Agh, Metropolis syndrome!

The reverse: Big to bog and lovin’ it!

(Part 2 of a 2- part post)

So to continue where I left off…you heard my view on the urban cup getting fuller. But from urban to rural, the tides are changing too.

The hectic life in a big busy city is juuuuust fine. Until, there is the crash.

When you are indigenous to the big metropolis, you come to a point where you stop. There is silence. It could come smashing down on an evening alone over a glass of wine at your apartment at 25 or could strike you like a bolt on a regular day at work at 43 or hit you when you are watching the world go by from your balcony at 64. The eternal question of confusion and wisdom garnished with tiredness and boredom—what is all of this for?

There are people who spend their entire lives in a city, but don’t feel a part of that existence. These people found their way to a “pace” and just never left. For me, this pace in India is a piece of heaven called GOA.

People escaped to infrastructural troubles, economics took a back seat, and arrived the urban man in the rural space. No lack of ambition, just a thirst to enjoy the journey rather than hustle to the destination.

When this big-city-to-small-city initial lot moved to Goa, maybe two decades ago, it hosted a handful of sub- standard resorts, and a few local restaurants and shacks that were uneven spurts along the coastline. The Portuguese influence in architecture made it all very quaint and charming (and that still exists!) The beach served as a perfect backdrop for this laid back notion of life. The element of all their stories roots from the common thread of, “it felt comfortable; it felt like home.” The magnificent part is- they never looked back, and have absolutely no regret. And just like that, they were at ease in their personal and professional spaces. They made it work.

We have made it work.

I now live between the two jungles- urban, and well, “my village” as I like to call it. I absolutely love my “village” life. Wait, what? Home? This was new—to feel like you belong. Over the years, I had escaped to this coast. But time spent with others sans agendas, the sound of waves, and the light breeze cross ventilating through the day, all came together for me. This became real life, not an escape. Transported away from the dream that had become the rut of existence.

With so many people from major cities moving in, the village grew into a town, which rapidly grew into a city. Over time, newcomers needed to make it more “homely.” But city habits die-hard therefore comforts were sought. They made it fitting by investing in amenities. Infrastructure was developed—roads, electricity, water, and phone connectivity. Even the Internet/ mobile service providers took notice of the growing demand and planted more towers! The number of convenience stores multiplied, the available product ranges grew, and livelihood opportunities increased by many folds. In Goa, convenience is no longer a luxury.

Congratulations, my friend! We gave birth to a new metropolis.

Simultaneously, the local folks, the young Goans noticed, and made plans. Some left Goa to make money in Dubai or Toronto or London, the big metropolises. Today, many of these people are back as entrepreneurs. They have brought world ethnicity to Goa with a variety of specialised restaurants and bars, art studios, boutique hotels, clubs, and casinos. They have introduced cuisines and experiment with an amalgamation of varied cultures. Working this hard? Sounds like a major city, doesn’t it?

Worry not, all is not lost. True to its natural state, the village life exists! The inherent ancestral characteristic of being laid back is still predominant. With the fishing, beer, feni, and urrak, the hot pot of traditions and old customs, the afternoon siesta, places where all smile and wave at each other, where a panchayat means business, where a ‘patrao’ is “the man,” and my favourite—where they still believe in susegad lives. Only now, it is sprinkled with German cars, Italian Lambrettas, and spruced up Portuguese homes.

Tada!! A mini conurbation! We just couldn’t resist, could we?

Goa is the new metropolis. People who were attracted to all that is opposite of the bigger metropolitan, came in, and built a new life. But with a better attitude. This is the foundation of a new metro. Maybe 20 years from now, we will need a getaway from urban Goa, will find a small place, and convert that to yet another Metropolis. But for now, VIVA LA GOA!