going to make sure they maintain the true essence and spirit of Goa.