This morning I decided to give the beach a skip and walk along Campal into Panaji. And what a pleasure it was, since the pavements have been done up since my last visit.
And this stretch goes past the lovely bungalows of Campal and the sports complex ( which had a fair no of walkers and joggers). Here I saw a board announcing a ‘Senior citizens park’ – so I wandered in that way, past the very pretty Fabindia outlet to a large parking lot of the Sports complex and a small stretch along the riverside with seats – a quiet and pretty spot. Along this stretch is also the local Bal Bhavan, in which I could see a lovely children’s park.
Panaji is the IFFI venue and the 13th edition is to be inaugurated tomorrow. All preparations are on and further along Campal was the stretch with Kala Academy and IFFI head office. The decorations and signage were going up with the huge cutouts of the icons of Indian cinema – Amitabh and Rajnikant- adorning the entrance.
And from here the pavement is along the river – which in these last few years has become lifeless. Since the mining is shut, along with it so has the barge traffic. Of course, 5 huge, fancy looking ships are static at this site, the floating casinos. These ships and gambling are issues of some political one-up-manship in this state. However, No one will shut them down as they are a major source of state revenue.
Then I crossed the road to stroll through the fish market – this where the heart of Goan is. This morning the catch must have good, at 7.30 there is still a lot for sale – the bargaining is hectic and the women selling the catch don’t back down easily. I could see triumphant customers and kolis, each patting themselves on the back for winning over the other.
At the end of this I realized that Panaji was already awake, the street was bustling with school going kids and it was too warm to walk the 3-4 km back. So I took the bus, a first for me here, and was home for Rs 8 in 10 minutes. All in all a good walk, watching Panaji wake up.