Picturesque Goa

Picturesque Goa
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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Carnival in Panjim, Goa.

In Goa, Carnival, or Carnaval in Portuguese, is a pre-Lent celebration held for three days beginning on Sunday before Ash Wednesday. It is full of fun and frolic for young and old. Clad in costumes and garbs of every style and colour, children, young boys and girls roam the villages from house to house showing off their fancy dresses. Sometimes they might be your next door neighbours in a costume you will probably not believe or recognize. But guessing who the reveler might be was part of the fun. 

Intruz (Carnival)

It was the premiere day of the Carnival,
The first day of the exuberant festival,
Morning as bright as could be,
Long shadows in the early dawn
Cast across the village earth so forlorn.

As grandma swept rhythmically
With besom in one hand
The other in a peculiar style of her own
Perched gently on her hip
The entire front courtyard
She swept tirelessly.

The crow perched on the branch
Of a nearby mango tree 
And cawed repeatedly;
She looked towards the crow and said:
“Is there a letter from my grandson for me?”

As she shifted her gaze from the arched pattern
Made from the constant movement 
On the cool morning earth
By the bristles of her broom;
She motioned to the hens and chicks in the backyard
To quieten down their very own grand symphony.

As noon almost drew near,
And the midday sun blazed over,
In the distance we saw the first moenkar,
Approaching dressed in a clown’s attire,
No sooner did he reach the front of the balcony
Than he started with a funny song in Konkani;
Grandma’s reward for which was a single penny.

For three consecutive days the typical moenkar
Roamed the village, from house to house singing songs;
Some went about in groups singing 
In Konkani, English and  Portuguese,
Proving their versatility
While others improvised with their one-act comedy.
On the last day of the carnival
As the evening slowly turned to dusk
And the bell rang for Angelus,
With a reminder from mother
That the next day was Ash Wednesday
When we would be yet again be reminded
That we as mortals will  finally turn to dust.

Then suddenly from far away
We could hear the jingles
From the bells tied to the waists
Of a gang of  moenkar
Hooded and clad fully in black

And called locally as devchar
Approaching near
They did strike some fear
In the kids who searched
For a place around the house to hide,
In the shed or in the storeroom at the rear.

But Grandma was brave,
She had handled many a devchar
And innumerable moenkar 
And witnessed many a Intruz
In her time before;
So daringly she held her ground
As she stood in the doorway.

She guessed right who the lads were,
But was polite enough she was
Not to mention their names
Of the faces
That hid behind the masquerade;
The lads did not a single word utter
Out of their own fear
Afraid as that would blow 
Their own cover.

But grandma said instead:
“Up there from the hillside
Of the village on the other side,
I am pretty sure who you are,”
“So take these four annas young lads,
And on your way you better be” she said sternly,

“I hope you know that Lent starts tomorrow,
So in church I will see you
On time and in the first row for sure.”
When we would yet again be reminded
That we as mortals will finally turn to dust.

Friday, February 24, 2017

O Doce Coracao

O Doce Coração do meu Jesus, 
Fazei que eu vos ame cada vez mais, mais.

O Doce Coração da minha Mae
Fazei que eu vos ame cada vez mais, mais.  

Thursday, February 23, 2017


First click on the link below,
 then scroll to the picture of interest,
 click on it or on the link to know more about it.
Each image will tell a story.

Monday, February 20, 2017



As I turned to depart
it hurt so much;
reluctant to look back
lest my folks and friends
see the tears in my eyes
that I tried hard to disguise
and if I could make believe
it was just plain cold sweat.

Tall coconut trees
in the gentle evening breeze
tried to firmly hold their sway;
outside on the patio at sunset,
men were absorbed in conversation,
while in the balcão
the women folk convened
 to plan paddy fields for sowing
in time before the onset
of monsoon rains impending.

Then as darkness fell
 and homewards I walked,
 seeing a score of people together pray,
by the wayside cross I stopped;
light from the candles
reflected in their faces
singing in perfect chorus,
their gaze at the cross
fixed as if by magic;
hearing them sing the Litany,
and unable to resist
I joined them in harmony.

Tony Fernandes

Friday, February 17, 2017



Goodbye and farewell are not easy
as they are always resonant
of nostalgia and yearning,
of anxiety and reminiscence,
to depart at the thought and uncertainty
of meeting again
those you hold so dear.

The old banyan tree still stood there aloft,
but somewhat stooped was the mango tree,
my name on its bark
when young I had carved
I could barely see.

The nunerca tree is long dead and gone;
It’s shade so cool that once sheltered
children ten score or more
playing beneath surroundings so sylvan.

The gulmohar by the village chapel
so magnificent,
though a little frail and bent
still brought back memories
of its flowers so fragrant.
“When will you return?”
My childhood friend asked
“I know not” I said as I gasped.
“Will meet again for certain
before I depart”
“Certainly we will” I heard him say
as to hide a tear I turned away.

Tony Fernandes

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

An Ode to My Wife Edna

To My Darling Wife Edna

May God grant you always...
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering Angel
So nothing can harm you.

Laughter to cheer you;
Faithful friends near you;
And whenever you pray
Heaven to hear you.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Happy Anniversary to my Wife Edna

(B. Coleman / O. Kennedy)

Foster & Allen

Also recorded by : Andy Cooney; Tony Kenny; Pat Marnane.

My darling come to me
Sit you down easily
And rest awhile near the soft fire light
Cold is the night

But warm is my heart with pride
Having you by my side
You're still my guiding light
After all these years

Your soft assuring ways
The rock I lean on
Saw me through my darkest days
When all hope had gone

You're still the only one
I'll ever hold near
And I love you
After a-all these years

Time from me passes on
And I'm growing old
A lifetime nearly gone
I cannot unfold, nights dark and cold

But warm is your hand in mine
Feeble with aimless time
The light of love still shines
After a-all these years

Your soft assuring ways
The rock I lean on
Saw me through my darkest days
When all hope had gone

You're still the only one
I'll ever hold near
And I love you
After all these years.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Meeting two wonderful people

Close to 13 years ago, the sweetest elderly couple from Lindsay, Ontario was seated in her section where my daughter was a server at Casey's. They got to talking and somehow her usual rants and raves about her parent's talents come up, and more specifically her Mum Edna Fernandes' recipe book and my collection of Short Stories.

As fate would have it, the gentleman revealed to my daughter that they do in fact, own their own Publication and would love to check out our work. One read is all it took, and The Jupes not only published our work but ended up becoming one of our nearest and dearest friends.

Sadly, Mr. David Jupe passed away 3 years ago today, after a two year battle with his health. RIP David Jupe and thank you for everything and inspiring artists like me and my daughter to always continue to create.

It is with extreme sadness that Edna, Dahlia and myself learned that our dearest friend and gentleman David Jupe from Lindsay, Ontario, passed away. Our most heartfelt sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to David's wife Sheila and family. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

We have lost a great, fine, extraordinary and exceptional gentleman. I will always remember him, for so many things, for his wit and wisdom,
especially when I read his beautiful writings in his 2 books that he gave us, and for editing, printing and publishing my book and Edna's Recipe Book too.

David Jupe - You'll be missed.

I treasure and cherish this memory - a truly one of a kind chance meeting with my daughter Dahlia that eventually turned into a great family friendship with two lovely and amiable people - David and Sheila Jupe of Lindsay, Ontario.. Canada.