Picturesque Goa

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Saturday, December 31, 2011


Once again, we say adieu to a year that seemed to have just passed by us so quickly and it is time now to usher in yet another. Each year we wish and pray for peaceful days ahead, free from turmoil, war, natural disasters. Some folks happily attend parties, family get-together, large social gatherings in communities irrespective of caste or religion to celebrate the new year. Some may be thinking of their loved ones who were with them in the last year, and as fate has it, many of us do not with us today those that we loved to share in those happy moments of yesteryear.

We cherish the good old days when we attended New Year’s Eve Ball and house parties that followed. That was the norm. Today as we are much older, we can’t help but reminisce about the good old days, and the good times we had then and those that we shared with our friends, some of whom sadly are not longer with us. Some times I tend to ask myself why we refer to those days as the good old days. Conversely, I believe that the days are the same, the only difference being that we are getting older.

Poignantly though and quite aptly, some of us may reminisce once again in forming a circle with our friends at the Ball, waiting for the count-down at the stroke of midnight and singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

At the same time, in true fashion of “Old Long Ago’ we take time to re-kindle cherished memories of our loving Fredrick and Benny Barboza and all other dear departed relatives and friends.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and days of old lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Friday, December 30, 2011

CHANGING OF THE SEASONS, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada



This is no trick photography, but the changing scene of a lone building through the course of the years 1998 - 1999 in Mississauga, Canada.
Digital photography wasn't in vogue yet, hence the dim and faded glow of a decade-old scanned photographs, shot on film with an SLR Camera from the 12th floor window of an Apartment Building on Mississauga Valley Blvd., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.







Please listen to 
Glen Campbell singing
Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall

Kindly click on the following link:

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011


Mario João Carlos do Rosario de Brito Miranda (2 May 1926 – 11 December 2011), popularly known as Mario Miranda or Mario de Miranda, was an Indian cartoonist based in Loutolim in the Indian state of Goa. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2002, and Padma Shri in 1988.

Miranda had been a regular with The Times of India and other newspapers in Mumbai, including The Economic Times, though he got his popularity with his works published in The Illustrated Weekly of India.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Excellent Job


Customer after trying about a thousand samples,

(and after an unsuccessful sale) had the following to say:

You’re doing an excellent job!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Resilient Artisans at Craft Shows


Artisans somehow have always been resilient to the brunt of adverse conditions: If it’s not a bad spot, then its floor. If it’s not the rain, then it’s the blistering heat. If it’s not the low turn out, then it’s the gale force winds that blow over tents, and at times there's everything combined.

Bring it on!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Twelve Flavours of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
An Eggplant in a pear tree
On the second day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Two Crunchy Gherkins
And an Eggplant in a pear tree
On the third day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Three Tangy Limes
Two Crunchy Gherkins
And an Eggplant in a pear tree
On the fourth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Four Pear Chutneys
Three Tangy Limes
Two Crunchy Gherkins
And an Eggplant in a pear tree.
On the fifth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me......
(Carry on with all 12 flavours of Edna’s Pickles)
5 Super Spicy Mango
6 Mild Mango
7 Zucchini Special
8 Hot Triple Mix
9 Mango & Gherkin Mix
10 Sweet Lime
11 Sweet Mango Mash
12 Cranberry Delight


Fruits Galore

Friday, November 11, 2011


In Flanders Fields
(my favourite poem)
by John McCrae

McCrae was born in McCrae House in Guelph, Ontario to Lieutenant-Colonel David McCrae and Janet Simpson Eckford; he was the grandson of Scottish immigrants. He attended the Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute and became a member of the Guelph militia regiment. The background of his family is military.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Guirim is a small town in the district of Bardez, north-western part of Goa, India, south of the city of Mapusa, and 12 km north of the capital city, Panjim. Local village affairs are handled by the Panchayat system, under the Mamlatdar's Office located at Mapusa. The village lies west of Bastora hills, with the major arterial Highway 17 passing through this scenic village, famous for the academic institution of St. Anthony's High School at Monte de Guirim.


(Tony Fernandes)

Based on and adapted from the song
"Camooweal" by Australian singer, Slim Dusty

Should ever I go back to Guirim-ville,
It would be in the spring when marigolds bloom,
Oh, the hibiscus I know would still be there,
And the garden rose would brighten up the gloom.

