Picturesque Goa

Picturesque Goa
NOSTALGIA - Articles,Poems & Photos


TONFERNS CREATIONS - Tony's Art & Hobbies

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Back in the day long before the dawn of the age of the cell phone I remember we chatted for hours on end on long drives from town to town and city to city, passing through beautiful countryside that everyone in the family enjoyed. Then came the age of the cell phone, the ipad, and the Q10, Z10 and the 5S.

                   Nowadays on such long drives hardly anybody speaks to anyone, as I drive blissfully with full concentration and my eyes on the road. Everyone in the van is glued to their cell phone screens, some smiling to themselves and lost in their own world, or so it seems. I'm the only one who seems to be enjoying the natural landscape and gorgeous scenery around me and my favourite music on MP3.

                   Back in the day I had driving directions and maps printed in advance of visits to far-off places. Now I've been upgraded with a GPS - kind courtesy - my kids. But I still do get the occasional 'go left, keep right, slow down, take care - there's a man crossing there, and other such verbal warnings from passengers and back-seat drivers - which I take in stride, or should I say I take it 'in drive'.

Views of Muskoka
Photos by Tony Fernandes

Sunday, February 23, 2014



Gold and silver
Have I none,
But I can give you love,
So went the tune
I heard so often
And sang
When I was young;
It's not what you'd do
With a million,
If riches
Should ever be your lot,
It's ironic
Not to be loved but lost;
But whatever
You are doing at present
With the dollar
And a half you've got,
Is better to be loved,
And forgotten not.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Traditional Ancestral Goan Home
(Line Artwork by Tony Fernandes)

         Old Goan homes such as the one in the drawing above were mostly built by the rich and wealthy 'battkars' (land-owners), the affluent ones who were better off by working abroad, especially in the Portuguese colonies in East Africa. These traditional houses carryied a status symbol and were based on the western designs - now commonly known as Portuguese house - with local construction ideas, materials and labour.

        The houses were erected with strong foundations of up to 4 to 5 ft deep and walls consisting of laterite stone. The walls were finished with cement-mortar course and painted white. The average plinth was 5 ft high. with long balconies and verandahs. The higher the plinth and the number of steps leading to the balcony - the higher the status of the owners!  

        Forming an integral part of these house were decorative railings with roof covered with Mangalore tiles on a strong framework consisting of longitudinal teak wood rafters and lateral red-wood ribs that were nailed to the rafters. The floor was finished in red cement and grooved impressions that suggested tiling work. These houses had ample number of windows that provided natural light during the day.The windows were works of art in themselves - an intricate pattern mastered and perfected by Goan carpenters over the centuries. It consists of vertical wooden strips into a timber framework, slotted to accept square pieces from the nacre of the mother-of-pearl shell which are inserted into a slotted timber framework.

        The doors were made of teak and fitted with heavy duty long steel latches fitted on the door frames.
        A compound wall around the house consisted of a broad gate with a drive way as well as a smaller gate for a single person's entry in the front. The rear of the house had a narrow gate with a latch. An out-house was constructed within the confines of the compound wall at the rear with a small opening through the rear wall.
        The front was quite elaborate with decorative garden and steps leading to the main door of the house and a long balcony with cement or wooden benches on both sides of the entrance.

        Apart from the imposing facade of these vintage houses, a common feature of these houses was a Holy Cross in the case of a Christian home or a Tulsi in front of a Hindu home.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Here below is a dialogue of an elaborated/exaggerated version of a "Portuguese Lesson" that I learned many years ago. For the time being this is for amusement only. Call it PortuKonkanese!

by Tony Fernandes

(Adapted from Portuguese/English course) This work is fiction in its entirety. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental. It is a Portuguese-Konkani-English telephone conversation between a sophisticated Goan lady, Dona Joanita, residing in Goa, and a Goan gentleman, Luis, who has just returned to Goa from a holiday in Portugal. Here's an excerpt from the hilarious classic conversation.

Joanita:   Halo! Halo?

Luis:        Hello!, Konn uloita? Who's speaking?

Joanita:   Aum Joanita uloitam. Tum konn?
               Ani tujem naum kitem? Quem fala?

