VIII: S.O.S

There was an episode of Eastenders a few years back – I remember it distinctly – when Alfie Moon turn’d up at the square at the beginning, & by the end of it was behind the bar of the Queen Vic. A similar thing has just happened to me. By a blend of timing, tenacity & sheer front, I am now a Goa DJ. There are two venues in south Goa that host the silent discos that allow the Goan rave tradition to continue. At one venue there are three channels going on at once, & at the other – the Alpha Bar – there are two. Next Thursday I will be sharing a channel with this sound New Zealand fella I’ve met – & getting paid fifty quid for the privelige of playing my own disco tunes to 300 punters, half of which will be birds in varying degrees of hotness.

I’ve settled reyt well into Patnem, buzzing about on my scooter in the mornings, finding idyllic spots to compose my Indiad sonnets, then spending the day relaxing, swimming & messing about in the giant adult playground that is Goa. It reminds me of the Shelleys/Byron mentality as they lived in Italy, something which has always inspir’d my life. Being here has echoes of when the Shelleys hit Bagnia di Lucca & declared it quite sardonically to be full of the English. Palolem & Patnem form a little colony of constantly changing ex-pats. Its kinda fun, tho, especially as we outnumber the Australians. It’s the Ashes y’see, & I’ve been loving waking up at about 7am, switching on the TV & settling down to chai & breakfast wishing the boys well Down Under.

Next to where we live is a restaurant called Capital, an organic affair, where the top djs & party organizers meet every day. This is how I got my leads to the Alpha Bar – some of them were keen to hear my disco, but I hit a brick wall of apathy with their own disco dj, especially when I declared that most disco was dodgy. However, he had the decency to point me in the right direction & I found the Alpha Bar – an open-air affair with great aesthetics & a stage. After a few business –like chats with the boos, sat on chairs drinking chai & arguing over prices like any other Indian transaction, I pulled the thing off. God bless Saraswathi!

The family we are staying with are lovely. There is a wee woman called Antonetta – they are Christian – whose husband passed away only in September. She is regurlaly bring us food & is as sweet as a button. She has two sons in their twenties – Joel & James – who seem happy to have me, Charlie & our dreadlocked female friend staying with them. We have the majority of this rather large villa, while she stays in a shack outside it & the boys sleep in the last room. The house is set in quite spacious grounds, where a pig, two dogs & a family of crows all vie for our scraps. Joel’s cool, & took me & Charlie on a fishing expedition two nights back – we caught some eel, which the new Gordon ramsey – Charlie – cooked up & instantly declared to be too bony & never again. Even so, both mine & Charie’s cooking is increasing in quality every day. We basically drive up into Chaudi – the nearest town – shop for fish, veg, chicken, fruit & spices & ask Antonetta what to do with tem.

I’ve also met an old mate. I was sitting in a chai shop when I heard ‘I think I know you’ – I turned round & there was Danish Rita – she used to see my mate Baldy – clutching her new born baby. It tunrs out shes married now & has two kids, & has the ability to heal people through her hands with ‘the light.’ Her husband is cool, despite not having a drink in ten years, & its been lovely getting to know them. It turns out they love Thiruvannamali – the place where I began translating the Kural two years ago – & are hoping to move there.

Time in this little bubble of pleasure is flying – as was I the other day when I learnt the lesson that drink driving is fine if ya going slow, but drinking, driving & smoking charas is a definite no-no. I almost ran into this group of Indians – not touching one mind – when all of a sudden each began clutching mythical broken shoulders & screaming in agony. Last night I saw one of ‘em, who declares he’s been to hospital, it cost him 6000 rupeees & he’s complained to the police – apparently he took my photo & registration number – if I give him the 6000 rupees he’ll take back the complaint. ‘Mate, I’m from Burnley,’ I replied – he didn’t understand what I meant, but he got the intent – you can’t blag a blagger, end of. I mean, I’m a top Goa Dj now & I’ve only got Kylie Minogue’s ‘I Should be so Lucky’ on my ipod.

Patnem
2/12/10

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