Should ever I go back to Guirim-ville,
One thing is sure I'd not be in my teens,
As a young lad when I played there in the fields,
But memories stay with me I can’t conceal.

How fresh every memory keeps for still it feels,
The falling monsoon rain and lush green fields,
And see again the fire-flies in the night,
As I did so long ago when I was there.

Should ever I go back to Guirim-ville,
It would be at Yuletide when the lanterns glow,
Christmas sweets I know would be everywhere,
Wishing folks a Merry Christmas time.

Dreams of youth in that now distant day,
I did not heed, my heart did not reveal,
And now I know that I’m far away from home,
Far away from that old cottage at Guirim-ville.

In search of work to a far and distant shore,
Left my folks there so long ago,
Though I've sailed far from that sun-drenched land,
I've never found what I have left behind.

Oh the memories of my carefree and playful youth,
Is now but ashes and only fond memories dwell,
Time heals all wounds they say, but leaves the scar,
But I think I'll still go back to Guirim-ville.

Time heals all wounds they say, but leaves the scar,
Yet I think I'll still go back to Guirim-ville,
Yes I think I'll still go back to Guirim-ville.

Tony Fernandes

Wednesday, October 26, 2011



by Tony Fernandes

Author of: Goa - Memories of My Homeland

Soaring high, but just below the enormous grey clouds preceding the onset of monsoon, I break away from the usual routine with the rest of my siblings. I decide to glide leisurely alone over the mighty green peaks of the Western Ghats. Banking steeply to the left I cruise on my usual early morning aerial reconnaissance flight westerly along the river on the northernmost tip of this small but enchanting state. The view is simply breathtaking, the cool air invigorating. Nothing could be better than this.

Today I am flying solo on a survey mission of this beautiful land – renowned for its pristine beauty, magnificent churches, temples and houses. Its called ‘Goa’ in just three letters. One consonant followed by two vowels. Very easy to remember. No wonder tourists keep coming back.

Crossing the shore-line I sharply bank to the left heading south along the coast. Oh, wait a minute, but what do I see? People have gathered down there below on the seashore pulling something which looks like a fishing net. Nearby, adrift is a country craft with an outrigger. And just west of this boat I see a mechanized fishing trawler. Our poor local guys must be having tough and unfair competition. I remember it wasn’t so when I was younger.

Flying further south I proceed on my assignment I see a huge long chunk of steel. This must be what they call a beached ship, I guess, dangerously close to the shore-line. It also appears that this vessel is precariously tilted and is in grave trouble. I see that no one is at hand to help her. She looks like a princess in distress. Bored with monotonous straight flight I sweep into a full circle over her before heading south again. And oh boy! Before I know it a metallic object just whizzes past below me with a deafening sound in its wake. This must be low-flying training aircraft taking off from the navy-controlled airport. Seems it isn’t safe to fly in this area anymore! It scared the hell out of me. What a narrow miss! Frightened out of my wits I swiftly ascend full-throttle to cruising height. I turn back north-west to the hills taking a diagonal route to my starting point. Will explore this area some other day, I assure myself. At this point I hear crackling on my radio receiver: ‘Eagle Star, Eagle Star - Come in Please - Do you read me? Do you read me? Over’. ‘Reading you loud and clear’, I reply. ‘Please keep clear of the tall masts of the microwave repeater antennas that have been erected all over the hills and avoid low sweeps' comes in a request from the safety department of my home base’. ‘Roger, roger, wilco, Papa Eagle’ I radio back. ‘Over and out’.

Another hot day of late summer. I take off from my perch, flying due south along the eastern border, low over the verdant hills and the magnificent water-falls which still appear like milk from up here albeit pouring like a mere trickle nowadays. Nothing compared to its gushing old times. It wouldn't be wrong to assume that its waters might have been diverted further up east by some ruthless citizens. Suddenly, I see danger as I pass through some turbulent weather. I promptly steer towards the west into a gentle dive over the flat plains of endless fields. I try to follow the shining parallel pieces of steel right below me leading to the coast. Now these must be the age-old train tracks heading towards the harbour. My breed has been renowned for sharp eye-sight. From up here I see what looks like a bus suspended on rails at the port city – Ah! Yes! So this must be what they call sky-bus – out of the drawing board - but still to be tested, I hear. I wonder whether it will glide on rails shortly or whether it will remain only as an experiment for a long time to come. I could easily beat its speed any day, any time, I surmise, whenever that happens.

