Picturesque Goa

Picturesque Goa
NOSTALGIA - Articles,Poems & Photos


TONFERNS CREATIONS - Tony's Art & Hobbies

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Adios 2017, Welcome 2018.

Adios 2017, Welcome 2018

As we usher in the New Year 2018, let us hope for love, not hatred, and pray for Peace throughout the world, for those affected by war, famine, natural disasters and extreme weather conditions; pray for the sick, the bereaved, the injured, the afflicted and the poor.

We remember our folks who are far away from us; consider ourselves lucky to have our friends and family near us, and pray for those folks who are no longer with us today.

I am thankful for having had a better life than the less fortunate than myself. I hope to cherish the happy memories I have had with my dear ones, and think of the good times we have shared in the happy times of yesteryear, and hope for a better 2018, with happiness, peace and prosperity for all throughout the world.
While reminiscing on the calendar of 2017, we cannot change the past, but we can definitely wish, hope and pray for a better 2018 and keep the resolutions we make.

I cherish the good old days when our family and friends attended New Year’s Eve Ball; and I remember the house parties that followed during the festive season. That was the norm. Today as we are much older, we can’t help but reminisce about the good old days, and the good times we had then and those wonderful moments we shared with our friends and relatives - some of whom sadly are no longer with us.

Sometimes I tend to ask myself why we refer to those days as the “good old days”. Conversely, I believe that the days are the same, the only difference being that we are getting older. Poignantly though and perhaps quite aptly, some of us may reminisce once again in forming a circle with our friends at the Ball, waiting for the count-down at the stroke of midnight and singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

To sum it up I’d like to play just for old times’ sake a short clip of a favourite and familiar tune that we hear on every New Year’s Eve. It's only in recent years with the encouragement from my daughter Denise that I learned to play an instrument I always wanted to - the violin. Learning is still in progress - but nonetheless, I hope this brings home the sentiment that ‘Auld Lang Syne’ has done year after year.

To listen to my humble rendering of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ on the violin, please click on the following link, video kind courtesy of my wife Edna. Thank you.

Wishing you all my Facebook friends, your families and all your near and dear ones, a Happy & Prosperous New Year 2018. May good health, love, peace, joy and happiness reign at home.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and days of old lang syne.


For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

R.A.F. Radio Station, Sharjah, UAE.

Image may contain: 2 people, indoor

R.A.F. Radio Station, Sharjah, UAE.

Before the days of FM92 Radio transmission in the UAE, the pioneering expatriate folks who worked and lived there tuned their FM radio to music transmission from the ARAMCO oilfields base in Saudi Arabia. The definitive 3 stations were: Light Music on 100, Classical on 96 and Popular on 88 MegaHertz.

The only other radio program transmission was done by a FM Station in Sharjah in the early 1970's after the base of the British Royal Air Force closed down its radio transmission on Medium Wave.

One of my favourite hits songs of that era was "Those were were the days" sung by Mary Hopkin. As I reminisce today they were indeed fabulous days. Also popular tunes were 'Sound of Silence' by Simon & Art Garfunkel and 'Lily the Pink' by The Scaffold.

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'

Monday, October 09, 2017

BBC News events that I first heard on my way to school

Back in the 1950's and early 1960's very few people had radios in our village of Cumbiem Morod in Guirim, Bardez, Goa. All the boys met at the cross-paths in the centre of the village opposite the chapel before we proceeded on our way walking single-file to school early in the morning on a 1.5 mile trek up the hillock to St. Anthony's High School, Monte de Guirim.

As we all walked to school we would pass through several villages that had their radios tuned to the news broadcast by the 'Radio Ceylon' - the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation in Colombo, Ceylon, (now Sri Lanka). As more students joined us along the way, they would tell us about the latest news they heard on the radio and we would in turn pass it on to other boys that joined the line. 

Radio Ceylon was probably most renowned for its 'Binaca Hit Parade' on Sundays, playing the latest English vocal top tunes that played a part in greatly influencing the generation of that era by playing American and English music hits, but more importantly it was well-known for the BBC News that the radio station relayed at 7.30 am. everyday.

'This is the BBC World Service’ came the announcement preceding the news. The news began at the end of the familiar six distinct 'pips' of Greenwich Time Signal. This was also the time when family members automatically turned towards their clocks and check watches to check their accuracy. It would have been precisely 0200 hrs GMT, in London. It was good news and bad news from the Western world that was often heard relayed by Radio Ceylon through the years. Good news included in these broadcast were reports about Soviet Union's Yuri Gagarin orbiting earth, and bad news was about the assassination of President Kennedy, the Air India crash on Mont Blanc, the explosion aboard the s.s. Dara near Dubai, the deaths of 3 astronauts in the launch pad fire at the start of the first manned Apollo mission, the death of Marilyn Monroe and the tragedy of the Vietnam War. By the time we reached school we relayed the news we had heard on our way to school in turn to other boys and by the first recess everyone knew about the most exciting or tragic news of the day.

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.