Luis:        Aum Luis angassor. Deu boro diss dhium.
               Luis speaking here.
               Bai, tum atam borem passar zatai ki nam?
               Como esta tua mae e pai?

Joanita:   Muito bem, Luis Bab. Bom dia, senhor.
               Muito obrigado. Aum borim assam. Como esta voce?
               Tuji saude koxi assa? Tum boro passar zatai mu?  

Luis:        De nada Joanita. Moji famil bori assa. Very good.
               Mas aum muito cansad zalolom assam.
               Tum zanoi ki aum kaluch ratik Portugalak
               thaun Goeam ailam munn?

Joanita:    Nao, Senhor Luis. Nokom aslim aum. Tor tuji viagem bore baxen
                gueli ki nam?

Luis:         Oi, viagem bore baxen gueli, mas
                thuim muito calor zata, sometimes very hot,
                sarkem Goenchech baxen, ani aum
                Coimbra ani Fatima passun paulom.
                Portugal very beautiful. Muito bonita.

Joanita:    Maka dista tuvem baileo vostu, munnge
                foreign things, noveo noveo vostu ba zaiteo
                addlai astoleo num?  New modern nice items, no?
                Lovely pleated skirts and all you get there, no?

Luis:         Nao,nao, chodd vostu gheunk nam avem.
                Vell mevonk nam. Mas, thoddeoch apurbaiecho
                nazuk vostu avem mojeam ghorcheank ani
                amigank addloleo and tantuntli ek vost tukach
                special addleli, I brought something special for
                you only. Mas kitem sangoum, ti moladik vost
                amchem aviao Dabolim Aeroport pauchea
                adinch mista futtli. So very nice and cute
                thing I brought especially for you, punn,
                kotta ti vost futton sabar kudke zale, te 
                vostiche ani tossech moje-i. Kalzak dukh bhorli.
                Muito tristeza e picaçao. Sarko dokko boslo.
                Never mind that beautiful piece of art.
                My heart also is now broken.

Joanita:    Kaim nezo. Never mind that. O.K?
                Don't worry. Mozo ugddass tori tuvem kelo poi
                to paulo. Titlench puro. Ugddas mozo tuvem keloi munn
                aum muito feliz. Muito obrigad. 

Luis:         De nada. Joanita. Tor tum hea vorsa
                mudasavank vocho ba naim?

Joanita:    Sim, sim, avenuim Portugaluch vochpak
                kelam fuddlea muineant.

Luis:         Lisboa ekdom sobith, romantico ani
                muito historical, e esta uma cidade muito grande.
                Very very beautiful you know.

Joanita:    Sim, sim, tem aum zanam. Eu sabe mesma.

Luis:         Borem tor, Juanita, anink kitem khobor?
                How's everything? Ani kosso assa tuzo irmão,
                Antoninho Felicio – tannem Liceu pass kelo?

Joanita:    Espera pouco, matso rau. One moment wait.
                Anton Felis konn? Maka ekui bhau nam.
                I have no brother at all. Nao tenho um irmão.

Luis:        Tor tujem naum Juanita Maria
               Esmeralda de Costa de Ribandar nuim?

Joanita:    Nao, nao, desculpa-me, mojem naum tem nhoi. 
                Mojem naum Joanita Mariquita Esperança de
                Menezes e Souza de Curtorim.

Luis:         Muito desculpar para me, Joanita. Very sorry, am?

Joanita:    Porque? Tum nhoi Luis Pedro Joao de Valpoi?

Luis:         Meus Deus! Mojem naum tem nhoi.
                Mojem naum Luis Pedro Caitan Joãozinho de Tiracol.      
                MEULA  SO DISTA. Please excuse me. Very sorry, wrong
                number am? Sozmonechi chukh zali.

Tony Fernandes (Adapted from Portuguese/English Language Course)

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Nostalgic Collection of Poems

G O A 

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, but is not forgotten.
        Through descriptive renditions on tradition and culture via his narrative poetry, drawings, paintings and photography, Tony Fernandes has captured the simple, rustic life of Goa.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Flying The ‘Sorngo’
By Tony Fernandes

A popular sport during the Portuguese era in the 1950’s was known as ’the flying of the sorngo’ (sorngo soddpak).

