On New Year’s eve, the otherwise abstemious residents of Goa prepare to do something they have been deprived of the rest of the year – party.
And Goa’s streets are populated by a peculiar type of gang activity.
Everywhere, young boys wave your car down and ask you for money. They yell “Old man! Old man!” and point to a straw-filled dummy of what is supposed to be a dying Father Time, propped up on the roadside. And people make a contribution to the fund whatever the fund is going to well, fund.
One afternoon, a friend and I watched a bunch of kids and their uncles joust with the traffic. One very drunken uncle lit a cigarette and accidentally threw the match on the Father Time, which went up in flames.
Then he tried to put out the flames by peeing on the effigy.
We left as the scene started to get ugly. When we passed by that way an hour later, the boys were back, happily chanting, “Old man! Give money!”
Clearly, in no time they had found a different effigy.
We took a closer look. Slumped in the Old Man chair, lost in blissful miasma, was the uncle. He held a sugarcane scythe and even that was drooping