Chat with a “Russian” at Betalbatim Beach
It was while walking along the beautiful Betalbatim Beach (popular for sunsets) in South Goa that I spotted a caucasian couple chilling in the sea. It was about a couple minutes later that the man decided that he had had enough of swimming and started strolling on the beach. Observing him closely, I sensed that an interesting feature article could be written on him. And so I approached and asked him if he would become a subject for my article, to which he responded positively and gladly agreed. So, here is presenting a few interesting facts about this man named Andre, which I obtained during my conversation with him at the scenic and pristine Betalbatim Beach with the “setting sun” serving as an extremely beautiful background.
a. About Andre:
“Russian” said Andre when I asked him about his nationality. When I further quizzed him on which part of Russia does he come from, he emphatically said “I come from Moscow”. In terms of profession he said “I work in the editorial department of a publishing house”. Furthermore, I then proceed to ask him more about his workplace, to which he responded by stating “The publishing house that I worked for has published a collection of stories written by an Indian Yogi named Shailendra Sharma”.
b. Andre’s experience in Goa and the reason behind his visit:
“Overall, it has been great” said Andre when I asked him about his experience in Goa and its beaches. He also added that this was his first trip to Goa. When asked about the reason behind this visit he stated “I and my friend have been visiting places in northern India such as Rishikesh and Shimla for last two months which were extremely cold, and so to warm up, we planned a trip to Goa”. As for Goan beaches visited so far he said “The beach stretch comprising of Uttorda, Majorda, and Betalbatim is all that I and my friend have visited so far”.
c. Andre’s fascination with Indian “spiritualism” based culture:
“Mysticism in the Indian culture is what fascinates me” said Andre as our conversation turns towards spirituality. He further interestingly adds that “Russian and the Indian culture both share a common bond in the form of mysticism”. However, he is saddened by the fact that spiritualism/mysticism that was once a part of the rich Russian culture has gradually over the years diminished. When asked what could be reason for this decline in spirituality in his country he candidly admitted that it was impossible to pinpoint the precise reason but, he is sure that the slow drop in mysticism happened due to the direct impact of the Russian revolution on the culture.
With dark rain clouds fast gathering around the Betabatim beach, it was time to end the wonderful conversation I had with Andre. And so I click a picture of him, thank him for his time and patience, and gradually walk away enjoying the scenic view of the sunset in search of yet another story worth telling.