Picturesque Goa

Picturesque Goa
NOSTALGIA - Articles,Poems & Photos


TONFERNS CREATIONS - Tony's Art & Hobbies

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Church of Reis Magos, Reis Magos, Goa, India

Church of Reis Magos
The Magi
Reis Magos, Goa.

Founded: 1555
 Feast: 6th January

It must have been nothing but a miracle!

Just when I was about to click away,
the coconut tree moved out of the way!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012



A 'Niunnem' is a circular straw coaster made into a ring. It is used for placing hot cookware made from clay.

A 'Doulo' is a ladle to serve rice, curry or vegetables. It is made from a coconut shell and the handle for the same is made from bamboo. A shallow ladle is used to serve curry and vegetable; a deeper one for rice.

Niunnem: singular (f.)
Niunnim: plural (f.)
Doulo: singular (m.)
Doule: plural (m.)

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Gurguret - Clay Water Dispenser - Goa, India



The Gurguret 

(Water Dispenser made of clay)

Thirst quencher of yesteryear

Cool water with an 'earthy' flavour.

I'd call it an earthenware 'refrigerator'

Artfully crafted out by Goan potters, this timeless piece of pottery is a natural water cooler found in many Goan homes. Based on the fact and principle of common knowledge that evaporation causes cooling, unglazed earthenware pottery chills liquids because of evaporation through the microscopic porous clay.

It is a very popular item that is sold in the dedicated clay market area in major towns and cities in Goa. Its main feature is the head of a rooster in the shape of a spout.

It the old days many people covered long distances walking from place to place. During the summer months is was not uncommon to see these coolers along with a cup or glass outside the houses located on the roadside so that people could quench their thirst.
This may be unbelievable, but I have walked with my mother and my aunt nine times from Guirim to Tivim for Novenas to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in the early 1960's, and I have quenched my thirst from such water-coolers along the way.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I was 22 years of age when I was working in Abu Dhabi, a little known place and an oil-rich British Protectorate. I did not have a TV but was glued to my transistor radio listening to a relayed live programme by the BBC. My space hero, Neil Armstrong, had landed on the moon. R.I.P. Mr Neil Armstrong.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Farms in Township of Puslinch, County of Wellington, Ontario


Puslinch is a township in south-central Ontario, Canada, in the County of Wellington, south of Guelph. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

LUCIE'S BAKERY & DELI, Guelph, Ontario


Operating in the South end of Guelph since 2006, Lucie's Bakery and Deli invites you to taste exquisite items such as traditionnal Montreal Style Bagels and wonderful specialty cakes for all occasions.

Come in and enjoy the quaint ambiance and home-made foods that have made Lucie's the winner of the Guelph Mercury's "Best New Business" Award in 2007 as well as a nominee for the Reader's Choice "Best Bakery" Award in 2009 and 2010. We offer a full breakfast menu as well as a variety fresh deli sandwiches and lunch specials. Having doubts? Ask to try a bagel on the house!

Click on the link below to know more.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


View of a glorious sunset from the Hill

No vacations to Goa over the years are ever complete without a visit to the Chapel of St. Francis of Assisi, situated at the crest of the hill of my Alma Mater, St. Anthony's High School, Monte de Guirim in Bardez.

On a pleasant evening of my short vacation in Goa some years ago, fond memories of the days when I once walked up and down the verdant hill as a day-scholar from Guirim, keep gushing to my mind like watching an old movie filled with emotional vignettes of the past as I ride up on a scooter along the spiraling road up to the top of the hill. I notice some changes as time has passed by, like for instance the colourful 14 Stations of the Cross on the side of the road.

Then, as I arrive at the top, there is something very serene, a sense of solace that I have always found here since the time when I was a young boy studying at this fine, vibrant and well-known institution of its kind in Goa.

There still prevails something special and sentimental about this place that has remained undiminished over the years. Perhaps it is the silence, a certain stillness in the air, a feeling of comfort and peace at this crest that I embrace, reminiscing in abundant nostalgia on every visit. I am sure that many ex-students, teachers, Fathers and visitors alike have their own similar experiences of this nature to relate when time seems to stand still and a certain calm and tranquility prevails, as one is far away and high above the hustle and bustle of busy towns and crowded cities.

There are many memories of my childhood and youth that I can connect with this place. First of all, the beautiful chapel of St. Francis of Assisi facing the vast expanse of fields, the villages of Saligao, Nagoa, Arpora, Calangute, Candolim, Parra, Verla, Canca and the Arabian Sea in the distance. The plateau in front of the chapel once served as a PT & drill area, Mission Sunday fete and various other festivities, reading at Retreats, or reading/studying under the shade of the famous 'nunerca' tree or perhaps at times just losing oneself in one own's thoughts, or simply admiring a beautiful sunset. As for me I could just sit here for hours in all its serenity. 

 During the early 1960's, it was on this top of the hill that students learned to play the violin, piano and guitar in the music room which was located besides the chapel, while on the red cement benches boys had singing sessions of popular songs of the time like 'Buttercup of Golden Hair' by Dean Martin, 'Besame Mucho' by Connie Francis, 'Wooden Heart' and 'Surrender' by Elvis Presley during the afternoon recess.

It was also here that parents and guardians came to visit students in the boarding school during the afternoon recess in the parlour next to the music room.

These and other memories I still hold close to my heart. Time eventually passes by, and the visit is short-lived as it is time to say 'Adeus' with a hope of visiting the serene and tranquil place once again in the future.

 Enjoying the beautiful panorama around me I notice that a lot of changes have taken place around the area over the years including a shrine dedicated to  Monte Friars who have passed away. The sun is just a little above the horizon bidding adieu to yet another beautiful day. It's time to say goodbye once more before I head for home as the bells toll for Angelus.

