A goan get-away diving through the busy goan beaches

A Goan Get-Away Diving Through the Busy Goan Beaches

“This country (India) is a paradise for criminals” -Charles Shobharaj

April 6, 1986. That was the day when Charles Gurumukh Sobharaj, a notorious international criminal, was arrested from a Portuguese restaurant in Panaji, the capital of Goa.  The quote above was reportedly pronounced by Shobharaj, while being interrogated by Mumbai police inspector Mr. Madhukar Shinde. Goa was the forever-favourite retreat of the bikini killer. In other words, the beautiful settings and the historical backdrop of the Goan beaches offered a safe haven for this jail- bird, who used to enchant his victims, the police officers, the lawyers (it is said that a lady lawyer who appeared for Shobaraj in the court fell for him) and the journalists all alike.  No wonder Goa became a safe place for the criminals, where the tourism industry indirectly facilitated the thriving of underground mafias. From the early 60’s the place had become the hangout of the hippies.

But all this is old story. The Goans are trying to forget the shady past. Hippies had become a significant minority, and the law takes care of the drug and other mafias. Those who had experienced the enticing beauty of the picturesque Konkan landscape and the friendliness of the Goan people lately, would have realised the change. And, the Goan culture which perceives life as one for celebration still holds good. Ironically, the gruesome murder of the British teenager Scarlette Eden Keeling (in February) near Anjuna beach proved a serious set back to the sincere efforts of the authorities, in proving the destination safe and serene.

Sobharaj’s interest towards India could be attributed to the great Indian theory “adhithi devo bhava”. You cannot blame the Goans for Sobharaj’s exploits. Like any other outlaw, he just took leverage upon the loopholes of the country’s law and order system

Charles Shobraj Still in Goa?

But the Goans were not willing to let go of Sobharaj like that. They have quite skilfully “immortalized’ this man who willingly courted imprisonment for life and is now spending his days in a jail in Nepal (probably a ploy to escape the gallows that is kept ready for him in Thailand). As we reached “Okokaeiro”, a restaurant on NH 17 near the Kalungutte beach, we were welcomed on the verandah by none other than Charles Shobharaj, who was sitting on the same chair from where he was captured, with a certain kind of detachment written on his face — in the form of a statue. We were quite startled by the Goans’ ability to take the gravity of life with cheery ease.

Travelller’s Paradise!

As soon as we landed at the Goan airport at 3.15 pm, we started off to Panaji, the capital city. On our way, we witnessed the Portuguese legacy in full swing. Goa, a meeting point of various races, religions and cultures of the East and West over the centuries, has a multi-hued and distinctive lifestyle quite different from the rest of India. There were buildings that revealed the magnificence of the bygone era, and most of the constructions here, including churches and temples were architectural splendours.

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Опубликовано 31 May 2010 в 3:29 pm. Рубрика: A. Вы можете следить за ответами к этой записи через RSS.
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