Rome of the EastDr. Francis Louis Saldanha, the Coastal Observer, Nov. - Dec. 2002.
A tiny speck in the serene corner of the Earth... small but spectacular, an invaluable gem! It is a beauty-spot on the glorious, glamourous face of our Bharatmata.. Goa Dourada, a precious pearl of the Orient.. Rome of the East! Goa is adorned by the scenic, sylvan grandeur, nestles on the lap of the golden sand of the Coast, incessantly lashed by the lustrous, sparkling waves of the turbulent Arabian Sea and filled with the soothing music wafting from the depths of the Indian Ocean. That's where I belong... that's where my hearth and heart is in that lovely, cosy corner of my beloved Country!
From my School days at Loyola, Margao, more than half-a-century ago, Goa has undergone complete metamorphosis. Many of the old sprawling houses with large balconies are replaced by modern cottages, some duplex with a lot of money pouring in from Gulf and Captains and crew from foreign ships and such other sources. Cars and scooters zoomed passed me, a pedestrian, trudging my way to the Church; every step reeled back to my mind old memories.. pleasant and unpleasant. The older priests in mufty (civilian clothings) speak English with a Portuguese accent transliterating Konkani expressions; the younger priests wear Pepe-jeans and T-shirts. Some of them are good preachers and deliver sermons in Sanskritised Konkani... good for the local language, the beautiful mother tongue of Goans and other Konkani speaking people.
The old popular Ladainhas (Litanies) followed by zahttak / copa, are rare, so is the loud recitation of the Rosary at night, the direct, vociferous invocation of the Almighty, out of vogue, but the Charismatic spirit is slowly spreading and Potta (a city in the Malabar, center of the Charismatic movement) is often dwelt upon. Hearsay a few Catholics have become Protestants.
Countless interesting, unforeseen observations swing into focus, but cannot be packed into this capsule. Time has changed and Goa has changed with Time... more for the better, befitting the principles of Democracy - Equality, Liberty and Fraternity!
END of Extract.
To: [email protected]
From: "Gasper Almeida" <[email protected]>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2002 02:49:04 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [GoanCauses] Mind My Words - by Richard Cabral in the Herald www.oherald.com
Mind My WordsBy Richard Cabral
It’s a beehive of activity. Nobody’s actually got the time to stand and stare. The tourists are coming. Where there was a nice little open space overnight you find that a temporary restaurant has mushroomed. Where there was a tightly pulled shutter a Kashmiri has a colourful array of ready-made or carved furniture. Where there was an incomplete construction the ground floor has already on display myriads of articles ranging from leather to jewellery.
If you really want to see for yourself how everybody has been galvanised into action then one should stand in the street next to the market and just take it all in. If anybody wants an example of chaos then that is the place to be. Two wheelers, variety of four-wheelers, pedestrians, passenger coaches, cattle, dogs, cyclists, rickshaws and motorcycle pilots all add up to a confusion classic.
But a red carpet seems to have been laid by the official agencies as road digging and road expansion is seen at many places. Piles of mud are found lying by the roadsides. Heaps of stones can be seen at some spots. In a few places water is gushing out as if to say we have no water problem.
Here and there the road has been cut to give water connections and the vehicles have to brake hard to avoid the bumps. The last year’s potholes have merrily survived for another year. This makes the village loudmouth to ask, “Has there been any improvement in the infrastructural facilities?”
So I asked one of the tourists what he had to say about his stay in Goa. He had so much to speak that I was left speechless for well-nigh ten minutes. And barring a palatable opinion about food the rest was not at all pleasant to hear. But who cares? One day they will have to.
Yesterday’s tide has already turned into a trickle today. Tomorrow not even a trace might remain. Then what do we do? The scenario could be so grim that a repeat of the French revolution could take place in Goa. Mind my words.
END of Extract.