Now, moving on from my pitch to be goanese, us wish-I-were-Goan breed peppered across the state, I’m not really claiming to be deeply knowledgeable about Goa. I’m only falling back on certain experiences to make this childish claim for citizenship. A few years in the same villages here has earned a morning ‘hi’ from many households I pass on the way to work. I’ve developed a deep respect for the local lifestyle, with a few years with Rose & Peter, at their Addams Family-esq estate in North Goa.
Meet Morticia Addams:
Rose. Rose is an enigma, smooth faced and soft spoken. She rules her male dominated empire with a sweet smile and gentle grace...I known Rose a few years now, and really enjoy being her neighbour/tenant. Peter is her perfect Gomez, he refers to her as the ‘Boss’. I see him every evening, banging a thick bamboo cane along as he walks barefoot across the estate. Once he promised he wouldn’t ‘hurt’ the scorpion we found, and proceeded to break it into four pieces with a few blows of his bamboo stick. He cut short our squeals & wails with a straight-faced ‘dogs are here’, clarifying the cruelty he knew we would accuse him of. I once came home to find a street lamp from our lane being taken to pieces. It had stopped working, so he was investigating it’s insides. He fixed it.
Rose & Peter run their estate with the help of Laxman and ‘the boys’ – a rag-tag bunch of Kannadiga men, shy and reclusive, they’re always on the estate, fixing, pruning, cutting, picking, fixing…they carefully maintained & repainted a friend’s cycle when I’d abandoned it here one monsoon.
I've cut the most ridiculous capers while living with Rose & Peter - brought home random animals (of the two legged & four legged kind), climbed their balconies looking for injured birds, sub-let to a fab DJ (yes, we partied till 4 am too) and Rose has walked me into the house "I'm scared of the dark". I ran to her once with a half-baked space cake "Can you fix this?" She left me a beautifully baked sponge cake on my veranda. I told her this afternoon I broke her washing machine again. When the AMC guy left, she came over with all these mangoes, 'make mango shake.'
The extended family includes Molly, Martha, Choti, Spotty, human puppy Dylan & his mama, Natasha who live in the crazy near-kennel behind us, while my home is shared with similar strange, reclusive creatures. In both these houses, the humans are outnumbered by the non-humans. Our home has multiple lizards, multi-coloured frogs, an occasional scorpion, and during the day, different kinds of birds, chameleons and the stealing, scheming monkeys. A loud squawk from any part of the house usually means varied species have encountered one another. Thuds across the yard, means the monkeys have gotten into the orchards again, bouncing off the branches heaving with summer fruit.
We spend a lot of time lost in our garden. In the grass. On the swings. Staring at prayer flags fluttering in the breeze. Life is as is here at our home. At 63/1, space station, there is an ebb, there is flow, an action, a reaction, high tide, moon rise, sunset, weather change, seasons, nights, sultry Sundays. Our lives sway along in a structured flow. People sleep over, friends pass by. We gather often, under the prayer flags, especially in the evenings, where we begin serious conversations which lapse into giggles with inanities like the PeePoo Song.
Example: “How do you break up with someone you never really went out with?”
“Like you get back to someone you never really broke up with?!”
We’ve recognized that laughing ourselves into helpless hiccups is a great way to forget that which wasn’t important anyway.
Private investigation: The world has its ways of helping you move on. My household here often makes me think about the meaning of ‘home’. I’ve started differentiating my references to ‘home’ as ‘home’ (here in Goa) or ‘my parents home’. When did that happen? The space station has been out in space almost 2 years now. The Cat & I have begun to speak out the same words simultaneously. Aloud. It’s shameful. I’m secretly glee-struck. She can seem all scratch and hiss, if you strike the right light, she’ll settle to placid purr.
We’re exploring perennial philosophies, exploring ideas of Inner Being here. It’s time to go old school, so we’re looking for solutions in times gone by. We recycle, emulating examples from people around us who make it possible with infrastructure to practice this lifestyle. We have enough inspiration. I earlier wrote of people playing out their anarchist fantasies, for example when concerned, conscious citizens unleashed guerilla tactics against irresponsible garbage disposal. The relentless restlessness many wandering Cadets feel when they stay in a place too long finds expression in explorations of different lives. I’ve found folk who are equally comfortable lying in the grass, staring at the stars, or squelching some mud while pretending to be planting.
The world is in turmoil, earthquakes, volcanoes erupting, lakes frothing over, there's something sick we've unleashed out there...and it's time to take it all back...to be aware, conscious, and omnipresent is possible today. While I don’t believe you or I can change this world single handedly, I do believe a collective conscious is possible, a collective way of thinking exists, we only need to come together, find each other.
Our Vibe attracts our Tribe, they say.
 Curious Cat & I composed this for the Depo.