I also observe that a huge cluster of decrepit buildings and shanties on Vasco beach have been demolished, that had a black mark on Goan soil. It gave the town a bad reputation anyway with the disgusting things that were going on there. I am happy to see them gone. Oh! Good! Fantastic, in fact!

Just then unexpectedly a huge piece of flying metal just above yet again frightens the feathers out of me. Shaken up a little bit I decide to head home. Now that must have been a charter flight! Or was it a military aircraft.

Monsoon is still a few days away. I will then be confined to my aerie. Now is the time to see some more places and enjoy the summer, I thought. So once again I take off on a gliding spree toward the central plains of this enchanting land of captivating beauty. As I cruise south-west I see the sun reflect sharply off the aileron on my left wing. I have tail-wind now, thereby gaining speed. It is quite early in the day, I thought. So I decide to lower my altitude, slow down and take the long way home. Proceeding north by north-west I cruise at about 52 km per hour, my speed being much slower than the suicidal and recklessly driven two, three and four-wheel machines on the winding and extremely narrow roads below. I notice the roads are very narrow, everyone seems to be speeding without obeying the rules and far too many motorbikes. I notice one good thing – some of the good old boys are wearing helmets again. I hope they don’t discard them after a few days. But the drivers and front seat passengers don’t seem to bother to wear seat-belts in cars – perhaps in the near future, I hope!

A moment later out of the blue I again espy twin metal tracks, but this time running north-south across the entire length of this picturesque land. This must be what they call the now-famous “tunnel-railway”, I guess. I have learned that it passes through innumerable tunnels. Unfortunately it is beset by land slides and rock falls. The overall space taken up by these tracks must be running into acres and acres of arable territory. I follow these tracks for some time. But I get bored after a while. So I opt to turn homeward directly north-west.

Directly ahead of my flying route I have a very clear view of the vast expanse of the land below me. What I now see is a region that once used to be a fully green district of majestic steep hills. To call them hills now would be a misnomer. In sharp contrast, once upon a time, calling this paradise was an understatement. As I look critically with my on-board micro-vision equipment the once beautiful terrain seems red. It appears that it has been mercilessly hacked from two sides. Nearby, in line with my right wing trim, I see a red trickle in the nearby river. Ah! I get it – so this must be the fall-out from the iron-ore being loaded on the barges. This is just my guess. I will get a confirmed report soon. My own assumption is that the change in topography of this land is due to excessive and mindless mining by unscrupulous mine-owners burrowing furiously like there is no tomorrow. Have they any idea about the eventual impact it will have on the environment? I may be wrong, but the damage might have already been done. Displeased with what is going on I head for home after picking up something for a snack on the way.

I have nothing much to do in the afternoon. I have a lot of time to kill. So I decide to accompany my siblings on a hunting trip to the hills further east, almost near the border. Realizing we did not have much luck with this venture we decide to head back and instead we settled on flying in formation for some sight-seeing of the nearby city in the evening. I take up my usual favourite position covering the rear left flank. We cautiously and slowly circle over the capital. Bravo! We notice that a lot of progress has undoubtedly been made. Sadly, one of the downsides is the renaming of some of the old street signs and the vandalizing of a good number of others by some destructive citizens. Due to this anomaly, at one point we almost lost our bearing. We were disappointed and downhearted. Let alone the tourists, but the very citizens of the land might be getting disoriented when they come home on holidays!

Using the expertise of our experienced navigator we managed to maneuver out of the city. Luckily we did not get lost in this beautiful and historic metropolis. We had enough for the day, I thought, because our squadron leader then signaled the rest of his siblings to head home before nightfall and stay out of trouble.

Tomorrow is another day. There is undoubtedly more to explore.

