Sailesh, who always drives us around when we are in Goa, may or may not know much about climate change. But he does know only too well what is happening to his native Goa, of which the extraordinary heat and rain are only the symptoms. They’re chopping down all the trees to build more and more houses; that’s making the weather change, he said. One day all the trees will have gone; what’ll it be like then, what’ll we do? He asks of no one in particular.
His fears are only too well founded. Spurred by non-Goan speculators, rapacious property developers are swamping Goa’s green fields and forests with a lava flow of brick and concrete.Estates, apartment blocks, garish ‘luxury’ villas sprout like venomous mushrooms.
I thought of these, and of what Sailesh had said, and the morning pao and pui were somehow different. They seemed to leave a bitter aftertaste, like a promise broken, a pledge dishonoured. A foretaste of ruin in paradise?
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