Picturesque Goa

Picturesque Goa
NOSTALGIA - Articles,Poems & Photos


TONFERNS CREATIONS - Tony's Art & Hobbies

Thursday, March 31, 2016



It was a great opportunity, privilege and a golden once in a lifetime chance to visit the Shrine and Tomb of Mother Teresa in Kolkata on the 7th of February 2016.

As soon as l walked in the modest room where Mother Teresa's tomb is enshrined, a shudder suddenly ran through my spine immediately giving me goose bumps. I bowed down and closed my eyes to say a prayer and pay my respects momentarily. Then, when I lifted my head up and opened my eyes, I saw everyone around me in tears and when l touched my own face I found that l was in tears too. Such is the impact of great Mother Teresa's radiance around those who come to visit her shrine in Kolkata. The awe, adoration and admiration was clearly visible on the faces of all those who silently stood and prayed around her tomb.

Although my visit to her tomb and a tour around the shrine lasted only a short while, I will remember and cherish these moments, and also the memories of attending the celebrations of a beautiful wedding of a family member for a long time.

Monday, March 28, 2016

St. Anthony's High School, Monte de Guirim, Bardez, Goa


The school building on the right was constructed in the early 1960's under the tenure of Fr. Pacificus who poured his heart, mind, time, diligence, care and determination into this massive project of that great era along with the efforts of all those involved in achieving its completion. I have seen this structure come up during my schooling years at Monte de Guirim.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

St. Anthony's High School, Monte de Guirim, Bardez, Goa

During my time at the school during the late 1950's and early 1960's the trucks with firewood arrived and unloaded their stuff on the concrete paved area in the foreground. Seen in the center of the picture are the stairs leading to the play area below the refectory and the Junior dormitory above it. The rear of this building led to the teachers quarters and the chapel. This area was our stomping ground throughout our scholastic years - a favourite spot for everything that defines recreation.

I remember the famous Sacrula de Saligao, dressed in a brown tunic, standing on the parapet on right side of the stairs leading to the refectory and delivering his speech with an umbrella. The building on  the right side of the refectory consisted of an art classroom run by the well-known and legendary Capuchin Brother Vitalis who was my art teacher. Next to it was the Infirmary, and the Music Room that had a LP Record Changer, a microphone and a PA Amplifier.

This sound system was used for playing instrumental music during the afternoon recess and music from Radio Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in the evening before the recitation of the Holy Rosary in Konkani by two boarders at 8 pm. One horn loud speaker was placed on the top of the school building steeple facing the Guirim side and another on the side of the refectory directed towards the Sangolda side. Families living down the hill and beyond could hear and join in the Rosary in the stillness of those nights of long ago, perhaps even more than a mile away.

Incidentally and interestingly, a bell that consisted of a 2 feet length of a railway track and an iron bar was used to call students to dinner and studies. It was suspended on the horizontal beam of the roof near the stairs leading to the right of the refectory building. The covered garage and service station for the school Land-Rover was located to the left of this picture taken from the spot where stood the mango tree.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

St. Anthony's High School, Monte de Guirim, Bardez, Goa,

This stairway in the foreground leads as a short-cut towards the famous Franco's shop and to St. Diogo's Church at the T-junction down at the foot of this hillock on the east side. As a day-scholar I often used this steep slope to buy pepper-mints or a loaf of bread during the afternoon lunch break.

Related Article:
Four Annas and a Loaf of Bread

The white painted rooms on the left were classes Prep. Junior and Prep. Senior in 1954. The classrooms below were Stds. 1, 2 and the Laboratory with the well-known human skeleton in one of its the cupboard, under the care Fr. Chrysostom.

Friday, March 25, 2016

St. Anthony's High School, Monte de Guirim, Bardez, Goa

The blue structure on the left was added in the early 1970s. The laterite stone stairway leading to the green room was the sound room that housed the PA sound system with microphones, amplifier and 6 LP stackable Garrard Record player. The bridge until 1956 was flat. It was arched and the roadway sunken to facilitate the trucks with firewood to clear underneath and reach to unload at the top.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

St. Anthony's High School, Monte de Guirim, Bardez, Goa

For quiet study or meditation, sports activities or games, and just plain conversation or watching a sunset over the Arabian Sea, one could rejoice in silent bliss.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

St. Anthony's High School, Monte de Guirim, Bardez, Goa


The famous and timeless vertical striped façade and stepped steeple of the main building. Classes below and senior dormitory above. This frontal magnificent structure served also as a backdrop for the annual school students picture. Two stairways on both sides lead and join at the landing below the front portal. The wing on the left was added much later. The original vertical stripes and borders around the arched balcony and main portal were bluish-grey and later changed to red sometime in the early 1960s.

The huge hall on the first floor was actually a dormitory for senior students. It was temporarily converted into a drama hall for the two special days in the school calendar as described above. On one occasion, I had also witnessed an Ordination to priesthood of one of the students of Monte in the late 1950’s, by the Archbishop of Goa.

