Picturesque Goa

Picturesque Goa
NOSTALGIA - Articles,Poems & Photos


TONFERNS CREATIONS - Tony's Art & Hobbies

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Dahlia Wins 2 Toronto Independent Music Awards

So proud of our talented daughter Dahlia
 of Dahlia Music
who won TWO
last night
 for her song Dreamlova
from her newly released EP

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Hanging On

Hanging On

When as a
 'Bachelor Boy'
 living among
'The Young Ones'
often went on a
'Summer Holiday'
and thought
that you were like a
'Living Doll'
'Lucky Lips' -
a perfect
'Theme For a Dream'
'A Human Work of Art'.
'It was all in the Game'
at times like
'The Twelfth of Never'
but your love for me
still keeps me
'Hanging On'

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Edna's Pickles - Flavours from the Heart

A new delicious flavour
 from Edna's Pickles
for the upcoming Fall and Xmas Art & Craft Shows 2017.


A sweet Chutney cooked with Green Apples, Cranberries, Clementines and Dates in white wine vinegar along with spices like cloves, ginger, cinnamon etc.. giving a rich taste.
This Chutney can be served on toasted bread or with cream cheese on crackers or alongside Ham, Pork, Turkey & Chicken main dishes. This Chutney is packed with flavour straight from the heart.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Why Me Lord

Why Me Lord

Why me Lord, what have I ever done
To deserve even one
Of the pleasures I've known
Tell me Lord, what did I ever do
That was worth loving you
Or the kindness you've shown.
Lord help me Jesus, I've wasted it so
Help me Jesus I know what I am
Now that I know that I've need you so
Help me Jesus, my soul's in your hand.
Tell me Lord, if you think there's a way
I can try to repay
All I've taken from you
Maybe Lord, I can show someone else
What I've been through myself
On my way back to you.
Lord help me Jesus, I've wasted it so
Help me Jesus I know what I am
Now that I know that I've need you so
Help me Jesus, my soul's in your hand.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hopscotch and other games of a bygone era


The picture seen here of the gleaming white Holy Cross picture was taken during my visit to Cumbiem Morod, Guirim, Bardez, Goa, nearly 2 years ago. I was amazed with nostalgia to see how it has stood the test of time until now for 3 generations in front of an ancestral family home in our village. The area around this Cross was once our childhood playground of various types of games including the timeless common and simple games of 'Hopscotch', 'Foueio' and 'Lobieo' 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 childhood memories.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Playing Hopscotch in front of the Cross - Goa


The picture seen here of the gleaming white Holy Cross picture was taken during my visit to Cumbiem Morod, Guirim, Bardez, Goa, nearly 2 years ago. I was amazed with nostalgia to see how it has stood the test of time until now for 3 generations in front of an ancestral family home of our close neighbours in our village. The area around this Cross was once our childhood playground of various types of games including the timeless common and simple games of 'Hopscotch', 'Foueio' and 'Lobieo' 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 childhood memories.

There are various Crosses of this nature in Goa. Many are found in front of houses. Some have built-in niches for holding candles or clay wick lamps. Crosses are also found along the roadsides and paths through the fields and on riversides, seen gleaming on a moonlit night.

They are built in a typical fashion as shown above from laterite stone and cement/mortar, and finished in limestone white wash lasting for generations. The lime wash is a product made from burning limestone in a kiln mainly coral and shells. 

Saturday, September 02, 2017


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Today marks the 50th anniversary when I first boarded the B.I. steamship s.s. Sirdhana from Bombay (now Mumbai) to Dubai, U.A.E. (then The Trucial States of Oman). It would be my first venture abroad. Many on the Indian sub-continent knew where it was, but perhaps in those days very few people knew about it in other parts of the world.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Goa of the 1960's,

The Multilingual Myna

We had two cages on both sides of our “balcão”, hanging on the beam across the two pillars that held the roof of the entrance. There was a myna in one cage and a parrot in another. They could both speak three languages, and had a remarkable memory and extensive vocabulary that included certain Konkani words for which I would have definitely been reprimanded if I ever dared to utter or repeat them. Perhaps the parrot was more adept of the two. I have no idea where the parrot learned swear words. Maybe from the previous owners! These birds entertained people passing by who paused at our house for a while to hear some of their colourful and amusing vocabulary. The cat slept most of the day, but justified its laziness by catching the erring naughty mice in the night. The dog was well behaved, got its regular feed and barked most of the time. And surprisingly both the birds mimicked, with a flair of their own, with a meow here and bow-wow there!

Friday, August 25, 2017

 (Line Art by Tony Fernandes)

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 spout which is reminiscent of the famous head of the Portuguese Barcelos rooster or Galo de Barcelos.
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.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse

A day of reckoning - what would we do without the Sun.

A time to reflect on the power of the Creator.

Jet trails in the Sun.

