"It's another world here where hundreds of people dance but there is no audible music," says a shack owner at the famous Anjuna beach. For anyone looking from far, things may be a bit weird and funny but they are not, he adds.
Goa's acid parties finding their origin in the 60s hippie culture coupled with doping are undergoing a generational change here since last couple of years. The usual ear deafening loud music has evaporated into silence, lessening the risk of getting caught by the police. The 'silent' parties with music played in headphones, connected to a DJ system through Wi-Fi are slowly becoming a huge trend to avoid police raids.
The reveller gets to enjoy three different bands depending on his choice of music allowing him to shift from one to another. The trend setters for this new-generation partying are two clubs -- one in extreme North and another in extreme South of the state. The club owners claim that they have many times hosted such 'silent' parties to spare their events being shut down after 10 pm under Noise Pollution Act.
Also, they claim to conduct such parties without any narcotics. "Rave parties are not new for this part of Goa. But they are getting silent now. The organisers prefer mute parties to avoid any trouble," said a shack owner from Anjuna, refusing to be identified. These parties which generally begin from October onwards and run into new year, have now drifted a bit and start in mid-December and continue till May, he said. The shoddy and secluded places in the coastline are home to these silent parties.
With hundreds of people dancing madly to the music, beamed through their headphones, things are 'quiet' outside. "Actually its pin drop silence and you can just see people dancing," said another shack owner on the beach which gained notoriety after British teenager Scarlet Eden Keeling was found dead there three years ago. The girl had died of overdose on drugs cocktail.
"These parties are usually advertised through internet and fliers, which are circulated among a handful of people especially tourists and foreigners," he said adding that the event is publicised in advance to get more crowd. But there are few which are spread by word of mouth and also on short notice to avoid police, he added. According to him, the silent parties have been happening since last couple of years.
The hills around Anjuna and Vagator area and far off places like Ashwem in North and Palolem in South, host such events. And what about police nexus? To which he said, "They don't flag down these parties." However, State Director General of Police Aditya Arya said they are not in know of such a trend. "But if that is happening people should inform police.
We will crack down on them," he said adding the police cannot go on a wild goose chase. If parties happen without drugs and with silent music then police will not stop them, he clarified. Arya said that state Anti Narcotic Cell sleuths are alert round the clock especially in the tourist season to curb these parties.
The trend of 'silent' parties began in Goa somewhere in 2006. Neptune Point, a club at Palolem in North Goa, still holds mute parties every Saturday. The owners of this place say that they don't allow doing drugs there. "Its pure music and dancing," Suraj Ballikar, manager of the place said.