Will the Goa-Mumbai Cruise Go the Tejas Way?


Will the Goa-Mumbai Cruise Go the Tejas Way?

Illustration: Arati Gujar

Mumbai is all abuzz over the newly launched Angriya cruise, which made its trial journey from Mumbai on Wednesday. Geared toward the discerning Goa Bro, the 15-hour cruise is meant to Make Goa Great Again by convincing globetrotters to take a local beach holiday instead of a pill in Ibiza.

To this end, the Angriya features first-class amenities, including two gourmet meals at a selection of eight restaurants and a separate brunch – because brunch isn’t just a meal, it’s a spiritual experience. The ₹7,000 base price will ensure that that the “cattle class” remain on dry shores, far from the splendours of the Arabian Sea. Those who make it onto the luxury watercraft will glide along the selfie-made Konkan coast, where there’s #nofilterneeded save for a soupçon of Valencia for your own, unpicturesque face.

The Angriya will also have 24h cafes where drunk uncles can sober up with a brisk Americano to the face. There’s a swimming pool, games room, and lounge, with surfaces optimally designed to cut lines and plush carpet to absorb the whines of the guy whose yacht is a million times better than this ghatiya boat. There are even more expensive suites, and first-class service that includes interesting trivia, just in case anyone is sober enough to learn about Konkan culture, or high enough to take an interest in nautical rope knots.

So how could this peaceful, idyllic adventure possibly go wrong? Because there’s no question that it must. If we’ve learned anything from the Coldplay Global Citizen concert, where attendees pledged to support sanitation but left MMRDA looking like Deonar, it’s that too much of a good thing will inevitably go bad.

The Angriya’s life cycle is as promising as an Imtiaz Ali film.

To be fair to these rich Coldplay kids, they probably weren’t aware that they were signing up to save the environment. That, or they were protesting against the imposition of charitable giving when they just wanted to slow jam to “Yellow”. But what about the Tejas Express fiasco, in which an entirely different luxury transport service from Mumbai to Goa was vandalised before it could start? Expect lifejackets and safety floats to be nicked, windows to be smashed, and a Pappu ?Pinky graffiti to magically appear on the boat overnight. Maybe we should even prepare ourselves to find the Angriya scuttled at the bottom of the ocean tomorrow, thanks to a game of Truth or Dare instigated by an overzealous Australian tourist?

Assuming for now that the cruise makes it safely out of the harbour, there are still countless opportunities to fuck it up not just for yourself, but for everyone around you. The Angriya’s life cycle is as promising as an Imtiaz Ali film. It may seem like it has what it takes to be successful, backed by money and pedigree. It may even be mildly entertaining. But then, it will inexorably go downhill and after a while, we’ll forget about it completely.

Perhaps a bachelor party will pop its champagne cork into an auntie’s eye, inviting public outrage and lawsuits fraught with women’s rights activists. Or, a group of Kendrick Lamar enthusiasts will try to actually fill the swimming pool full of liquor, then dive in it, leading to several tragic cases of burning eyes and pruny skin. Well-heeled Jain businessmen will storm the live omelette station and insist on an eggless menu. A lesser Kapoor will throw her Birkin into the sea and send an attendant diving to fish it out, while her friend who missed getting on the boat tries to land his chopper on the upper deck, slaying six in the process. An Indian family will decide to go for a family holiday à la Dil Dhadakne Do – the people won’t be as pretty, the outcome equally disastrous if not more. Net-net, it’s probably safer to take the train.

Before we know it, the Angriya cruise line will be reduced to a battered shell of its former self, sagging with the broken dreams of holidaymakers making a last, desperate attempt to enjoy a Goa trip. It would be great to be optimistic and think that this time, we’ll appreciate something nice. But if history is anything to go by, it looks like that ship has sailed.