I have walked past this tuc tuc day after day, year after year each time I come to Goa.
When I first noticed it against the wall of a cottage next to Patnem beach rusting away I could only think of the word eyesore. Why didn’t somebody just get rid of the bloody thing, tidy it up? Make this rather serene place the way it deserves. With time I became used to seeing it there, it became part of that walk, part of the scenery, part of my experience. Each time I would see the rust patches and time subtle as it is prevented me seeing change happening in front of my eyes, but the process was inexorable, rust patches growing larger, distinctive yellow & black paint peeling bit by bit. From year to year with the intervening monsoon the decay would accelerate and each return showed the changes. Every part of it slowly seeping back to the earth from where it came. And yet it was always there, always reliably there. Changing but at the same time constant.
And then the other day walking along that track to the beach that I’ve walked down hundreds of times before I see the tuc tuc and a local with an angle grinder cutting it into movable chunks. I stop and watch as sparks fly, as he brings out a tool box & then proceeds to salvage any parts from inside the engine that can be removed & re-used. When I return next to the same spot there is nothing left save a few bits of rusty metal on the ground. The eyesore has gone. The tuc tuc that was made with the sole purpose of carrying people up and down the roads & tracks of Goa ended its days static & rusting away quietly in the shade, work done. But this end wasn’t really the end, just a pause, it morphed into the scenery, became part of the land, it rusted and decayed and finally with parts salvaged, metal recycled became something else, energy and molecules gone, recycled, energy moved. But is this the end?
I dislike the idea of life being a teacher, but perhaps I have to admit that the little rusting tuc tuc reminds me once again because I need to hear it, nothing remains the same, eyesores or beauty, everything moves, constant movement and change. To hold on to any idea or person or thought to tightly is bound to fail. Better to welcome the cycle of life to accept it’s movement & recognise the beauty of the flow, I know there can be no other viable way.
One day far from here everyone that remembers that tuc tuc will be gone, will it then finally have ceased to be ? Will it ever have been?
Part of me can’t help but think that each molecule, each spinning whirring atom will move and in turn become part of something else, organic or inorganic, and maybe each tiny part will carry a memory of what was into what lies ahead. The old tuc tuc will not be a tuc tuc at all, just part of the cycle, the endless cycle.