Goan hospitality: (read hostility)
Continuing to share my experiences from GOA:
Observing different preferential treatment based on race, class, culture etc. is not new to me. I already have a few posts about it on this blog. This is another example on how appalling it can be to be mistreated in your country because of the race or country that you belong to.
We were on the Calangute beach and were looking for a quick snack and some beer before we could hit the waters for an exciting swim. We walked past a few shacks when we finally came across one that has some good German music playing. We took a seat at the back of the shack but noticed there were some empty seats facing the sea at the front. There was a fair number of white people in the shack, except for us there weren’t many Indians.
Wanting to look on at the activities on the sea front we asked the waiter if we could shift to the front. Just as we were doing that, the in-charge of the shack gave us a loud shout out. He has asked us in plain rude Hindi- “Who asked you to move up to those seats, get back. Those seats aren’t for you.” We had experienced enough traveling across India to know how serious he was. Dejected we moved to our seats at the back and grudgingly sipped our beer.
Only then did I notice at the back that they worked in that shack had caught hold of an Indian man who did not seem to come from an urban place. He was there with a big group of his friends and was probably wanting to bask in the glory of the Goan sun. He had excitedly jumped onto a sun bathing bed that was besides a white woman. The shack owner had noticed this and got hold of him. Next, what happened appalled me. The shack owner asked the guy to arrange for 500 Indian rupees and made loud comments like – “Have you ever in your life sat on a bed like that, that you were doing it now?” He hit the man at times. He got him a beer and forced him to gulp it down with a friend while he continued to hurl abuse at him. Next, a police man stood outside the shack to collect the guy to get some money out of him once the shack owner was done harassing him.
I don’t think this stuff was for the weak, anyone sitting by would have felt bad at whatever was going on. First the man was crazy to jump onto a bed, next the hotel owner gave him what could be the worst 20 minutes of his life; not sure what the policeman did. It was ironical, there sat these Germans listening to German songs, sipping on German beer unaware of what was going on with Indians in that shack. One of the waiters in the Shack was from Manali, which is in our home state. He was telling us that this shack belonged to a very powerful man from Goa and there had been times when they had busted eyes and faces of many miscreants at the shack. He warned us not to take anything to our hearts and let it go.
There we sat dejected, on our first afternoon in Goa. It was a mood buster. But, nonetheless we recovered. I’ll write about more experiences later.
Have you seen or experienced anything like this yourself ? Does it happen in other countries and cultures besides India as well ?