Monday, January 08, 2007

Goan Gothic.

The Goan party scene is not what it used to be, edgy, dangerous, freaky: the techno parties in the jungle had to be stopped because of the muggings, rapes and murders, the parties are now confined to walled compounds with security guards patrolling and nice families frolicing. Still, there was a moment in the middle of New Years celebrations where I moved and melted to the base-beat and felt like I was being fucked by the Universe, a vast narcissistic fuck, curved space/time bouncing up and down on me, but it was fleeting and didn't have the multiple funky bodiless orgasms of earlier times, the functional anarchy of an ecstatic dance-crowd, syncopated gyrating madness that is the closest I've ever come to a Bollywood dance orgy. Instead, down in front of the speakers, I got buffeted about by a drunken techno mosh-pit, trampled in a riotous tribal stomp made bland by alcohol with plenty of elbows in the ear.

Thankfully there was no horrendous murder of tourists this year tho there is one story unfolding in the press that is quite mysterious, and feeding my paranoia about Indian lynch mobs targeting Europeans. A British guy was found lynched by villagers in dusty Nowheresville, accused of following a peasant woman as she tried to go for her morning ablutions. It's come out that he rang his family in England on his first day in Goa telling them he'd met 2 strangers on Bagga Beach and they'd attached themselves to him and he now feared for his life. 3 days later he caught a train to Bombay but got off at Nowheresville when the train stopped inadvertently for a few minutes. It seems he'd been beaten to death then left hanging for 3 days before found and his family feel it's not the villagers who lynched him but the 2 strangers he was afraid of, yet they have not been traced.

His fellow passengers on the train said he didn't seem scared, no one looked to be stalking him and he smoked some smelly substance in their midst that they had to complain about to get him to stop. But those in Goa who dealt with him said he acted very nervous, always looking over his shoulder. It's weird, did the strangers in Goa get to him or did he get lynched by peasants? (Death-threats from 2 sides within a week in India is very weird!) Every day the press has a different angle. It amazes me that someone could get in trouble in their first week in India, his behavior showed him to be very troubled and he probably did oggle a woman in his pot-haze, not knowing how taboo this is, still it didn't deserve death. I've been here for years and got myself in lots of predicaments and it's not too hard to shake off unwanted attentions, you're either extremely apologetic as you back-away or you just scream, "fuck off!" then run to the police, unless you're lost in Nowheresville, then anything can happen if you outrage the local customs.

The one violent death in Goa itself that I was told of happened right on Vagatore Beach where I hang out. A Nepali boy was found dead in the bushes on the clifftop, but there seems to be no investigation as nothing more has been reported since, he was a nobody, an itinerant worker, they die by the thousands in India, and are brushed off like flies. I heard the gossip that he was in a romantic liason with a Swiss woman who had spent a fortune running a restaurant on the beach and maybe the goons who benefited from her patronage were jealous the boy would start to divert all that cash his way. Now he's just another ghost haunting the Goan foreshores and nobody cares except the Swiss woman, who realizes it's not a simple affair for a foreigner to run a business in India.

The newspapers here rarely tell the raw facts about foreigner casualties as maybe they're scared of turning off the tourist trade on which the whole state seems dependent. I can't get over the story of 2 years ago when a British girl was murdered by some goondas who'd picked her up at a Hilltop party. The media said she'd been slipped a drug and died from an overdose in the room to which she'd been taken. I've since been told a further extrapolation upon the sordid affair, the gorillas from the far hinterland, attracted by tales of hot sex with the firangis, had actually taken her to the rocks on Vagatore beach and raped her. She'd come to her senses in the middle of the attack and being a hefty girl had fought them hard till they had to beat her to death to stop the screaming.

It makes me sick thinking about it, apparently her kidnapping had happened right in front of me, she was heaved off her chai-stall mat by the huge brutes where I also sat at the party, and only an Israeli guy, "nogod love him", tried to stop them, asking the girl if she was OK to which she blurbled drug-fucked nonsense which he thought was an affirmative, and they were able to carry her off without anyone else questioning them.

