Picturesque Goa

Picturesque Goa
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Friday, September 30, 2016

~ OVER THE CREST OF MONTE - Our great Alma Mater ~ Distant view of Mapusa Town.

~ OVER THE CREST OF MONTE - Our great Alma Mater ~ 
Distant view of Mapusa Town.

Once upon a time during the early1950's there was a flat wooden covered bridge that joined the senior dormitory to the refectory and junior dormitory buildings. But whenever a delivery truck loaded with firewood or other supplies came up it could not pass under it to drop the load off on the upper terrace. So brilliant were the fathers of Monte – they were architects too and never ran out of ideas – that they had an arched RCC bridge constructed. But still somehow it seemed to be difficult for some trucks to pass under. Nothing could pose a challenge. So then they made a slight dip in the road at that point. And the trucks passed through happily ever after. Living up to the school’s motto: “Ad Ardua”, the Fathers, Brothers, Teachers, workers and students met with the challenges before them.

Standing at the point where this picture was taken from, we could clearly hear the blasts at the iron-ore mines in Sirigao during the afternoon break. Also at this time, making a rare and entertaining appearance to the school during noon was the highly erudite and entertaining Sacrula de Saligao who provided us with his astonishing speeches. Most students gathered around him to hear him. His trademark was his cycle, a Franciscan habit and an umbrella with an insignia. He was never afraid of heights. He liked to stand above the rest when his delivered one of his amazing speeches, and the parapet facing the school refectory posed no challenge for the extraordinary and unforgettable man.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Chapora Fort, Chapora estuary, Siolim

Magnificent view of the range of Chapora Fort at the Chapora delta.
My earliest memories of visiting this place is my grandmother taking me as a young lad from Guirim to Siolim where she lived to spend summer holidays for a week or two. The highlights were going fishing with my uncle at high tide, picking shell fish - tisreo (clams), khube (shells) and kalvam (oysters) from the sea early in the morning, and going to the Siolim tinto to buy fresh vegetable and groceries.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What will I tell them now?

(A poem by Tony Fernandes)

On my adventures to distant lands
To the people I meet - about our beautiful land I boast,
About how in peace and harmony we dwell proudly I relate,
But today in shame I cry when I read in the news
A nun being attacked, and churches desecrated,
Tell me then, what will I tell them now?

(Poem by Tony Fernandes)
(in Konkani - language of the Konkan Region - West Coast of India)

Sounsar aum bonvlom,
Zaitea lokak meulom...
Sobith and xanthikaiechem
Goa munnon mojem
Tuji vhodvikai sogleank sangli
Tednam maka tannim dili
Vhodd xebaski.

Mando, durpod, zothi
Ani xamaincheo kanniencheo
Bhov ugddas korim,
Thambonastanam naum Goenchem
Ani Goencheam locachem
Vhoir uklun aum dorim.

Punn aiz mojea kalzak
Kitem Goeam goddlem tem aikun
Chodd dukh bogli.
Tor tunch maka sang atam
Kitem aum tankam sangoum
Kosli voddvikai anink urli?

(Adapted from my previously published poem in Goanet
and subsequently posted on my blog through the following link)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Prayer of St. Francis

A dedication to Pope Francis.

The touching hymn,’ Make me a channel of your peace’ and otherwise known as ‘Prayer for St. Francis’ was written by Sebastian Temple (1928-1997) who grew up in South Africa and later moved to London, where he worked on news broadcast relating to South Africa. After converting to Catholicism and adopting the Franciscan lifestyle, Sebastian became a Secular Franciscan and spent much of his time composing music for worship. 

He is best remembered for “The Prayer of St. Francis”. 

This is one of my favourite hymns.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Latch & Padlock

'Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city,
it might be better to change the locks.'
 ~ Doug Larson ~

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Horse Power & Horse Sense

'Horse Power'
is a Clay Sculpture 
~ by Tony Fernandes ~

'Horse Sense'
is the thing a horse has
which keeps it from betting on people. 
~ W.C. Fields ~

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wish Me A Rainbow

Photo by: Tony Fernandes

Wish me a rainbow and wish me the stars
All this you can give me wherever you are
And dreams for my pillow and stars for my eyes
And a masquerade ball where our love wins first prize

Wish me red roses and yellow baloon
And caress us whirling to gay dancing tunes
I want all these treasures the most you can give
So wish me a rainbow as long as I live

All my tomorrows depend on your love
So wish me a rainbow above
All my tomorrows depend on your love
So wish me a rainbow above

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Double Rainbow

Photo by: Tony Fernandes

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.

