Monday, 6 March 2017

The Birthday Party and Goa, Going, Gone!

After our day on the “Island trip” the evening saw us next door to our apartment at Mikey’s Place for Doug’s Birthday Bash.
One of the first to arrive was Ranju, who cycled from Calangute with a beautiful arrangement of Orchids for Doug. Ranju has looked after us at Xavier’s beach shack when we’ve gone to Baga for the day.
Other early arrivals were Roshan and Sergio (front right) who brought Doug the lovely chocolate cake shown in the last pic. Front left is Pundalik (also known as “RV” to those who can’t remember or pronounce his name!) who looked after us in James’ Shack on Candolim beach.
Four of our market trader friends arrived – Manoj, Vikas, Jitesh and Akash (who’s out of pic, bottom right)
Sadly, Sergio and Roshan had to leave ‘early’ as they had work commitments.
We spent some good times with Bev, Linzi and Wayne, who were on holiday for two weeks (especially on the Jungle Experience!) and they also came along and joined in the celebrations.
There was to be a second birthday cake during the evening – this one had its own firework display!
Doug with Manju and Mohan who both work in Mikey’s Place and who have become good friends and a big part of our lives while we’ve been in Candolim.
Here’s most of the party bunch (minus Roshan and Sergio). That’s cake on Doug’s face not a mark on the pic! It’s traditional in Goa to put some cake on the birthday boy’s face and to feed him a small piece before the cake is offered to others.
Everybody had the chance to order food from the menu and the market boys, to our delight, tucked into a good helping of noodles, rice and a few other very hot dishes!
This is Akash, who was out of the picture previously, with Ranju and Doug.
Ranju, Doug and Manoj.
Cris was very kindly supplying a free phone software correction and improvement service to all the market boys. Getting used to their smart phones occasionally threw up a few problems for them.
Bobby (another of Mikey’s staff and good friend), Cris and Doug.
Doug, Manju and Cris. It was a great end to Doug’s birthday – being surrounded by some very new friends. It’s a continually humbling experience to be so freely and openly accepted into a community of people, with very different lives to our own, and to be treated with such unconditional love and respect. We have to say that, as our three month stay in India was coming to an end, our own values have been somewhat challenged (and changed) by the tremendous respect we’ve been shown by so many people in this huge and crazy country. 
With our stay in Goa almost at an end we changed our scheduled overnight train journey to Mumbai to allow us to stay one more day and enjoy the carnival in Panjim. Like carnivals the world over, the spectacle was colourful and noisy! (Indians can do noise very well!) Here’s a few pics which need little commentary other than to say that an awful lot of hard work went into the event.
Someone in his full breeding plumage!
The last day of our stay finally arrived! The ‘market boys’ – Manoj, Vitesh, Jitesh and Akash came to say a final farewell. They came at just the right moment to clear us out of all the things we’d bought and couldn’t take home – household effects as well as food!
Manoj found a hat which James had bought for an event later in the year in England and found it suited him very well. Manoj’s life is very hard but he is never without a smile and is always up for a bit of a lark around!
We popped into Mikey’s Place to say our goodbyes to everyone. That, most certainly, included “Nuffy” and “Yen” who have been very much part of our lives. They used to follow us back home each evening (if we'd been to Mikey’s) and were even at our door to collect us on one occasion!
Manju, Doug and Bobby – the final ‘au revoir’.
James, Manju and Bobby.
Down at the barbers shop it was the same sad moment to be had. Smiles masking sadness as we said cheerio to Talib, Asraf and Hashim. We will miss then all very much indeed!
And, after an eleven hour overnight train journey from Goa to Mumbai, we arrived at the sensational airport terminal building to await our flight back to the UK.
The events of our last three months have been well documented. The things we’ve experienced have been tremendous but the one thing which sits head and shoulders above the marvelous spectacle of India are the people. That’s probably the same the world over but this nation of nearly one and a half billion people has, for us, a crazy and strange approach to life that just seems to work. With so many people in a country you just have to push and shove and beep your car horn! But there seems to be no malice. With many people on, or near, the breadline recycling of everything is common place. Honesty is paramount and it would be unthinkable to steal or take something which is not yours. Indian people are happy with “their lot” and get on with life as best they can it seems. They are clever people and most of them live on their wits, as there is no safety net to protect them. Those that can’t work will die if they are not cared for or if they cannot fend for themselves. We, in the developed world, have an awful lot we could learn from these gracious and loving people. We will return to see our Indian friends again!

No comments:

Post a Comment