By Bhavani Sundaram

Anyone from Goa, wherever they may be, will surely resonate with the saying, “Once you come to Goa, you will fall in love with this place and people, and will keep coming back for more.”

If you are a true ‘Goenkar’ away from Goa, you will get sentimental hearing words like, Sussegado, Kalli, Caju, Feni, Mankurad, Sorpotel, Vindaloo, Bebinca…The list goes on and on.

Goa is the only place where people, no matter which religion, caste, or creed they belong to, express their frustration and anger by saying, “Paad-Podun”, and where the bus conductor motivates us by saying constantly, “Chol Chol, Fuden Chol”.

Any Goenkar will prefer to eat Patal Bhaji, Sukhi Baji, Mirchi and Katryancho Pav along with Fish, and prawns in Vindaloo, Balchao or simply fried with their glass of Feni, instead of fast foods like burgers and pizzas.

Goan shopkeepers, come what may, rain or shine, will pull down the shutter of their shops exactly at 1 pm and go home to have fish-curry and rice and a good long siesta, and will re-open their shops only at 4 pm. They later on stop to have a drink and chit-chat with friends at cafes like Bhonsle, Real or Tato.

Goa is the place where people come for a visit, come out of curiosity, then fall in love with the place and then decide to settle down, and in due course of time, become a true Goenkar. It is a place where everyone calls others “Bhaile” and says “Hanv Goenkar Marre!”.

Goa is the only place where a bus will stop for you if you simply wave your hand and say “Rav Re”

When you land in Goa, you are welcomed with a breathtaking view of the sea coast as the plane flies over and the tourist taxis waiting for you at Dabolim Airport or Vasco railway station welcome you not like a tourist, but like a long-lost friend. Another thing in Goa is that one never says “you are angry?”; Instead people ask, “Saarko Aasa mare?”

In Goa, you will find a liquor bar or shack every 10 minutes on the road side, but will never see a Goan drinking on the streets, and if you happen to see someone with an open beer bottle or can in hand, trust him to be a tourist. Goans rarely drink tea. Instead, they ask, “Te single maartat” and when they call their friends for drinks, they say, “Basuya Mare?”

Goa is one of the rare places where one can hire a motorcycle taxi and whizz off in a jiffy, and one drives cars on whatever space is left between two motorcycles. They will never misdirect tourists even when they are asked, “where is the Dil Chahta Hai fort ?” The only place where there are plenty of bridges to cross and ferries where you can drive in your vehicle and enjoy the ride.

A true Goenkar, while having his morning breakfast, will always keep a small bit of his bread and eat it after dipping it in his or her cup of tea. A true Goenkar will love to be in Goa during the rainy season and will enjoy the rain tip-tapping on his roof and ground while he relaxes in his rocking chair in his verandah.

It is all this and more that makes one come back to Goa time and again to enjoy the love and hospitality of the locals and sing “Come to Goa, Come to Goa, Goa is for all!”

About the Author:

Bhavani Sundaram is based in Himachal Pradesh and is a freelance blog writer. She writes on topics relating to animals, pets, day-to-day life, and history and travel. She has also penned some poems which are available as E-books on Amazon. She has been educated in Mussoorie and Mumbai and has a lot of experience in animals and pet-related matters. She blogs at www.mymusesandthoughts.blogspot.com