Tony Fernandes

Author of Goa – Memories of My Homeland”

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Please double click on picture for an enlarged image.
(From the 'Catholic-Christian Secular Forum' Mumbai, India)

Sunday, October 23, 2011



Today is World Mission Sunday. Here is my faint recollection of how it was celebrated, when I was very young, by the fathers, brothers, teachers, students who volunteered with their efforts and also by the people from Guirim and surrounding areas who patronised the occasion with their active support and participation in one way or another. This article was first written and published for circulation via Goanet Reader, a part of the Goanet to give a voice to the diversity of the Goan experience, in cyberspace on Sunday 22 October 2006.


by Tony Felix Fernandes

From  the first day of the academic year, the thin blue book, otherwise known
as the school calendar, played an important part. It became a integral part of school and outlined events for the entire year. It was like a central figure among other thicker books of different subjects. It was of course none other than the school calendar.

It had its own distinct outside appearance - school’s name at the top, its shield
along with the timeless and memorable caption ‘AD ARDUA’ just under it.
It could be easily identified along with the students name, class and division
at the bottom.

Felicio often glanced through the pages in order to see what significant events
and holidays lay ahead that were mentioned in the calendar. One of the important
dates mentioned therein was Mission Sunday - the second last Sunday in the
month of October. Young Felicio looked forward to this day from the beginning
of the academic year that started on June 6th. He had learned that it was a day
dedicated to the Catholic Missions all over the world.

There was quite an activity going on at the school prior to this eventful day at
Monte, in preparation for Mission Sunday. Manystudents volunteered, taking part
and organizing the occasion, with the help of Teachers, Fathers and Brothers.
The day began with a special Mass. The fun-filled event followed immediately
after lunch.

Felicio was a day scholar. He lived just down the hill and across the fields.
Soon after lunch he joined other boys who also climbed up the hill to finally witness
what they had so far been earnestly hoping to experience. As Felicio approached the Cross up the winding slope that led to the Chapel, he was amazed to find that the place was already bustling with activity. He could hear the different mingling of sounds – music and the usual din of a bustling fair. Was he late? Did he miss something?
Felicio’s legs ached as he anxiously raced up the steep slope. He had tried to takea short cut through the cashew trees on the northern side of the hill and he found out to his dismay that it had been a difficult walk, as his classmates had warned him.

As he finally made it to the chapel courtyard, he wished he could rest on one of the red-cemented benches under the giant nunerca tree. But to his surprise that particulararea was occupied by a group of boys who were quite engrossed in singing. One the boys was strumming on the guitar. That must be the impromptu school beat group,

he thought! Luckily the music seemed to have soothed his aching knees and throbbing chest. All the boys were dressed in their Sunday best. Felicio had donned his slightly loose blue shirt and favourite black trousers that he hoped would fit him well by Christmas! ‘Vaddtea angar’ all over again.

He was astonished to see so many different stalls set up all around the perimeter of the courtyard of the chapel.  There were also game booths set up along the corridor leading to the junior dormitory.  After an initial survey of the grounds and looking over at all the booths, he decided that he should try his luck at some of the games like ‘feed the tiger’, ‘test your nerves’, ‘wheel of fortune’, ‘light the candles’, ‘drop the coin in the tub’, ‘find the treasure’, ‘shoot into the net’ and other games of skill.

He was happy to see some of his classmates having taken charge of some booths, while others were helping around various other tasks. He hoped that the following year they would let him participate in helping out too.

Felicio had been looking forward to this Sunday. He had been told by one of the
Fathers what Mission Sunday was all about during the previous week at the ‘Religion’ period. He had gone home that day and told his mother about this forthcoming event to be held at the school. His mother had given him some money to spend on that occasion. It wasn’t much of a sum in cash, but now the time had come to use it successfully and have some fun at the same time. It seemed that a daunting task lay before him for the time being in handling money wisely. He had to somehow effectively manage to use that little money equally at all the games of his choice, giving preference to and trying his hand at some of the games that interested him the most. It wouldn’t matter if he did not win a prize. At the same time he thought that winning wouldn’t matter at all since it was all for a good cause - he remembered what Father had said during the ‘Religion’ instruction period - that the money would be going towards the Missions and the poor of the world.

