When I had nearly finished seeing the Se Cthedral to my satisfaction, and was on the staircase just outside the front door, I spotted our tourist bus, which was a distinct flourescent orange in colour, start moving out of the parking lot slowly. So I ran as fast as I possibly could and crossed (ie. jumped) the gates (which were kept locked) on the backside of the compound, and reached the bus, just in time. Only to learn that it wasn't leaving after all and was just sort of adjusting its position in the crowded make-shift parking lot! There were about five more minutes or so, to go before it was due to leave, so I got out again, and photographed the Se cathedral from the distance. This one turned out to be a fantastic shot, with a tree curving in, just a little above the broken tower, thus also outlining the shape of the church beautifully.
Then our bus started for a remote part of goa, outside of the urban areas of panaji, margao and such like. As I had written earlier, goa is a very old place, with its past lost in antiquity. So we were headed now to have a look at two famous temples, both hundreds of years old. First was the Mangeswari temple, which is where the Guinnes world record setting, much acclaimed Indian playback singer Lata Mangeskar hails from. Something untoward occured at this temple for which I am still cross with myself. Not for what I did, but for what I didnt do. Just moments after entering the temple compound, and only after taking one or two pictures from the front, I decided to take a walk around the temple. I saw a foreigner dressed in shorts, with enough tatooes to cover me, you and both our mothers in law, trying to get his camera to work. What he did was, place the camera on a wall opposite the side-face of the temple, and then rush to the stair case that led to the sidewise entrance of the temple. The camera was evidenty rigged up for auto click, and seconds before the picture got taken, our guy raised his right hand in a distinct Hitler salute. I knew it the monent I saw it, and sure as hell, when I looked above his head, at the temple, I saw a bold swastika, painted on the wall above the side door. The swastika, if you know, is a holy symbol of the Hindus, but had unfortunately been used in the past, by a maniac, by the name of Hitler, as a symbol of his ethnically and racially prejudiced designs. In India, its still a holy symbol, as it has been, since god alone knows when, but in the rest of the world its now understandably associated with the aforementioned heinious movement. It was the presence of the swastika that prompted that fcukwitted neo nazi to raise his right arm in the unmistakable "heil hitler" pose.
I was still sort of under shock, from what I had seen and inferred (by putting two and two together, after spotting the swastika on the temple) when he saw me staring at him, and offered a "Hello", as if nothing strange had just taken place. I recovered, didnt reply to his hello and asked him straight away, "why did you do that hitler salute?". And then guess what, the guy avoided my gaze, took his camera, and got the hell out of there as soon as he could, realising that his deed hadn't gone unnoticed. And thats why I am cross with myself. I let him go. The problem is that, few Indians have a clue, about whats a hitler salute, and the others that saw it, saw nothing wrong. It being a Sunday, the watchmen and security at the temple were also not present (I tried to report it to them). So realising that couldnt do much singlehandedly, I just followed the bas-tard, and stole 2 pictures of him on the sly, using my cam mobile. I have already send the pictures to the Anti Defamation League (A.D.L.), and will soon be sending it to the tourism ministry of India. They should run a check about the backgrounds of every foreigner that they allow into India and debar people with neo-nazi connections. Else, for all we know, some of the next crop of visitors to India, may include the likes of Andreas Strassmier (the german national and commited neo-nazi, who stayed in Elohim City in midwestern USA, and brainwashed the mind of a certain Timothy McVeigh, to get him to carry out the Oklahoma city bombing) and surviving members of Screwdriver (ian stuart donaldson is already dead), the doyen of white power music. If that dont work, I plan to alert the news papers and maybe even the embassies. In any event this has to stop. Foreigners come to india as visitors, and should behave as such - 99% of them do. If the other 1% want to wear their racial stock on their sleeves, they can do so in germany or england or where ever the hell they hail from, and leave India well alone, else face the concequences.
WHAT YOUR TAKE ON THIS INCIDENT? HAVE ANY ONE OF YOU EVER NOTICED ANYTHING SIMILAR? AND WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST SHOULD BE DONE?