Life & Times In Goa, India

India, the land of beauty and mystery. Almost every corner tells a story, and every person has one… including me.

After a long stay in Mumbai (Bombay), my booking agent Kingsley and myself boarded a flight on Jet Airways to Goa. Goa is known to the western world as a place of tranquility; where the most beautiful and vibrant sunsets trickle down slowly into the cool blue waters of the vast sea. Jet Airways was possibly one of the best flights we’d been on after passing through England, and Dubai – not because of the narrow seats and isle in the mediocre airplane – but because the stewarts and stewartesses all resembled famous Indian actors. Their smiles were never ending, exposing their glimmering white teeth. All of their mannerisms were superb and their dress clean, and freshly pressed. To our pleasant surprise the menu consisted of exquisite curries and rice, chapattis and dhal. I was thinking exactly what you’re thinking… airplane food probably isn’t good; yet for where we were, it was just right.

After a convenient forty-five minute flight, Amitab Buchin (as we called him), opened up the doors to the island. A fresh breeze entered into our lungs, a tropical heat arose around us, and the chirping of birds were prevalent. This was paradise.

We made our way to the immaculate hotel, to find brilliance in it’s offerings: a lush pool, surrounded by plants and trees, a select few vendors were in the open-air lobby selling handmade paintings and decorative items brilliant in colour. The workers, each known as “The Boy”, carried our luggage to our rooms three floors up a staircase made of concrete stone. They were as friendly as the airline staff but a little less sophisticated in manner. Goa is full of Europeans. Our research led us to believe [and now see] that this was their version of our destination vacations in Mexico and Cuba. White tanned skin filled the beaches, umbrella drinks and seafood were being served in almost every nook and cranny of the island.

We were on vacation, yet at the same time I was on tour and that week I was booked to play at Tito’s & Mambo’s on the beach.

The night of the party I gathered up what I needed to bring, my headphones and cds (as my ryder allowed for the equipment to be stationary at the venue). We arrived at Tito’s and it was gorgeous place. A heightened shimmering entrance that lead into the club that was already packed with local Indians and European Hippies – there were blonde dreadlocks everywhere, both on the men and women who had been drinking and doing substances of their choice, but ultimately, having a good time.

I approached the DJ booth and was introduced to the resident DJ. He was very happy to meet me, and was accommodating in every way. Drinks were getting poured at this point so we were starting to let loose, real loose.

As I looked around the venue, which appeared to have held about 700 people, I noticed that all of the men were on the first level and the women on the second. Men weren’t allowed upstairs. It was up to the women to come down and dance with the men of their liking. Picture this: men dancing and looking up at the second level balconies, waving their smiles to the beat of the drum, enticing beautiful Indian ladies to come down for a social affair. It definitely wasn’t what I expected to see at a club but non the less everyone seems to have been having an amazing time.

I bought a jersey from the local stand the day before – the Indian cricket team’s jersey. When I stepped on stage and introduced myself I popped the jersey logo, thanked them for having me play in India, and they went nuts mostly because I was reppin’ their country, knowing I was from Toronto and would be playing an energetic mould of completely mixed and engineered North American electronic house music.

It was a blast, people were rushing up to me asking for autographs, a handshake, a smile, a pat on the shoulder, a cheers, even a hug. I realized the people of Goa were nothing short of genuine. Sometimes, a little too much though. I had a stalker. This guy wouldn’t leave me alone, he wouldn’t stop asking me questions and following me around, he wanted to hang out with us after the show and we were completely freaked out. Luckily after a few hours we brushed him off and swept out of the club. It was a fantastic night. Boy did I ever throw down an electronic set that blew the roof off the place.

Outside, we were approached by two very beautiful African women, they knew we’d been dabbling in a few too many cocktails. They were flirty, making not-so-discreet moves on us – and inviting themselves back to our hotel for a nightcap. It was then I noticed a few African dudes just beyond the shadows, watching us. They began dialing on their cellphones, slowly walking towards us. It was then I remembered reading that sometimes these women would entice you with their sexuality, only to get you back to your hotel where you’d get robbed of all of your belongings, passports, gold, etc. The men broke down the doors and began the violence.

We ditched the scene right on time, thanking the ladies for their attention, briskly walking past them onto a dark, dirt road. There were no cabs around so we stupidly decided to walk up the street to find one. It was pitch black and erie. Now and then we would hear wild dogs barking in our path, crickets chirping, noises of non-recognition, a haunting tale. I had my equipment on me, and that was stupid in itself, because India isn’t the most friendly place in the world at night.

Fifteen minutes into our blinding night time run from the enemy, we saw a sign in the distance! Both of us sighed a sigh of relief but we had no clue if what it was would be open or closed. We started to get excited, “oh f*ck man, hopefully there are people there”. The blue and white sign was glimmering at us and to our own humour it was Dominos Pizza. The worker was closing up shop. In the parking lot was his friend having a long distance chit-chat. A closer look and we saw that he was a rickshaw driver. A bit of bribing, and a few exhales later we were on our way back to the hotel, lives in tact, memories made, and the sense not to do that again.

For the brilliance that one night was, we had to stick around for a few more. These are a few of my tails from India. There are more to come from this, and other countries I’ve been to. If you enjoyed this read please click LIKE below and SUBSCRIBE above.

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