The closure of Curlies beach shack and restaurant in Anjuna doesn't seem to be having a major economic ripple effect in the area, even as citizens said now the peace and quiet of the past have returned to the place.
Says Lourdina (name changed on request), who sat on a rocking chair watching the news of the eight Congress MLAs switching over to the BJP, “The closure of the beach shack appears to have transported the village to a life 25 years back,”
“Guests that came to Curlies only stopped by to ask for directions to the place. Most of their guests came in cars with MH, KA and other Indian registrations. Indians flocked to Curlies, and they rarely contributed to helping our business. They never even bothered to buy a water bottle from us,” added Lourdina.
Adds Alfredo (name changed on request), who runs an eatery close to Curlies, “This village feels like the old days. Foreigners and [village] people are my main customers. Foreigners actually stopped coming because of the noise created by Curlies. It is peaceful now, but for a short while, because he is well connected. We have to make the best of this break we have got.”
Curlies, until its demolition, was a party spot frequented by those who enjoyed loud music that gave them an adrenaline rush. Loud music, according to families living around Curlies, tormented the elderly and youngsters wanting to study.
However, 70-year-old Bosco Rodrigues, the next-door neighbour of the place, remained unperturbed. “The music did not bother us. We used to earn money by charging people to park on our property. Once the free parking in Curlies was full, our pay parking area used to get full. With no parking now, we have been hit, and I hope the place restarts soon,” said Bosco.
Bosco Rodrigues, Curlies neighbour
“People who go to Curlies hardly use us (motorcycle pilots or even taxis). Most people who go there do so with their own transport, or with rented cars or bikes. Tourists would stop at our stand to ask for directions to Curlies, and it does not make much of a difference to us if Curlies is open or closed,” stated motorcycle pilot Pranesh Naik.
Danish, who runs a cigarette stall on the way to Curlies, said, “I used to make a sale of around Rs 2,000 a day when Curlies was opened. I am now, as you can see, sitting and watching videos on my phone. Business is bad, and with there still being time for the flea market to start, I am hoping for the best.”
Pranesh Naik, motorcycle pilot
Kyara, who is of German and Italian descent, said, “I was born in Goa and used to go to Curlies often. I liked the place and am sad it is being demolished, though. I suppose there must be some reason why they are doing it. I am not aware of the exact reasons, but as a person who used to enjoy frequenting the place, I feel some sense of loss.”
People involved in pay parking and roadside stalls selling cigarettes and water claimed to be hit by the demolition of certain structures of Curlies.
Parking attendant Ravi informed us, “I am from Jharkhand and am paid and looked after well by my boss. I handle the pay parking here, charging up to Rs 400 for four hours and more. This place used to be full, and you can now see that there is nobody here. Some people still come to park here because they visit other restaurants, but it was full when Curlies was open.”