I am making a mental note. Many mental notes in fact are banging away at the back of the old brain but foremost among them is to inform those showing signs of coming for a protracted visit, that I will be spending Christmas and New Year in Yemen. Why Yemen? Why not, I say. I know no one in Yemen and the word has a nice ring to it.
The thing is, I like people. But I like them in small doses, When they decide that they will “do Goa” for Christmas and New Year, they don’t consult me. They presume since Goa is a holiday resort, everyone living in Goa is on holiday. One has to put life as we know it on hold, change appointments, cancel assignments one should not cancel and worst of all one has to keep one’s home spotless and one’s table full. That’s takes a lot of work, sweat, blood and two blisters from flying oil. Yet, I am making a prediction for 2010. I will forget about the Yemen mental note and when people I barely know tell me they will visit me at ‘Chrissmiss’, I will slip into my Goan avatar and be all warm and welcoming. And then complain again. That’s my prediction. Let’s see if I’m right.
So while we’re in Dire Prediction Mode, let’s make some for 2010. This is going to be the Year of the Tribes. They found that they could gather together vast amounts of tribals who could hold the entire state to ransom by blocking arterial roads. And all the punishment they received was a refreshing shower from a badly aimed water cannon. The tribes are going to ask for an arm and a leg from the taxpayer and one hopes the body count is not too high.
Goa Bachao Abhiyan will fragment much to the delight of our Body of Builders in the Secretariat, unless Dr Oscar Rebello shrugs off the barbs aimed at him and just concentrates on saving Goa. Let’s face it. No one has his charisma and no one can galvanize people from all walks of life the way he can. If he says enough is enough and settles down with his stethoscope and finger on the pulse of his patients rather than the pulse of the people, Goa’s got a problem on her hands.
Manohar Parrikar will find that a sort-of high up position in the Central BJP leadership is not as satisfying as being the big frog in the small pond of Goa. His style of functioning will be an anathema to the Central BJP leadership. If Parrikar flies North and Oscar sticks to doctoring, we might as well move to Yemen.
There’s going to be a lot of trouble at the picturesque island village of San Jacinto. The villagers allowed Mauvin Godinho to “develop” connectivity to their piece of paradise and now they will have to pay the price. Nothing comes for free and they will have to watch their peace eroded day by day as hotels, clubs and other resort related activities take root.
The second biggest killer in Goa will be water-borne diseases, the biggest killer – our roads. Because of this, a sewerage network will be initiated in various parts of Goa. Places like the North Goa beach belt that are already saturated with buildings, high water tables and lots of raw sewage will just have to continue living in denial.
We will win many more awards as Number 1 among the small states of India, or among the states on the West Coast. This is because the judges will be wined and dined in the best parts of Goa and those vying for the Number 1 ranking will be their tour guides.
There’s going to be a lot of noise over the Professional Tax going to be levied on all professionals in Goa, but it will stay because the Government is quite broke while the politicians and bureaucrats become billionaires.
The Government of Russia will set up a police bureau in Goa to investigate crimes against their nationals out for a good time in warm, sunny Goa. It will be one of their conditions to the Nuclear Deal agreement they will sign with India.
Digambar Kamat will resign as Chief Minister, because even he has to feel some shame at the rotten state the state is in.
And my last prediction or rather hope is that all these predictions – except the resignation of Digambar Kamat – will be wrong.