Magnificent heavenly display - when the sun and the moon play hide & seek, and it was the Sun's turn today to assume the shape of a crescent

Solar Eclipse - 21 August 2017 - Mississauga, Canada.
 Camera: Canon ~ Shot with green filter.
 Time: 14:12:59, Mode: Manual, ISO 80, Exp. f5.6, @1/1600 sec.
 ~ © Photo by Tony Fernandes.

Direction: 211° Altitude: 54.7°

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Goan 'Confro' - the Sanna Maker

Goan 'Confro'
The Sanna Maker

A traditional rice-cake steamer - a clever invention of our ancestors. Made from copper and hammer-finished by Goan coppersmiths with a tight-fitting lid, two handles on the main pot and handle for the lid. Available in shops in all major towns. The indent around the middle of the lower half holds a tin shelf with holes that let the steam from the water in the reservoir to pass through and steam cook several rice cakes all at once that are placed in small tin saucers on the tray.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Goan Balcao (Balcony)

Goan Balcão (balcony)
A place for everyone and everything

One of the prime features of a Goan house is a Balcão (Portuguese) or balcony. In the summer months one could spend more time in the balcão than inside the house. Balcões (plural in Port.) are constructed in different shapes and sizes. Some have stone/red cement benches with reclining rests to rest on, while others have wooden benches. It is a place for everyone, everything and every occasion - a place for serious or idle conversation, for local gossip, a place to rest after a long journey before entering the house, to enjoy afternoon tea, for a thirsty stranger asking for a glass of water, for the spill-over of late comers at a sung litany or for a impromptu singing session of the Goan mando (folk songs). In the old days of the 1960's we brought the portable transistor out and placed it on the cement bench, and neighbours came over to listen to the popular evening English request program broadcast by Radio Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and All India Radio Goa.

When we were young, sometimes on rainy days of the monsoon season, the village boys and girls could not play outdoors after school in the evenings. So, we played carrom, draughts, games of cards, ludo, and at times, one of village elders would relate stories in the balcony of his house about his good old days. To hear him relate old stories was a pleassure. He regaled us with colourful accounts of his younger days and other short stories of wit and humour. It was getting dark as he still went on. It was dusk, and as we heard the chimes of the Angelus bell of our village chapel, we would all rise as he recited the Angelus prayer at the end of which everyone wished him 'Boa Noite' (Good Night) before we walked to our individual homes.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Time & Tide


My body is like an hour-glass,
From it like sand my life will pass,
It will surely be over all too soon,
Just like the tide,
My life will then be a thing of the past.

When the sands of Time that now in my body
Steadily but slowly flow,
And all of it when it has ebbed away just like the Tide,
And there’s sand no more,
My life will then be a thing of the past for sure.

So then I take some Time now and then,
To write a thought into a word or two;
And entwine words into strings of verse,
In a day, week and sometimes perhaps
In a year or two.

So if we make the most of Time,
And sway not with the Tide;
In doing worthy and good things in life,
Will certainly be good
While we are still alive.

Good words heard or spoken, 
Fall on deaf ears so very often,
But human good deeds and values, 
In the end, and in Time, 
Will not be outdone.

Through the hour-glass 
Only goodness shall pass;
Not riches or gains,
Prosperity or wealth.
Status or class.

Sand depletes by the hour,
And the tide turns from high to low,
Our life is quickly running out,
And soon there will be nothing left,
When no more grains remain to flow.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Goan Sala with typical furniture

A typical Goan grand family room (Portuguese: Sala) of the 1960's in our village of Cumbiem Morod, Guirim, Bardez, Goa, complete with assorted types of chairs, centre table with vase and flowers, wall clock, hanging chimney lamp, family pictures, paintings and ample brightness through tall windows.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Goan Rocking Chair

Goan Rocking Chair
Line artwork and crosshatch drawing
by Tony Fernandes

Rocking chairs are quite common in most family homes in Goa with their own unique designs and construction by Goan carpenters with their usual 2 curved pieces attached to the bottom of the legs. They are made to rock and do not have extendable pieces to rest one's legs like the Goan 'volter', which has 4 legs firmly on the ground with arm rest extensions that swing out to serve as leg rests. The original Voltaire chair was not a rocking chair and did not have extendable rests.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Country Singer of My Youth

Glen Campbell 1967.JPG

Country Singer of My Youth
Rest in eternal peace;
Rhinestone Cowboy.

Your songs have brought happiness
and joy for most of my life.

Your songs, voice and music
indeed made this world a better place.

Monday, August 07, 2017

The Goan Volter

~ The Goan Volter ~ 
Line Art/Crosshatch Drawing
 by Tony Fernandes.