The 'sorngo' consisted of a framework made of bamboo ribs fastened together with coir rope and lined with tissue paper all around. It’s shaped resembled an elongated oil drum. It was open at the bottom with a hole at the top. The base of the ‘sorngo’ was held together at the bottom by cross wires across its circular framework. A lump of cotton rags was tied to the bottom centre.

The art of getting this contraption aloft was based on the rustic know-how and ingenuity of the ace innovators of our village during the 1950's. The ‘sorngo’ was entirely a home-made innovation based on the generally accepted principle that hot air inside a balloon causes it to rise aloft.

Multi-coloured craft tissue paper was applied to all sides and the circular top of the bamboo ribbing framework, leaving an open hole at the top for the hot air to escape. Making it colourful meant that it could be easily spotted once it soared into the sky. In my opinion it soared to a height of at least 300 feet depending upon the duration of the burning of the flame from the rags (Konkani: 'kankaddo').

After the completion of this ‘flying drum’, a small fire was lit by burning a small cluster of dried leaves from the mango tree. The drum was held over the fire by 2 persons over the flames of this fire that in turn ignited the cotton rags that were soaked in kerosene. And voila in a jiffy we had lift-off to the cheers of the folks gathered around the bonfire. It brought great joy and satisfaction to watch it finally soar into the sky after a days anticipation.  Houston would have been proud!

The hole at the top let the smoke escape, while the cotton rag drenched in kerosene acted as a ballast or stabilizer keeping the balloon upright and steady.

As the ‘sorngo’ gradually lifted upwards, the westerly winds pushed the gadget over and towards the fields east of Guirim, towards Bastora. It was very exciting to see it soar up into the sky although the joy was momentary. The senior boys ran in the direction of ‘sorngo’ keeping it in sight looking momentarily upwards toward the skies as they ran. The best fun and excitement was the task in retrieving as the 'sorngo' fell to the ground after the cotton rag had burnt itself out. 

As it was considered a fire hazard this sort of sport and entertainment was eventually banned by the Portuguese, in order to prevent fires that could have been caused when these contraptions descended on thatched huts, houses and other property while the embers from the cotton rags still smouldered as they came down.

Those were the days, but now, I think it is absolutely illegal to send this sort of thing into the skies by any means. This write-up is meant for keeps for posterity. You can make it, but do not fly it under any circumstances. The reason for its ban is that it is a huge fire hazard once it falls to the ground after the cotton rag has burnt itself out.

Once the 'sorngo' soars into the sky it is entirely at the mercy of wind with no definite direction or pattern of its own. It is beyond human control and there's nothing one can do about that.

Sunday, February 09, 2014


Valentine’s Day is fast approaching! 

If you haven't yet thought of
where you would like to take your loved ones
this Valentine’s day,


3181 Wolfedale Rd.,
Mississauga, ON
Tel: (905) 804-1122 
is hosting Valentine’s Dinner
on Friday, February 14.
Reserve early as it is first come first served basis
 and seating is limited.


Friday, February 07, 2014


~ To Jay Leno ~

"Every night you delighted with your wit,

Every thing went like you planned it

And really put on quite a show

In my heart I felt I could stand it

Till you walked with your *grip*

through the door."

Come back, Jay Leno ~

and make us forget our worries

even though it'd be even for

 just a moment more.

Thursday, February 06, 2014


Memories of another era - The Fabulous 1970's, when colour film came in rolls of 12, 24 and 36 exposures. And photographers kept a count and charged for each and every extra photograph 'that was not in the original contract'. This picture was taken by the famous Goan pioneer of photography in Dubai - Rod of Rod's Photo Studio in Deira, Dubai. Those were the days.

True Love
(Skeeter Davis & Bobby Bare)  

I will love you all my life
(Foster & Allen)

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Monday, February 03, 2014

Sunday, February 02, 2014

The Shadow that Wiarton Willie saw wasn't his.

I have a strange feeling
 that the shadow Wiarton Willie saw
was not his.
So that means
is just around the corner.

Yay! Hooray!