With the High Court Bench of Bombay at Goa monitoring the ban on noise pollution in the northern coastal belt of Goa, the dream of playing loud music beyond the 10 pm deadline became a reality in Dream Forest, behind Dream Beach in Vagator.
There was music, not deafening to disturb the neighbourhood; there was a mix of revellers, with the majority being upscale Indian tourists and a few foreign faces; and there were drugs and alcohol.
The ‘Tantra Mantra Gathering’ as the event was showcased on social media began at sundown and was on till dawn signalling that the party scene in North Goa is a long way from being snuffed out.
For a change, the party did not attract the attention of the locals because of its location. Reaching the party spot entailed going through a circuit that was scripted through a yellow, green and finally a red light.
“Come follow us,” said Sheera as she and her group of friends began their descent to the party spot. “Based on the message, we will first see a bright yellow light. Can you see it there?” asked Sheera as she directed her colleagues towards the light.
The hundred-metre-odd walk through the beach, interspersed with the occasional ferocious bark, ended towards rocks from where a green light became visible where some of the girls had to switch on the torch lights from their mobiles.
As some party freaks walked through the ebbing tide to escape slipping on rocks, the red light became evident but to reach the red light, one had to cross a ticket counter or walk even further down the rocks for a free but precarious free entry.
The vibe inside Dream Forest was far different than bamboo forest of the 1980s and 1990s because here the locals were kept away and the few that were around functioned more as human scanners then party animals.
The music at Dream Forest was bereft of melody – just one constant drum beat with phrasing and yet the monotony was enjoyed by those present – some ladies exquisitely dressed to be in a dream forest.
“Would you like some monkey? Do you want it?” would blurt some not so familiar faces occasionally. As the night wore on, crowds started flowing in thick and past midnight the party seemed to be on full flow.
Sitting in a corner of the beach, before the green light, were a group of individuals enjoying a camp fire. “It’s not for the cold but memories of the old days. Parties today have become too monotonous. Too much emphasis on money,” said Akshay as he passed the chillum around.
As they smoked, some of the elder tourist’s reminisced the days when DJs switched to happy music as dawn used to break in. “Hardly any old DJs performing now in Goa. Goa Gil passed away recently,” muttered a party freak.
The Tantra Mantra Gathering was sold as a three-day party with the last set advertised to start at 5.30 am and to end at 7.30 am. “It is dark now and we don’t think it is safe to get back to our vehicle at this time. We will wait till daybreak,” confessed Vivek as he sipped his beer.
The party on Dream Beach may have appeared meaningless to the non-intoxicated but for a change, despite the loud decibels, the sound did not travel into the neighbourhood to disturb the locals.
With sunrise set to break in, the baker’s horn was a reminder of days when fun could be held without disturbing the sleep of others.