The easy chair called ‘Volter’ in Konkani is now among other extraordinary antique furniture pieces of my youth in Goa of the 1960’s. It is a long reclining easy chair with a low seat and high back with the added comfort of extendable/retractable swing arms to rest legs on for an afternoon siesta. This chair was essentially reserved for my Dad. Youngsters were not supposed to be seen sitting on it with an older person around the house. This was merely out of respect for elders. When I was young I happily checked out its comfort when my Dad was away, although my legs could not reach the extended pieces to fully utilize its comfort. Named after, and made popular by, the famous French writer, Voltaire, this unique chair was a proud possession of many family homes in our village. My Dad made sure it was always kept in pristine condition with its regular annual coat of varnish. I have drawn it here from memory – with its carved head rest, cane strung back rest and seat, and double swing extensions. Also known as 'Plantation Chair'.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Goan Coconut Scraper & Fish Scaler, Aadoli, Aada'o

Traditional Goan Coconut Grater & Fish Scaler

This ancient invention is a prime multi-function kitchen tool made by local craftsmen and is used in every Goan household. The curved metal blade, which is used for scaling and cutting fish, splitting shells and cutting several types of vegetables, ends in a sharp toothed flat semi-circular toothed extension that is used to scrape/grate coconut used in cooking curries or making sweets. The device is pivoted to a wooden stool with metal angles that enables it to collapse over for safety when not in use. In its use, this gadget is firmly held in place on the floor by folks sitting astride this gadget when carrying out a cutting or scraping chore.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Atam Aum Tankam Kitem Sangoum?

(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)

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?

Monday, July 17, 2017



Ugddas maka
Mojea burgeaponnailo sodanch eta, 
Jednam viaj marun amcho xezari
Porot bailea gavan voiche adle ratri
Bolkavant zatali zoma vaddeantlea lokachi
Ani dukhest asle zaite dusre xezari.

Burgo asslom aum, auchit vollon nodor moji poddli
Tor tednam disso maka
Ghorchim kortat gai munn Devak
Kherit aplim magnnim
Polloun pustalin munn aplim dukam
Chodd dukh maka bogtali..

Astanam ami 
Amchea Goeam
Aikonk naslem 
‘Mortgage’ kitem gai munn tednam
Zolmolelea ghara bhair 
Dusrem ghor naslem amkam.

Atam zalim thoddinch vorsam
Amchea vhoddilanchem baxen
Bailea gavant 
Khud paulom aum atam
Ani ekach xarant ravon sarlim
Zaitim khuxealborith vorsam.

Punn chintun atam niall aum kortam
Sabar dis zalet passar
Ravon aum hea porkea ganvant
Chintlem vochonk dusrea gharant
Punn darantlo bhair aum sodhtam tednam
Goenche baxen xezari kiteak mellonk heunk nam makam?

Vorsam zaitim zalim atam
Burgeaponnailo ugddas 
Auchit anink ek pautt ailo makam
Jednam nodor moji poddli
Xezari aplea dharantlem tond
Katortalo mixinant tednam.

Aplem mixin bond korun
Tanklenam xezareak mojea,
Adeus korunk maka;
Chintun hea gauncheo thoddeo riti
Anink ek pautt vhodd dukh bogli maka
Pussunk poddlim avem mojinch dukam.

Adeus mojea
Goenchea xezarea
Pois thaun chodd tuzo ugddass eta maka
Kallzan thaun Deu Borem Koruum munntam
Magun bori saud ani bolaiki
Devan sodanch dhuincheak tukam.

Tony Fernandes                       July 2017  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017



For some 51 years old it may not all rosy at the start to settle in a new country with new customs, traditions, environment, weather and a general new way of life to adapt to. And as for me it was no exception either.

For some, they say it is a culture shock, while for others it is not, but rather more like missing one’s close relatives and friends and the calm and coziness of the land that one previously was too used to.

Most immigrants are qualified as the system demands to make an entry in Canada. There are immigrants from all walks of life from all over the world. In most cases people find jobs in their chosen field. Some families immigrate with teenage or even younger children.

Goans as new immigrants have an advantage of being fluent in the English language. To settle and be successful, one would have to take in stride and accept a new system and new way of life. It is not possible to still dwell in the 'susegad' spirit if one has to accomplish the dream of emigration itself.

A big contingent of Goans emigrated to Canada from East Africa during the 1970’s. Others settled in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. Goans who were working In the Middle East – Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Dubai also immigrated to various places in Canada like British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. Goans have also emigrated directly from Bombay. However a few have emigrated directly from Goa.

In Mississauga – Ontario – there is a large number of Goans who have emigrated from their previous working places away from Goa and have settled largely in the Greater Toronto Area. This number is large enough to have numerous social functions on a single day like a picnic, dance or a feast at a short notice!

An inherent Goan trait is the much-spoken aboout 'susegad' spirit or a relaxed attitude to life that exists in Goan culture. I would define 'susegad spirit' as not exactly as being lazy or idle in attaining or getting something done immediately, but more in keeping with leaving something for tomorrow that could have easily been done today. This attitude could be described as someone would say in Konkani in Goa: “Faleam pounchem”.

