A Flavour, Gomantak

How can we write music? How can we write a beautiful smell? How can we write a beautiful flavor? I don’t know. But I do feel an urge inside me to write something of that sort. It is about my recent trip to Goa or Gomantak. I still have that smell or flavor in my mind. I have always been a bit hesitant about going to goa for a trip. The simple reason is that every wrong person when offered to go for a trip choses goa. Anyways so this time I felt I had the right company. So I decided to go. I don’t want this to be a report of what I did there. I want my feel to pour on this paper. I think a painting or a beautiful musical piece would be a better option to express in this case but anyway I’ll try…

the morning, it had a very different colour to it. With the nature complimenting it, with the sea, a big river, those beautiful houses, those small but neat and clean roads, those coconut trees, some old structures scattered here n there. At first it was like nature, all beautiful and all that but when we reached old goa, it was the first moment when I started getting a flavor. That flavor was of the complimenting culture. Why did I get the flavor? Because it was the culture reflecting and complimenting the surroundings and the nature. When we see a beautiful scene in nature, an unexpressed flavor and mood gets created in our minds subconsciously without our knowing it. And we get the most pleasure when that same flavor is expressed. The same thing happened with me. In old Goa, I resonated with the flavor which got created in my subconscious because the culture there, the old churches, the beautiful buildings and the whole picture of it was the beautiful expression of what surrounded them. I resonated with that expression. And for all 3 days it continued and thickened. Therefore , when I ask to myself what appealed the most? And what has created this long lasting flavor in my mind? Was it the beautiful nature of goa or was it the expression? I get the answer that it was the resonating culture, the expression that made such a deep impression. Goa has been ruled by the foreign powers for so many years. It has churches all over the place. The Christian population is also more. But roaming through some of the museums I understood that it was all made by Indian artists here. They had the compulsion to replicate some of the expressions of the west in their art but still they could not help but blend the expressions of Indian culture with it. The blend was obvious because the Indian cultural expression here was more in tune with the nature here. So for an artist to create something harmonious, it had to blend in. We see all over Goa this beautiful harmony still with the western influence. We wandered the small villages of Goa, and the inside roads connecting them. The small roads with the beautiful colorful houses with a different cultural blend having a laid back and relaxed, calm attitude all alongside thickened the flavor more. Then the beaches. The beaches reflected today’s consumer centric attitude but still they were clean and good. All the wrong people coming here in goa for the beaches don’t understand that goa isn’t only about beaches. It is much more than that. 3 days aren’t really enough to see all of it but more than enough to catch the spirit and flavor.

The impacts…

In my mind it has a changing colour from burgundy to yellow to green….the coconut trees surrounding all over the place…serenity…calmness…laid back….museums impact me….every inch photogenic….riding on a bike from village to village, beach to beach, place to place….beauty to be seen on every path….people…beautiful people…the goans…dipped completely in the goan culture and flavor….the language….the music….europe + india….so much history….that fort…those walls like iron….that lighthouse…the ruins of the old port below….view of the vast stretching sea from the walls…feel of the past….image of the past way of life….the hindu influence…the Christian serenity….big churches….saint Xavier himself lying there….beautiful European art…beautiful altars…faith in every inch of the church…church, expression of the divine…. clean and bright sunshine….fresh beaches….sunset on the beach.cleanholiday culture….beautiful restaurants with tasty food and music….firangis.beautiful ladies….beer on the beachthat clean and calm shack of a firang lady….a relaxed firangi reading a book quietly….a feel that ‘these firangis know how to enjoy and relax calmly on a beach and are more comfortable and natural than the Indian tourists’….that vast seaentering in it and experiencing the power of waves and understanding how small we are….night on the beach….vast darkness in front..just a roaring sound…

It was a beautiful painting, a beautiful music, a tasty flavor, a beautiful smell  which I painted, listened, tasted and smelled with all my senses on each inch in Gomantak !



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