View of the hill from Parra-Saligao Road.

I could just sit here for hours.
Chapel of St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, August 20, 2012


Delhi (pronounced DEL-High) is a former township (now an unincorporated community) located off of the junction of Ontario Highways 59 and 3. Delhi is known as the "Heart of Tobacco Country.

Founded by Frederick Sovereen as Sovereen's Corners around 1826, the community was renamed Fredericksburg and eventually to its present-day name of Delhi. - Wikipedia


Well, the name is usually attributed locally to a postmaster honouring a major city of the 
British EmpireDelhiIndia, but pronounced differently.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

SIMCOE - Norfolk County, Ontario Canada

Simcoe is an unincorporated community and former town in Southwestern Ontario,Canada located near Lake Erie. It is the county seat and largest community of Norfolk County.
Simcoe is located at the junction of Highway 3, at Highway 24, due south of Brantford, and accessible to Hamilton by nearby Highway 6.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Port Dover is an unincorporated community and former town located in Norfolk CountyOntarioCanada on the north shore of Lake Erie. Prior to the War of 1812, this community was known as Dover Mills. This community is the southern terminus for Ontario Highway 6; located 480 kilometres or 300 miles to the south of the Northern Ontario community of McKerrow. This highway stretches northward as a two-lane, undivided highway until the traffic flow increases to four lanes shortly after it departs from Caledonia. In addition to allowing Port Dover residents direct access to the city of Hamilton, it also briefly merges with Highway 403 to allow for access to theRoyal Botanical Gardens and locations on to Toronto.
The postal forward sortation area is N0A; sharing its Canada Post service with the western portion of Haldimand County. All residences and businesses within the Port Dover area have a 583 in their phone number. - Wikipedia

Port Dover is famous for bikers converging upon this town on Friday the 13th.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012



Vancio Vaddo, Guirim, Bardez, Goa.

Built in 1768.

'Happy Feast' to all.

'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.'

(excerpt from a story in my book 'Goa - Memories of My Homeland' Poems and Stories)
Read the full story here:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


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  Its capital is Panaji.  Goa comprises 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. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012


 Panjim City - Capital of Goa
Next to the old Secretariat

It was a grand Exposition of Saint Francis Xavier in 1952 held to mark the 4th centenary of the Saint's death. I was a young boy then holding my father's hand walking along the promenade in Panjim on our way to Old Goa, when I asked him why did that man push that woman down, pointing to the statue, and my father just couldn't stop laughing for a while! But then my father was a great historian and story-teller himself for everybody in the family, and related to me in simple terms about the great hynotist, so that I could understand. My late father, I might add, was undoubtedly very proud of this famous man.
Pictured above is a statue of Abade Faria hypnotizing a woman. It was sculpted and cast in bronze by a Goan sculptor named Ramchandra Pandurang Kamat in 1945. 

Abade Faria, or Abbe (Abbot) Jose Custodio de Faria,was born in Candolim, District of Bardez in Goa, Portuguese India, on May 31, 1746. He died in Paris on September 30, 1819.

Abade Faria was one of the pioneers in the scientific study of hypnotism. He introduced oriental hypnosis to Paris in the early 19th century.

After his arrest in Marseille in 1797 he was imprisoned and placed in solitary confinement by a law court in the infamous Chateau d'If* where by sheer persistence he trained himself using techniques of auto-suggestion or self-suggestion.

After his release from prison, Faria returned to Paris, where he met Alexandre Dumas, the novelist, who was so impressed with the Abbe that he used him as a character - the mad monk - in his novel, The Count of Monte Cristo.

In 1881 he was appointed as the Professor of Philosophy at the University of France at Nimes. He was also an elected member of the Société Medicale de Marseille at Marseille.

*The Chateau d'If was once a fortress that was later converted into a prison. It is located on a small island called If in the Frioul Archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea about a mile offshore in the Bay of Marseille.

Incidentally, its no wonder nor a coincidence that the Chateau was used partly as a fitting setting and location for the  novel by the great Alexandre Dumas namely 'The Count of Monte Cristo'.

Learn more about this fascinating man - Abade Faria. Just google his name and mine: Tonferns 

Saturday, August 11, 2012



Garcia de Orta (1501 or 1502–1568) was a Portuguese Renaissance Sephardi Jewish physician and naturalist. He was a pioneer of tropical medicine. Garcia de Orta's busy practice evidently prevented him travelling beyond the west coast of India, but in the busy market and trading hub of Goa he met spice merchants, traders and physicians from many parts of southern Asia and the Indian Ocean coasts.

He was conversant in Portuguese, Spanish, Hebrew, Latin, Greek and Arabic; his work shows that he also had some knowledge of Persian, Marathi, Konkani, Sanskrit and Kannada. Correspondents and agents sent him seeds and plants; he also traded in spices, drugs and precious stones. He evidently kept a laboratory and botanical garden.

Incidentally, 'Orta' is a Portuguese word for garden or orchard.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


This is not in Cape Verde
This is in Goa, India

Colonia Sao Domingos 

Residential society in a tranquil and beautiful setting

World / India / Goa / Panaji 
Coordinates: 15°29'51"N   73°47'58"E

Sunday, August 05, 2012

STAIRWAY TO THE CLOUDS, Wellington, Prince Edward County, Ontario

Wellington is a farming community located in Prince Edward County, Ontario,Canada. Wellington's population is roughly 1700 people. Once called Smokeville after a local First Nations elder, the name was changed in the 1860s to Wellington.
One of Prince Edward County's earliest residents, Daniel Reynolds, first came to the area in the 18th century and settled in Wellington where his house remains today along Main St. - Wikipedia