This trait may be prevalent in many other cultures, but is quite a rare and unique kind that one finds in Goa. It prevails more in Goa than abroad. When a Goan lives and works abroad he has competition in the work place and being susegad would not be an ideal way to go about in a new country that one has adopted as a choice hoping for a better and prospective life that the one before. Eventually Goans may leave and forget about the susegad spirit for good, but the characteristic attributes and qualities of having a good time, enjoying life, singing and dancing do not cease.

Most Goans shed the ‘susegad’ spirit when they start to work abroad specially in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Canada. After immigration it tends to be a different ball game altogether. They have to make a fresh start in a totally new land and interact with other immigrants from other parts of the world. And being 'susegad' would be an impediment for one’s progress. 

The susegad spirit does not exist in the diaspora. It does not survive. To be susegad would be a setback. There is too much at stake for it to survive. There is too much competition. Many opportunities are available to succeed in life in Canada.

However, it is my opinion that if one so chooses to work hard against all odds and put in all the hard work and sacrifice that one is willing to put up with in Goa itself instead of in a new land, then one need not leave the shores of home so dear to some than those of a far and distant land.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017



 An interesting alternative to a great change of scenery in driving a day after a successful conclusion of 'Artfest Kingston 2017' (Canada Day Weekend) to Mississauga, from the rather uninteresting 401 freeway, at least for part of the return journey, we took scenic Route 33 (passing through West Amherstview, Millhaven, Bath, Adolphustown to the Glenora Ferry). A sunny day provided a smooth drive and picturesque views of the lake amid azure blue skies interspersed with white clouds,before taking Highway 21 to HW 401 at Napanee.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, ocean, outdoor, nature and water

Image may contain: sky, tree, cloud, outdoor, nature and water

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, grass, cloud, outdoor, nature and water

Image may contain: cloud, sky, tree, plant, outdoor and nature

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Photo Transfer

The Frontenac County Court House

Photo transfer on pine oval. The Frontenac County Court House in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. It is a National Historic Site of Canada. It is a large, limestone court house, built in the mid-19th century in the Neoclassical style. It is located in a downtown residential area of 19th-century homes, adjacent to Queen’s University, in the city of Kingston. Photo by Tony Fernandes.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Photo transfer and pyrography

'Canada 150' Commemorative Keepsake Box
with Image Transfer and pyrogravured
maple leaves by Tony Fernandes.
Measurements L.6.75" x W 4" x Overall Ht.5.5" Arched Top.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Remembering my Dad on 'Father's Day'

Remembering my Dad on ‘Father’s Day’.

I remember my father had taken me everywhere during my school holidays, visiting new places to see and explore, to the beach, to the market place every day to buy fresh fish and groceries, to my favourite restaurant in town for ice-cream, to the nearby hills for walks and to pluck 'canttam' and 'cashew apples', to the lakes and springs for picnics, and to nearby rivers for a swim.

My father had made for me my very own first mini catapult (Konkani: 'robond'). He had also taken me fishing to the salt-water river, to watch football games in the nearby town, and to distant places visiting friends and relatives, by bus, taxi and ferry, all of which I had enjoyed immensely.

I remember my father had also taken me along when he had gone to meet the Capuchin Friars at my school, nestled high up on the hill of Monte de Guirim, Bardez, Goa, among the verdant surroundings. On our way back we had stopped to pluck ripe cashews from the trees that grew on the slopes of the hill. It had been a great fun-filled day although the climb was very tiring. We had made a brief stop at the shop down the hill for a soda, a real thirst-quencher. They had walked back home on the winding path through our picturesque village. Many people seemed to have known him as he greeted them along the way. He also waved out to the people who worked in the fields. "My Dad knows everybody”, I had thought. I still miss him and his humble ways.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Photo Transfer

Murney Tower

Photo transfer on pine size 11"x 8"
Murney Tower is a Martello tower in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Its construction dates to 1846. Officially designated as Murray Tower. Popularly known as Murney Tower, as it was built on Murney Point at MacDonald Park. Photo by Tony Fernandes,

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Saint Anthony

St. Anthony of Padua
Today is the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua. He was born in Portugal. He joined the Franciscan Order and was a proficient preacher and teacher in Padua, Italy. He is one of the Catholic Church’s most popular saints. Saint Anthony of Padua is popularly known as the patron saint of lost and stolen articles. He is typically portrayed holding the child Jesus—or a lily—or a book—or all three—in his arms.  Many people give alms to St. Anthony Bread in thanksgiving to God for blessings received through the prayers of St. Anthony.

He is the patron saint of my alma mater, St. Anthony's High School, Monte de Guirim, Bardez, Goa.