Searching for medicinal herb was an adventure last Wednesday for Scott, his visiting friend JB, and me. We began at the hippie market in Anjuna half expecting the scent of ganja to be wafting out of the tented stalls or the shacks that line the beach. Scott even approached some young kids with dreadlocks sitting on the beach but they turned out to be faux rastas ( “We don’t smoke!??!” like why would you even think that, old man? …Times have changed) and no help to us. Other likely candidates were approached without success. WTF kind of hippie market is this anyway?!
After a few hours in the hot sun looking at fake Indian chotchkes probably made in China, the three of us got lucky. An Italian flower child of 2012 whispered the magic words in Scott’s ear. Go this way then turn left, that way and to the right, down the beach past the rock with the moss, up the path behind the ice cream vendor, see the sadhu and blink three times, be alert to the rainbow t-shirted dancing girl and take two rights a left and another flight of stairs, wander a few more miles until you see Bob Marley’s image all around you. That ‘s the spot. And sure enough, Rohan’s dad’s angel face led us to scoring enough tarballs to get our boy Scotty through some tough times.
The puveyor was acting a little nervous as to how we found him…He was a young fellow with deep black eyes and hair. A legitimate shopkeeper with everything to lose. It was clear he needed to be told Scott’s story about going to goa. Upon hearing of the cancer, this man looked searchingly into my eyes for several moments of hesitation until he finally softened his defensive stance in total trust and brought out the highest of his four grades of quality. When we left, he grabbed my hand and said softly to me that he admired my strength, that he wishes for Scott a full recovery or at least no pain at all, and that we could come back again but to please not disclose his location or vocation to anyone. And I have kept my word. To find these angels you need to be traveling with mojo, moxie, and Morgan to have the veils open up onto the other worlds that exist all around us, but especially in India.