In my oblivious trance and innocent naivite I never see the bad shit that goes on around me but my Indian friends see all and report it to my amazement later. Thugs are always stupid and cause trouble everywhere they go thus they were easily traced and caught but I'm told they were such huge, ugly bastards even the cops were scared of them, nobody as big and brave to take them on, so for a short time they wreaked havoc wherever they went. India's a vast place with the ability to produce monsters of horrific proportions, and I pray to the pantheon of 'no-gods' that I never meet one. For instance, take the story raging in the Indian press at the moment.

A serial killer has been caught in an outer suburb of New Delhi, the servant of an industrialist, who has murdered maybe 30 children and women, (it's still moot as to how much the master participated, it seems the servant did the butchering in his own bathroom with the master rarely home). The bodies were cut up and dumped in a drain at the back of the house, tho their torsos were missing and the butchery done with precision, thus there is the sci-fi scenario they may also have been harvested of organs for the illicit transplant trade in a dodgy hospital right next door, (this urban myth has been debunked, the servant says he cannibalised the corpses and flushed body bits down the toilet over the weeks.)

38 children have gone missing from a nearby village with the police doing nothing about it for the last few years as they were peasants and nobody gives a shit about the poor. Under narco-analysis the servant has confessed to intense sexual frustration, his reason for the murders, and only raping the bodies after death, a necrophiliac as well as a cannibal. All India is beating it's collective breast over the horror, seemingly "normal" citizens indulging in crimes so awful a Gothic novel wouldn't do it justice. Of course, every modern metropolis has this ghastly phenomena, in Auz I'm possessed with the nightmare that there's still serial killers at large on the lonely highways bumping off hitch-hikers as so many have disappeared over the years, and not just by Ivan Millat, the "Backpacker Killer."

I myself had the most relaxing time of late, in Goa laying on the beach every day after much swimming, eating scrumptious cheap seafood and dancing at the few parties, to bed early most nights, with no Indian friends to give me grief like they usually do, the cultural differences being so great. And now I'm in Bombay again, ready for more adventures in the urban jungle, tho there's a 1a.m. curfew and the cops chase us wherever we try to sit and relax. My favorite place for roaming at night is the illicit chai stalls at Churchgate Station but at 1a.m. the cops show up and blow whistles and everybody runs, particularly the chai-stall owners who rush about pushing their trolleys in such a panic it makes me imagine there's been an atomic-bomb warning.

My last Gothic tale is of yet another serial killer, this time on the loose in the Churchgate vicinity where we roam, tagged as the "Beer-Can Killer", he kills sleeping street waifs and cabbies in their cars by bashing their heads in with a rock or stabbing them repeatedly, and he always leaves behind a beer can as his m.o. (He has just claimed his 7th victim, a strong man of 35 found stabbed to death on a walk-over bridge not 200 yards from my hotel. The Times of India reports all the victims had had "unnatural sex" before death = tho TOI prides itself on it's progressiveness, when it comes to sexual matters, it's as medieval as Al Qaeda. But it does look like it's a homosexual killer, which is a subject the Press gets mighty excited about.) This is why the police are assiduous in chasing us all off the streets by 1a.m., they want a clear view of the movements of night-people and maybe they'll spot the madman creeping about. Returning to my hotel at 2a.m. thru the deserted haunted alley-ways I'm super-spooked.

Maybe I'm a morbid fuckwit or a jaded dilettante but it all adds frisson to my safaris into the jungles of India: it might be a leopard that gets me, (only today a wild leopard wandered into outer Bombay city and lodged himself on some buckets of cool water in a backyard bathroom), or a lynch-mob or a deranged killer, but I'm such a freak, usually the goondas run from me, (actually I'm near always chaperoned by friends and no one gets near me.) Chaos rains down about me, as if I'm a "Jonah", and I rarely notice a thing, like a child lost in the forest, I float about blissfully unawares, try to be kind to all the animals and mostly get sweetness beamed back at me, for the truth is the majority of Indians are gorgeous souls just trying to stay alive and succeed, tho if you cross them badly they'll blacken your face and march you about naked before they lynch you.