Luck was on his side on Mission Sunday, and he had won at a couple of game tables. One of them was lighting all the candles with a single match stick that nearly singed his thumb and forefinger. He did not succeed at first. So he moved away, cupping his right hand fingers with his left. He wanted to put his fingers to his ears as his grandmother had told him so on several occasions in the past, but he shied away from doing that, thinking that he would make a public laughing stock of himself. Instead, he intently watched other boys and instantly understood that the trick was to actually start with the right hand and carefully transfer the burnt-out end with the left hand. And he had succeeded.  But some boy behind him said: Not allowed! Not allowed! That had been a favourite phrase of students those days. He had not looked back to see who he was, lest he lost his concentration. It was perhaps his class mate Anthony who always joked around, or perhaps had run out of money already! Later he thought that he should try his hand at feeding the tiger. At first he was very anxious to try this game, but as there were so many big boys gathered around the area, Felicio thought that he would make a tragic fool of himself, and so he changed his mind and walked away. He noticed that the tiger’s mouth was too small for its body size and he was too far away!
He wandered about in the environs for a while, talking to some of his classmates and watching others try the various games of skill. Then as he casually turned around he saw a Volkswagen Beetle suddenly pull up near the Cross. It was the second time that he had seen this car at Monte. He paced slowly around it in awesome wonder and was reluctant to take his eyes away from the automobile. Unlike the trucks that hauled fire-wood up the slope, the engine of this car was running whisper quiet. No wonder he had not heard it pull up.

Later he decided to give a listen to the school musicians who were playing and singing on the south-west corner of the fair-grounds. He noticed that it was led by a student who played the guitar. He was a boarder. His parents were in East Africa. Felicio had watched him practice in the same place during the afternoon recess several times before and had admired at his skill. He was in a higher class. He sang‘Three coins in the fountain’, followed by a song that went something like: “Have faith, hope, and charity... that's the way to live successfully."  Other boys were singing alongtoo and clapping hands keeping up the tempo and the singer’s enthusiasm. They had chosen the right songs, Felicio thought, as it seemed that ‘the three Coins’ referred to the few coins he had still left in his pocket - as he constantly reached into his pocket to make sure they he did not lose them; and ‘faith and hope’ he thoughtimplied that he must have faith in himself and hope to win at least some of the gamesof skill, while ‘charity’ suggested that he should not worry if his efforts went the otherway!

Just then he noticed that a group of boys had gathered near the balustrade surrounding the Cross. From that cluster came music that sounded like a radio broadcast. He was curious to see what it was. Fellow students had circled another ex-student visiting Monte that day, showing off an amazingly tiny radio that fitted so well into his breast pocket. Felicio would later come to know that it was one of our world’s great invention. It was called ‘the pocket transistor radio’ that he had seen at Monte for the first time.

It seemed the afternoon had passed away so quickly. Felicio had thoroughly enjoyed himself. The pocket radio and the Volkswagen Beetle had made his day.

From  the top of the plateau and standing there at the white balustrade surrounding the Cross he could see the vast stretch and expanse of the Arabian Sea, the hills of Saliga and Sinquerim to the south, and Baga and Anjuna towards the north. Time had usually stood still at this very spot many times before, especially during afternoon recess when he had admired this spectacular scenery. But it had definitely not on this day.  The sun was seemingly all set and ready to plunge gradually into the horizon for a night’s repose.

Suddenly, Felicio realized that he had ahead of him a long way to walk home before dark. But not until he had tried his hand at ‘feed the tiger’. So, without further ado
he proceeded straight to the booth. That was Felicio’s final personal mission.

He had almost forgotten to get his courage back to check that one out. He felt for the last remnants of small change he had left in his hip pocket. He would certainly not leave without feeding and taming the tiger. Let the big boys laugh if they wanted to, should he fail in his endeavour to throw the ball through the tiger’s mouth. And he had dared and won – he had fed the tigerwith the last ball. It had been a great and enjoyable day.

It was called the Mission Sunday. Ad Ardua. True to the cause.
And I know this story is true. Felicio is my middle name.

Tony Fernandes (a.k.a. Felicio) 
Class of 1964
St. Anthony’s High School, Monte de Guirim, Goa

Tony Fernandes टोनी फेर्नान्देस
Tony Fernandes टोनी फेर्नान्देस
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