Sung by Judy Garland

Photo by: Tony Fernandes

 It's a good thing that when God created the rainbow he didn't consult a decorator or He would still be picking colors. ~ Sam Levenson

Photo by: Tony Fernandes

Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top
That's where you'll find me.

Sung by Judy Garland

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Photo by: Tony Fernandes


        I consider myself a Goan with basic roots of my ancestors based in Goa with its unique culture, heritage, customs and traditions that have evolved for centuries including its caste system that is rapidly changing and keeping up with the modern times.

        The title 'Goan' is unique and respected in the diaspora. A Goan could be defined as one who is originating from Goa, and who has his or her basic roots in Goa with an established member of the past generations of one's family or people - as ancestors - in all walks of life, having a precursor in a family lineage based in Goa.

         In general, the title defining a Goan can be used to describe the people of Goa, India, who form an ethno-linguistic group resulting from the assimilation of Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Indo-Portuguese and Austro-Asiatic ethnic and/or linguistic ancestries.

        Although I do not belong to any Goan Association here at present, I have patronized and supported various Goan associations in the past, by taking part in helping and participating in social functions, and also as a committee member celebrating village feasts, annual outings/picnics to parks far and near, pilgrimages to distant towns, and annual gatherings of families and friends at Christmas and New Year Functions.

       Yes, the folks who are members of Goan Associations are very much active, dedicating their spare time and efforts in organizing events on  weekends, besides having their regular full day jobs. They are enthusiastic in the role they play in society, in spite of long distances of travel to attend convened meetings in order to organize any function or event. In the past, I have served my tenure for one year as an Honorary President of my Alma Mater - St. Anthony's High School, Monte de Guirim, Bardez, Goa. I was assisted by a team, which 
consisted of ex-students and their families, friends and fellow Goans. It was well attended by over 420 people, both ex-students, their families and friends, raising a charity fund, and the proceeds generated having been remitted directly to the respective School in Goa.  I have also served as a committee member for several years with other volunteer ex-students as committee members from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The cultural aspect at such events is maintained by choreographing Goan songs and dances at such social functions by volunteers, by training young adults, for instance, in the traditional Kunbi Dance, Mando, Corridinho, etc. Konkani dramas (Tiatr) are also held three or more times a year in the GTA with packed audiences.

        A major indoor annual event called 'Viva Goa' organized by the G.O.A. Goan Overseas Association of Toronto has been on-going fixture for many years and has for the last 2 years been held as an outdoor event, once with the Mayor of Mississauga as the chief guest. Famous Goan singers have also made special guest appearances at such gatherings. There are many Goan speciality food stalls set up at these types of venues with Goan folks selling home-made sausages, pickles, dodol, bebinca, etc., and also inter-village soccer tournament being held side by side.

        There is also a very interesting and entertaining live 2-hour Konkani Radio Program entitled ‘Radio Mango’ that broadcasts Konkani and Mangalorean songs weekly in Toronto, every Saturday on FM101.30. This is the first ever weekly Konkani radio program in Canada presented by volunteers who dedicate their time and effort with additional support from Goans and Mangaloreans in making this a reality. Entrepreneurs, enterprising and inspiring Goans, doctors and businessmen, actors and actresses, priests, fashion designers, engineers, architects, writers and poets, sportsmen and sportswomen, musicians and prominent visiting Goan and Mangalorean entertainers have been interviewed on a weekly basis, with a segment of news from home broadcast live on this program since its inception on 29th September 2012. Click on the following link for more details about how to listen to this fabulous Konkani Radio presentation from Toronto worldwide.

       The Goan community at large is well-known among the general population, acknowledged and accepted, playing its own role in society. Every village is an important one to every Goan wherever he hails from, and is proud of it. And as every village has its own Saint, its feast day is very significant to them. Hence they try and celebrate it with great pomp and fervour. Whoever is interested in his or her village feast will go out of their way to form or join a committee of Goans. Various associations take them in their fold, irrespective of which village they belong to, and without prejudice. Strictly, own village committees also do exist with eager members who come forward to help, oblige and organize any event or feast. To cite an example, one could precede a village name to the word ‘Social', ‘Get-together’, ‘Ball’ or ‘Annual Dance’ for practically every village thus calling it 'Anjuna Social', 'Aldona Social', 'Parra Social', 'Calangute Social' or have picnic and calling it 'Anjuna Picnic', 'Aldona Picnic', 'Parra Picnic', 'Calangute Picnic' etc.