The large dormitory comprised of a purpose-built stage with permanent fittings. It was well-known for its unique curtain that resembled a beautiful scarlet drape, far ahead of its time in its operation and the way it opened during the 1950's. It consisted of a timber frame-work that was fitted to the lower half of the curtain at the rear. The ropes were attached to the top of the timber frame, and the curtain was completely lifted up into the ceiling, aided by a pulley system, forming a neat horizontal crease midway, making it look majestic as it went up. It had also had other rolling scenic curtains which were painted by Brother Vitalis. The stage had an array of boxed floor lights in the front end. The entire facade from ground to the sloping roof, and side to side, was painted in light bluish-grey hues resembling marble Roman architectural columns.

On the second day of the school concert, students attended Holy Mass at the school chapel, followed by breakfast in the hall mentioned above.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Fisheye Exposure in Time


Way back in 'TIME EXPOSURE". Literally! A past blaster: Scanned copy of a Moonlit Night Scene photographed from 'Al Hamra' Building rooftop- Al Arouba Street - Sharjah. Circa 1980. Nikon FM2 with 180 deg.Fisheye lens. 100ASA 35mm Film - Developed, processed and printed by Tony Fernandes. Filters 65 Yellow 40 Magenta. Enlarger Ht: @ 19". Camera facing E-S/E. In the foreground is the taxi-stand for Ras Al Khaimah. Facing East, and spanning from left (N/NE) to right (S/SE} are the glimmering lights of the fabulous and well planned city of Sharjah.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Palm Sunday


At the triple chimes
Of village church bell
We rose up early and saw
In the serene stillness before the dawn
The bright morning star in the East
Right above the sky’s edge
And as we turned our gaze
Southwards above the horizon
Saw the constellation
Called the Southern Cross
Twinkling just above the backyard hedge



Sunday was a typical day with attendance at the very early first morning Mass at 6 am, so that we could be on time to hear “Binaca Hit Parade” at 8 am. at our neighbour’s place who had a powerful Grundig valve radio that used huge external line antennae above their house. The programme we used to listen to was broadcast on shortwave, 31 metre band, by the Commercial Service of Radio Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. I remember meeting my mother going to church for the second mass and pass us returning on our way from the first. Ricky Nelson, Jim Reeves, Cliff Richard and Elvis Presley reigned supreme with their hits. Seven or eight of us would be listening with paper and pencils in our hands and voila! - in one sitting we would have the lyrics of the song that we liked. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.” 

~ George R.R. Martin ~

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Way of the Cross

Via Dolorosa
14 Stations of the  Cross


Way of the Cross
Via Dolorosa
Via Sacra
Povitr Vatt

Lenten services at St. Diogo's Church of Parishes of the twin villages of Guirim and Sangolda in Goa, bring back memories of childhood. Taking part in the solemn procession winding its way around the hill-side and around the perimeter of the cemetery with life-size statues of Christ carrying the Cross, and hearing the touching notes and words of the motets sung in Konkani, sent a chill up my spine.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Remembering a Bygone Era of Hopscotch


          The gleaming white Holy Cross seen in this picture was taken during my visit to Cumbiem Morod recently. I was amazed with nostalgia to see how it has stood the test of time now for 3 generations in front of the ancestral family home of Custodio Piedade Fernandes. The area around this Cross was once our childhood playground of various types of games including the timeless common game of 'Hopscotch' that young girls and boys from the village played after coming home in the evening from school. An overlay of the hopscotch pattern drawn over the picture is a touching remembrance of a bygone era bringing back a flood of good memories.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sunset Embers - Goa, India

 'Sunset Embers' at Siridao - Goa, India

 “Never waste any amount of time
 doing anything important
when there is a sunset outside
that you should be sitting under!” 
 ~  C. JoyBell C  ~  

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Parra gets a facellift

Jaknim, Parra, Bardez, Goa

Jaknim - is a quaint village of Parra. Tinto is a local market place for buying daily provisions, and fish, meat and vegetables. Vendors come from the surrounding areas, fish from Calangute and Anjuna. The Tinto comprises of the Offices of the Village Panchayat. It also has a few provision stores, restaurants, bakery and pharmacy. In the old days a doctor from Mapusa had a clinic there. A beautiful temple -Shri Siddhivinayak - is located not far from the junction. 'Parra Tinto' is unique in the sense that it is located at the junction of one major north/south roadway and a regional street. Passing through this village is the Mapusa to Calangute Road via Saligao, and also another road via Nagoa, branching off to Arpora. The regional road from the village from Guirim passes through Parra to St. Anne's Church, Parra Arrady, and onward to Anjuna and Siolim. An arterial road from Bastora joins the main road near this Tinto. Parra is famous and is best known for its watermelons.