Picturesque Goa

Picturesque Goa
NOSTALGIA - Articles,Poems & Photos


TONFERNS CREATIONS - Tony's Art & Hobbies

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, 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.

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.

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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.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Bixby Creek Bridge

Where is Bixby Creek Bridge?
Bixby Creek Bridge, also known as Bixby Bridge, is a reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge in Big Sur, California. The bridge is located 120 miles (190 km) south of San Francisco and 13 miles (21 km) south of Carmel in Monterey County along State Route 1.
One of the most photographed bridges in California due to its aesthetic design along State Route 1.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Murals on Silos of Midland, Ontario

The mural on the grain silos depicts a Huron Native and a Jesuit Priest looking into the nearby village of Sainte-Marie, as it would have appeared in 1640.

Midland is located on Georgian Bay in Lake Huron.
Founded by the Midland Railway Company in 1871.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

My Loving Mom
 Sebastiana Pereira e Fernandes

Mother Mary.jpg

A Prayer from Pope Francis

Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima, with renewed gratitude for your motherly presence, we join in the voice of all generations that call you blessed.

We celebrate in you the great works of God, who never tires of lowering himself in mercy over humanity, afflicted by evil and wounded by sin, to heal and to save it.

Accept with the benevolence of a Mother this act of entrustment that we make in faith today, before this your image, beloved to us.

We are certain that each one of us is precious in your eyes and that nothing in our hearts has estranged you.

May that we allow your sweet gaze to reach us and the perpetual warmth of your smile.

—from Mother Mary: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Martyr's Shrine - Midland, Ontario

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The Martyrs’ Shrine is the National Shrine to the Canadian Martyrs. This holy and historic site honours the eight Jesuit Saints who lived, worked, and died here over 350 years ago.

Midland is a town located on Georgian Bay in Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada. It is part of the Huronia region of Central Ontario.

Our Lady of Fatima Centenary

Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Fatima, Portugal

Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Fatima, Portugal
In the year 1917, in a mountainous region at the center of Portugal, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, appeared six times to three young children. This year on 13th May,the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope Francis is leading the canonization ceremony for Francisco and Jacinta Marto in Fatima, Portugal, on the hundredth anniversary celebrations of the first apparition of Mary the children experienced, where His Holiness will be joined in prayer by Catholics from all over the world.
In view of this great milestone, our trip to Portugal this year in March was a privileged and significant one as my wife and myself got a chance to fulfill a lifelong wish to go on a holiday to Portugal along with our 2 daughters and son-in-law, and more importantly for having included in this tour to pay homage to Our Lady of Fatima by visiting the Holy Shrine on the 100th anniversary of the apparitions. We will hold this memory close to our hearts forever and cherish it as long as we live.
Today I feel that my spirit, belief and devotion in this regard has been rekindled for having lived to witness the centenary. I wish a happy and joyous feast day to all.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mother of Mine


Dubai 1972 – Airwaves around the world are abuzz with Jimmy Osmond’s ‘Mother of Mine’ and Dubai FM is no exception. The song turns out to be a huge hit for Jimmy, the youngest of nine children in the Osmond clan, who at the time was only nine years old. I thought about my Mum in Goa every time I heard it, and constantly hummed the tune or sang the lyrics underneath my breadth. Two years later I lost my mother. She was my best friend who I miss up to this day. She taught me all that I know and set an example living her own simple life and made my own worth living. Not a single day goes by without thoughts of her good values. She died young. I have outlived her so far by five years. Forty-three years after the song ‘Mother of Mine’ first captured the air-waves, I rededicate my favourite song to all mothers everywhere.
Hope it’s your favourite too.


Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Fatima, Portugal

In the year 1917, in a mountainous region at the center of Portugal, the Mother of God appeared six times to three young children. This year on 13th May, Pope Francis is leading the canonization ceremony for Francisco and Jacinta Marto in Fatima, Portugal, on the hundredth anniversary of the the first apparition of Mary the children experienced, where His Holiness will be joined in prayer by Catholics from all over the world.

In view of this great milestone, our trip to Portugal this year in March was a privileged and significant one as my wife and myself got a chance to fulfill a lifelong wish to go on a holiday to Portugal along with our 2 daughters and son-in-law, and more especially for having included in this tour to pay homage to Our Lady of Fatima by visiting the Holy Shrine. We will hold this memory close to our hearts forever and cherish it as long as we live.

Today I feel that my spirit, belief and devotion in this regard has been rekindled for having lived to witness the centenary.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Rustic Innovation - Picturesque Goa

PICTURESQUE GOA - Arpora, Bardez, Goa.
Rustic Innovation. Cycling up the ladder of success.
“The ladder of success must be set upon something solid before you can start to climb"

Friday, May 05, 2017

Fatima Shrine, Portugal

Fátima is a central Portuguese town that's home to the Sanctuary of Fátima, a Catholic pilgrimage site. The Capelinha das Aparições marks the spot where the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children, Jacinta, Lucia and Francisco, in 1917. Other sacred sites include the Basílica de Nossa Senhora do Rosário, with its golden angels, and the modern church of Igreja da Santíssima Trindade. The Museu de Arte Sacra e Etnologia exhibits religious artifacts.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Powered by the wind

Powered by the wind. 
~ Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail,
and mankind the vessel. ~ Augustus Hare

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Convent of Christ, Tomar, Portugal

CONVENT OF CHRIST, Tomar, Portugal

Ornately sculpted, Manueline style, hilltop Roman Catholic convent with medieval cloisters.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Rustic Homeliness

Inner courtyard through an arched
entrance of a house
on a cobbled street in Lisbon. Portugal.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Castle at Obidos, Portugal

The Castle of Óbidos
 is a well-preserved medieval castle
located in the civil parish of Santa Maria,
São Pedro e Sobral da Lagoa,
in the municipality of Óbidos,
Portuguese district of Leiria.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Bridges on the Douro River, Porto/Gaia Crossings, Portugal

The Unique Bridges of Porto

Porto is a beautiful city. It is the second largest city of Portugal. Famous for its colourful houses along the cobbled alleyways, it has long history. It is rich in its culture and most of all famous for its bridges spanning across the River Douro, connecting Porto on the north with Gaia on the south. It is known as the City of Bridges. Apparently the people of Porto and Gaia are equally proud of them all with their given names. The best way to see them is to take a river cruise, bask in the panorama and click away. The appear here from the west (coastal) to the east (interior). 'Ponte' is bridge in Portuguese.
The Douro is one of the major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, flowing from its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in Soria Province across northern-central Spain and Portugal to its outlet at Porto.
 Ponte Da Arrabida

 Ponte Dom Luis I

Ponte do Infante

 Ponte Maria Pia

 Ponte Sao Joao

Ponte do Freixo