      Many Goan Seniors Clubs, Sports Committees of various football, cricket, carrom and field hockey associations and organizations have been established over the years and with participation by those who are interested in their own particular choice of sports activities by patronizing such social groups.

      The very popular and common traditional Litany - a collection of a form of prayer that is sung at wayside Crosses, Chapels and homes in the vast countryside around Goa - is also sung at some private functions. I have attended sung litany on various occasions in my life abroad and played the violin on two such gatherings.

      Konkani Mass is solemnly celebrated at least once or twice a year and attended by Goans with great pride from all walks of life creating a happy atmosphere, especially in major towns, particularly on the feast day of St. Francis Xavier complete with hymns and a homily delivered in Konkani by Goan priests belonging to own parishes, or other priests invited from other Catholic parishes around the GTA who are fluent in Konkani, followed by a procession as a finale. Such events remind us about our native land – Goa, keeping us in touch and close to home. Masses in English are celebrated daily, and also with extra services on Saturdays and Sundays with full attendance, mainly on the feast days of the Virgin Mary, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Anne, Christmas, New Year and Easter Sunday. My children sang in our local parish church choir.

A true Goan takes Goa with him or her wherever he or she goes around the world.


Tony Fernandes
Author of ‘Goa – Memories of My Homeland’  (Poems and Short Stories)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Village Chapel

My Village Chapel in Goa
at Cumbiem Morod,

A true Goan takes Goa with him or her
wherever he or she goes around the world.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Goan Gumott

The Goan Gumott
 of Mando and song - the drum,
 made out of clay,
and topped with animal skin.

Line drawing by Tony Fernandes

Goan traditional mandos, dulpods and folksongs are often sung to the percussion beat of the 'Gumott' and also to the accompaniment of the guitar and the harmonica. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

If the entire world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

If the entire world is a stage,
where is the audience sitting?

Heaven still rebuilds rainbows

For, faithful to its sacred page,
  Heaven still rebuilds thy span;
Nor lets the type grow pale with age,
  That first spoke peace to man.
~ Thomas Campbell ~

Friday, September 09, 2016

Port Hope - Ontario, Canada

Port Hope - Ontario, Canada

When I stand before God
at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have
a single bit of talent left, and could say,
'I used everything you gave me'.

~ Erma Bombeck ~ 

What did they do during the day?

If Galileo used a small lamp,
Graham Bell 2 candle lights
Shakespeare street lamp...
tell me then,
what did they do during the day?

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Bandra Feast - Mount Mary

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

During my years as a student in Bombay, I longed for the arrival of this date - the unforgettable date - that is the 8th of September, the feast of Our Lady of the Mount. It is a great day for all the faithful as well as for the business people. Thousands of peopke from all walks of life flock to the beautiful and religious shrine, irrespective of their caste, creed or religion to pay their annual homage and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

But for me as a young lad, the wait was more for the fun fair that I looked forward to - the games, the giant wheel, the different stalls selling different toys, clothes and snacks.

This majestic Roman Catholic Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, is situated on a hillock in Bandra, Mumbai, India. The week-long feast is celebrated and culminates on birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

During the time when I was in Goa as a young child, I accompanied other boys and girls from our village to St. Diogo's with little baskets of flowers and sang 'Devache Maie, pau to amkam'. During the celebration all children stood in line along the centre aisle and tossed the flowers up in the air over our heads in adoration.

Sunday, September 04, 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, it was a humbling experience and a great privilege. I will remember and cherish these moments for a long time to come.

Oh! What a joy to the people of the City of Joy and to all the rest around the world to know that Mother Teresa is declared a Saint today by Pope Francis - a Pope of our lifetime.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Try to remember the kind of September

Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh so mellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When grass was green and grain was yellow.

Try to remember the kind of September
when the roads in Mapusa town were clean
Try to remember the kind of September
When the market was uncluttered 
and riding the bicycle was routine.