Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ravi Sharma of Temperance Guest House, Panjim: No washing of clothes, contact Ravi Sharma for laundry.

Are you here in the morning?
Ravi Sharma: I am 24 hours

Celery: Where do you want to go next?
Me: Anywhere
Celery: That doesn't help
Me: I know

Celery to random girl on the road: Excuse me, where's the Miramar hostel?
Random Girl: May I join you to the Hostel?
Celery and I in our minds: But why? Who are you?
Celery to random girl: It's really your wish

Celery: How many stops to Old Goa?
Aunty in red with red lipstick and a smile: Many stops. Don't wander around after 7, have fun okay.
Celery to me: Many stops? That really helps
Me: Oh come on how sweetly she smiled
Bairro das Fontainhas, Panjim, Goa

I pulled a fresh green top down my head. I pushed my head over a fresh green top. I switched the green earrings for the red-orange-yellow danglers. I posed against a blue pavement shutter. I crunched into a blushing pink apple. I turned my head to see the colourful park bench. I followed her orange shirt that strolled past the immaculate church and stepped into an acrylic paint morning.

Not a struggling pencil sketch. Not a shy water colour. Not a hardened oil paint. Not a demure monochrome. More like shameless joy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Arambol, North Goa

The sea, she won’t hush. Gray as the skies above, noisier than the clouds above, her tantrums they don’t cease. She pounds the shore angrily. Back and forth. A million times. Again and again. Incorrigible thing, she.

And yet. They lie unperturbed. The waves travel from the core of her restlessness and crash pathetically right before them. And yet, they will not move. They won’t lift their heads to ask her what’s bothering her. They won’t raise their tails to acknowledge her. The dogs of Arambol. They care a rat’s ass about the ageless, endless mass of salty water. She can be pissed off as hell, with the droopy monsoon clouds hanging above her head, looking mighty and mighty sad. But they’re a tad bit sleepy at the moment.

I saw them everywhere, all the time. And on the feline-free tongue of the hippie beach, it seemed like they got here before us and knew how to stay. And from so many of them chilling on the sands, their curled bodies dotting the sands, they acted like they owned the beach. Just preceding the view of the sea from ‘Coconut Inn’ the only restaurant that was open during the rainy season they were smugly present all over. An awful lot of them, in an awful lot of colours. The grubby gray thing seemed to have borrowed hues from the sand. There was one very brown dog with very floppy ears and a white patch around his collar, a monochrome dog slept in the distance, a fawn one exhibited his back to us. So well, all kinds of medium built mongrels.

Till noon, they hardly cared. About the sea or the humans who were staring at the sea. Some would reluctantly travel a few steps if you had interesting ‘crumbs’. Post noon, with a little warmth, they’d dig into the ground and find wet moist sand to park themselves on. Some lounged under the orange tables. I hardly saw any of them go close to the waves. As the hours moved sluggishly, they got friendlier and happier. They’d chase the lifeguard’s jeep. They’d sway their tails and stupidly follow you on the beach. They’d hang around and watch the fisherman.“Seriously how annoying!” Cilara complained. She followed her displeasure with elaborate commands of banishment in English, while our quadruped guest shook his body pretending to listen. And certainly not moving. The waiter showed up with an inappropriately long stave and shoved the poor thing from under our table that bore the weight of a plate of aromatic pork sausages and beer. And I yelled at him, but he seemed to have expected appreciation.

My observation of canines led me to shamelessly stare at this young bearded man who walked into the restaurant and a legion of dogs surrounded him, squatting all around his table. He ran his hands around the black and white mongrel while it stood happily.

In the evening there were enough that lounged, ran around, chased humans, strolled around. The beach was all theirs. And the sea. Stupid thing, she wouldn’t stop crashing right in front of their paws. But they seemed to have grown so used to her, of course they didn’t care at all.