Goa emerged on the world scene back in the 60's with the 'Hippie Movement' which brought the western world to the beaches of Anjuna. Composed mostly of white teenagers and young adults between the ages of 15 and 25 years old, hippies inherited a tradition of cultural dissent from bohemians and beatniks of the Beat Generation in the late 1950s. Stories of Freaks in Goa and a slowly building counter culture made some enthusiasts hop onto an overland Bus leaving for Goa all the way from Europe (Greece). Disillusioned, disenchanted preferring an altered state of consciousness to the collective illusion the world embraces as 'Reality', they found home under the palm trees of Goa.
Staying in Goa was extremely affordable then and to the Hippies, money was always just a means to an end. They stayed and stayed and stayed even longer ... the community doubled, tripled, increased exponentially in very little time. So began a long ongoing chapter in the history of the psychedelic culture spawning a whole new generation into an alternate reality, a different world where anything was possible and all boundaries dissolved.
This is just one of the many ways of telling the story of Goa, the Hippies, the Freaks and a generation of hipsters being exposed to a plethora of substances which dramatically alter ones perception of the world and the nature of reality. This is where it starts to get a little chaotic as in those days there was little or no drug awareness among the users. People began experimenting with all kinds of potentially damaging substances namely Heroin & Cocaine with little or no understanding of it's effect on the mind, the body and the soul ! To support their needs and addictions, some Hippies began smuggling Drugs all the way to Europe and America for a good price, enough to help them sustain their erratic lifestyles and keep moving back and forth till sanity stays alongside, watching closely what's going on ! Those days, Hippies could be seen walking along the beaches of Arambol, Anjuna or Vagator sporting their birthday suits, openly having sex with their respective lovers or indulging in orgies while the music played on in the background. The Freak capital had become a twisted saga of Sex, Drugs & Rock n Roll ... The BoOmers were on a crescendo !
Over the years, as capitalism and globalization began making in roads everywhere, the locals and the Goan Government started to become increasingly less tolerant toward the Hippie attitude as it conflicts with the ethics and lifestyles of modern day society. The authorities were now coming on strongly against Nudism, Drugs and Loud Music being played around residential areas late into the night. Some Hippies hence chose the path of reform and got back to the regular city lifestyle and a day job, some became Sadhus and Sanyasis and some stayed back and are still seen dancing around the shacks of South Anjuna, namely Curlies and Shiva Valley. If you ever get a chance to speak to some of these willing old timers, you would know they have a whole lot to talk about and for good reason. With the slow death of the "Hippie Era", Goa's reputation as the Freak Capital never diminished, but evolved into the Monsterattes we see on News Channels and read about in the newspapers. Irresponsible use of drugs and sexual predation are closely linked in the darkness of our present times and it's only we who can change this and turn things around in a new direction we collectively envision.
A place once known by some as paradise, Goa today is over crowded with people from almost everywhere on this planet ! Mostly from other Indian states making there annual pilgrimage to Baga & Calangute checking out the scantily clad women folk and drinking unimaginable quantities of easily affordable alcohol while dangerously gyrating to electronic music they have never heard of. With this ever increasing population of seasonal tourists pouring into Goa each year, the crowd has literally overflowed into the once peaceful sanctuaries of Morjem, Vagator and Anjuna. As a result what we have here is a Van full of tourists at the junction, right before you take the left for the Flea Market looking for directions to any place where a party is happening. When told about Curlies from where we'd just left a FULL ON scene, heading toward Bamboo Forest, the boys say, "There was some weird electronic music going on there dude" .... so we promptly pointed toward the road heading back to Baga / Calangute. Hopefully, they found a place to hang-out where they didn't feel as alienated ! :)
This was 2 years ago, when Bamboo Forest was still on. Thanks to the residents living close to the mystical Bamboo Forest who are 'deeply disturbed' by nonstop loud music playing for long hours. Hilltop & 9 Bar are one of the few places where you get to see some major parties happening. If you have seen "Last Hippie Standing" you would remember a local expressing his valued opinion on the psychedelic trance music scene of Anjuna ...
He says, "170 beats per minute, it's CRAAAAAZZZZYYY !
The essence of Goa lies in the outdoors and any party / gathering / event organized in the limited confines of a man made shelter remains limited. The elements of nature most of us seem withdrawn from (sitting cozily on our bean bags, slouching lazily in our arm chairs) need to be simply reconnected with ! We need to strengthen our eternal connection with all that is ! With a little expansion of our limited awareness and taking responsibility of ourselves we can begin to create a better Goa we will live to see. People keep talking about what Goa used to be and what it has become today and all this talking isn't quite moving the psychedelic bandwagon any forward but looping it endlessly much to the annoyance of the free thinker and the world which needs a breath of fresh air, a much awaited change in the monotony of routine and chaos. What can we do ? We can revisit the basics of P.L.U.R, truly understand what it means and be the change we wish to see in the world. Not be silent spectators to injustice and misdemeanor of any kind.
Start Here & NOW .. forgive & allow ... leave the past behind, Goa is not a place, it's a state of mind !
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