© Tony Fernandes
© All poems, stories, photographs, illustrations by Tony Fernandes
Designed, formatted and printed by:
Eclectica Publications Lindsay, Ontario, Canada.
A nostalgic collection of poems and stories that transport the reader back to blessed times. Evocative glimpses into a blissful era that has aged perhaps with time, but not forgotten.
Contents: English Poems, English Short Stories, Illustrations, Goa in Pictures, Goan Proverbs, Sayings and Glossary.
Simple, rustic life captured through descriptive renditions via narrative poetry, drawings, paintings and photographs.
Excerpt from Poem:
A VISIT TO MY OLD VILLAGE
An evening stroll
in my tiny old village I took;
saw the old folks
once so young,
now so frail and weak.
Aged with time at nature’s quest
they stared at me in total disbelief;
they seem to think I too
have aged along with them perhaps
yet neither of us could fathom
what time and years
had done to us in tandem.
Excerpt from Story:
OF CHAPELS & FEASTS
As he neared the chapel in the misty early morning dawn, a girl dressed in her best approached running to the young lad, and picking a tiny paper flower from her small and neatly decorated basket, she pinned it on his shirt. Reaching in his pocket he deposited a coin in her basket for which she thanked him.
Simple, rustic life captured through descriptive renditions via narrative poetry, drawings, paintings and photographs
About the Author: Tony was educated at St. Anthony’s High School, Monte de Guirim, Bardez, Goa, and subsequently at Kareer Polytechnic, Bombay, studying Commercial Art, where he excelled in Painting and Photography.
It has always been his endeavour to write poetry about his childhood memories of Goa. Although he has been away from his homeland all these years, he has constantly kept in touch with his roots by visiting Goa every now and then.
Born with a natural flair for writing poetry and fuelled with a nostalgic craving and love for his native land, he has now compiled a collection of his poems.
Tony presently resides in Mississauga, Ontario - Canada, with his wife and three children.
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Brief Notes about Goa
Known around the world for its serene beauty, GOA is located south of Mumbai, India. It gained full-fledged statehood on 12th August 1987. Prior to that, it was a Union Territory for 26 years, after four and a half centuries of Portuguese rule. It is 1,022 metres above sea-level with an area of 3700 sq.km. Its capital is Panaji. Goa coprises of districts like Ilhas, Bardez, Salcette, Ponda, Marmagoa, Bicholim, Satari, Pernem, Quepem, Sanguem, and Canacona. Its captital is Panaji. Its other major cities are Margao, Mapsa and Vasco da Gama and Marmagoa which has a natural harbour .
Goa’s main rivers are the Zuari, Mandovi and Chapora. It has beautiful palm-fringed and scenic beaches like Colva, Candolim , Calangute, Vagator and Arambol with golden sands all along its western coast line. Spanning across the eastern part of Goa is the magnificent mountain range called the Western Ghats. Nestled among those hills are the famous 3-tier water-falls called Dudsagar.
With a total population of approximately 1.2 million, it is bustling with activity. It is a world famous tourist destination with excellent air, sea, rail and interstate bus connections. Besides having the first lighthouse in Asia, it has numerous archaelogical sites like ancient forts for the connossieur to study and explore besides ancient temples and churches.
Goa is famous for its architectural grandeur – its ancient churches, temples and mosques. Goans are a peace-loving people with a strong sense of community, taking pride in their own distinct culture and heritage.
In a modern cosmopolitan world, Goa has managed to preserve its old world charm.
Book Review by Ben Antao Author of Images of Goa and other books GOA Memories of my Homeland, a collection of poems and stories, could only have been written by one born and raised in the red soil of Goa. It’s a work of pure joy by
Tony Fernandes, 57, who trudged up the hill of Monte de Guirim, where he was born and educated. His narrative poetry hits the right note as he evokes nostalgic memories of life in his village--litany, vespers, homecoming, harvest day, Intruz, Palm Sunday, wedding,
first rains, and home leaving. A sample: Then as darkness fell and homewards I walked, seeing a score of people together pray by the wayside cross I stopped; the light of the candles reflected in their faces, they sang in perfect chorus, their gaze at the cross fixed as if by magic, hearing them sing the litany And unable to resist I joined them in harmony.
The stories are narratives of his growing up and dwell on such traditions as a new shirt for New Year, Christmas crib, and village feasts. The book also contains 150 'oparrio' or Konkani proverbs that will bring a smile of recognition on the faces of native Goans. But for those living in the diaspora, who may have forgotten their Konkani, a translation into English would help to convey the folk wisdom incorporated in these sayings. Perhaps in the second edition! The illustrations and photographs in the book reflect the talents of Tony who studied commercial art in Bombay. The self-published book is available from the author who lives with his wife Edna and three children, Mississauga ON L5V 2C2, Canada. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Book Review by Lino Leitao Author of Gift of the Holy Cross and other books Tony Fernandes' poems in this collection are lovely; and their aesthetic merit lies in their simplicity. They are like a cluster of graceful flowers in the soft glow of twilight, in the garden of his memory. I remember, when young, memorizing a poem: The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and another one: We are Seven by William Wordsworth. The pastoral magic of those poems had touched my youthful emotions, then. Tony's poems in this collection have stirred my soul, once again. Each memory, or each flower (poem), has its own unique brilliance of that Goa's soul (rural Goa) - the Goa where the poet grew up. As I was reading his poems, I felt as if, I was taking a leisurely stroll with the poet in the memory garden of his youth. I tarried to admire at some of the stanzas and visualize. One of them is this:
Then as darkness fell and homewards I walked, seeing a score of people together pray by the wayside cross I stopped; the light from the candles reflected their faces, they sang in perfect chorus, their gaze at the cross fixed as if by magic, hearing them sing the litany And unable to resist I joined them in harmony. Another stanza: The night all of a sudden Seemed quiet and tranquil, In the darkness Holding a candle In the hollow of a coconut shell Lit and led us on our paths; And folks on the way home From the houses on the wayside Wished us a pleasant night. These reminiscences are etched in the soul of many a Goan, mostly elderly, brought up in that Goa. But only inspired poets or artists like Tony can transport us from snow-laden Canada to the homeland of our youth. In this collection there are also pencil sketches of Goan scenes and artifacts, stories and coloured photos of Goa. Tony Fernandes besides being a poet is also an artist. He also presents us a tidy bundle of Goan sayings and proverbs in Konkani. GOA, Memories of My Homeland, is a source to unfold the poignant beauty of that Goan soul, mainly to those young Goans born in diaspora. Lino Leitão Lino Leitão was born in Goa, a former Portuguese Colony in India. He studied in Portuguese and English schools and attended the University of Karnataka in India and Concordia University in Montreal. His stories have been published by Goa Today, Gulab, Gomantak Times (Goa); Afro-Asian Quarterly, Journal of Asian Literature (Michigan State University), The Toronto South Asian Review, Massachusetts Review, Short Story International (New York),The Antigonish Review and others. His articles on Goan issues have been published in Herald, Gomantak Times, Navhind Times (Goa), and in South Asian Studies Papers, no. 9 - Goa: Continuity and Change - University of Toronto, Centre for South Asian Studies, 1995.Selected Publications: The Man and His Writings (Translated from Portugese). Goa, India: Xavier Centre of Historical Research, 2000. The Gift of the Holy Cross. Leeds, England: Peepal Tree Press, 1999. Six Tales. Cornwall, ON: Vesta Publications, 1980. Goa Tales. Cornwall, ON: Vesta Publications, 1977. Collected Short Tales. New York: Carleton Press, 1972.
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