Archive for the ‘Goa books’ Category
Someone on Facebook accused me of being an expert on Derek Antao. The name didn’t ring a bell.
A Google search later, I found this link to a reply I had sent (second-hand info, again) to Hartman De Souza on a thread started by Augusto Pinto:
Amazon.com lists this book, but it’s currently “out of print, limited availability” Give us this day a black sheep [Unknown Binding] Derek Antao (Author)
In case you were wondering, Hartman explained:
This is from the OPENLIBRARY:
Zafar Karachiwala of Cuffe Parade, Mumbai lists this work in his online cv: “And Then Divali” – (Nishikant Wagle). Written by Derek Antao, produced and directed by Hima Devi (1993). http://zafarkarac33ac7c.peoplelex.com/
The person who wrote to me said, “i am working on a list on post independence indian playwrights in english and am looking for details on derek antao.”
If you, or anyone you know, might have further information on Derek Antao, please send it across, and I’d be only too glad to share it with others. Strangely, my book collection of Goa-related titles carries no trace (as far as I know) of Derek Antao. But then, I also cannot be charged with being knowledgeable about the world of theatre! –FN
PS: Do you know of any other playwrights from Goa, who wrote in English?
Frederick Noronha :: +91-9822122436 :: +91-832-2409490
My former colleague and friend, Niraj Naik, has come out with “Goa’s first comprehensive data bank on (a) multimedia CD”. It promises to explore all facets of Goa, with the largest compilation of photographs and information. It is an “ideal gift for students” and a “treasure trove for students, teachers, tourists, NRGs (non-resident Goans) and Goa enthusiasts” says the cover of the CD. It is priced at Rs 99 and comes from http://www.digitalgoa.com
Unfortunately, the CD runs only on Windows (.exe file) while my comp runs on GNU/Linux (Free Software)….
Check this Goa Literature page on the widely-read Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goa_literature
Someone called it “badly done”. Wrote FlareNUKE in December 2005: “The article is not well wikified, it’s POV (point of view) and has a bad tone, the article needs a serious overhaul, or just merge it with Goa… Considering it’s been untouched for a long time (about a year…) I doubt anyone will bother with it… but sadly, I know nothing of the Goans.”
Said Paul Castro: “Could this article be re-organised? I think it does Goa a disservice to have works in English branded Goan literature and then Konkani (and Portuguese for that matter) relegated to another section. Maybe just divide the works by language? Goan Literature in English, in Konkani etc. What do people think of that?”
Her Pegship commented: “I cleaned up the npov, adspeak, and irrelevant text about the book trade. When someone has time, the authors and/or their works should be linked if possible.” Finally, FlareNUKE conceded: “Good job, after such a long time, it’s finally been cleaned up…”
On the same page, Deepak D’Souza reminds about the Konkani Wikipedia that “has been started and been in test stage since August 2006.” He writes, “Kindly contribute towards the Konkani wikipedia. We intend to make it a multiscript Wikipeida. At least tri-script with Devanangiri, Roman and Kannada scripts since these are the most popular ones. We would like to get more articles/templates in place. We also need volunteers to do the thankless and boring job of transliterating it to different scripts. As of now only two members are making active contributions. The more the merrier. Your contribution is vital to its success.The url is given below:
Needed volunteers who can translate old Portuguese texts into English, for possible republication, including Arte Palmarica. See http://www.divshare.com/download/4088057-e79 If you can help in any way, please get in touch. Also, needed volunteers to help put online, the digital versions of copyright-expired Goa-related books. FN, http://goa1556.goa-india.org … publishing Goa, not accidentally
Dr TERESA ALBUQUERQUE, a writer from Goa who lives between her homes at Anjuna (Goa) and Santa Cruz (Bombay) happens to be the sister of pioneering ex-editor Frank Moraes and the aunt of accomplished writer Dom Moraes. Incidentally, when we met last at the Literati in Calangute, I mentioned to her the idea from expat journo Eugene Correa
of having a Frank Moraes School of Journalism in Goa.
Born of Goan origin in 1930, at Poona, she was a student of St.Xavier’s College, Bombay, graduated through the University of Bombay in Arts with Honours in English and French, and then in Education, and has a Masters degree in History and Politics as well a Doctorate in History.
As a Fellow of Heras Institute of Indian History and Culture, she was an active member of the Bombay Museum Society, Asiatic Society of Bombay, Church History Association of India, Heras Society and the Bombay Local History Society.
Dr Albuquerque has been a recipient of Mahindra Senior Research Fellowship of Heras Institute, was also awarded a scholarship by Heras Institute to undertake research on the Goans in Kenya.
In her micro-historical studies, she has delved into the colonial past of Bombay and Goa with special emphasis on the “Portuguese impress”. Dr Albuquerque has traveled widely, lectured on the subject both at home and abroad and frequently contributes historical articles to art journals and newspapers.
Books authored by her are:
SANTA CRUZ THAT WAS
URBS PRIMA IN INDIS : An epoch in the history of Bombay
(Promilla& Co. Publishers, New Delhi, 1986)
TO LOVE IS TO SERVE : Catholics of Bombay
(Heras Institute,Bombay, 1986)
ANJUNA: Profile of a village in Goa
(Promilla &Co. Publishers, New Delhi, 1987)
SANTA CRUZ : Profile of a village in Goa
(Fernandes & Co.,Publishers, Goa, 1989)
A LIFE WELL SPENT: Biography of Pascoal de Mello, MBE
(Speedy Printing Centre. Missisauga, Ontario, Canada, 1996)
GOA: THE RACHOL LEGACY
(Wenden Offset Private Ltd., Bombay 1997)
BASSEIN :The Portuguese Interlude
(Wenden Offset Private Ltd., Bombay, 1999)
GOANS OF KENYA
Michael Lobo Publishers, Mumbai 2000)
BACAIM TO VASAI
(Wenden Offset Private Ltd., Mumbai 2001)
Teresa Albuquerque can be contacted via email <email@example.com> In Goa, her telephone number is +91-832-2273676, and they expect to leave for Bombay on July 16, 2008. There, her number is +91-22-26499005
PRINTED WORD / On books in and about Goa
First published in Gomantak Times, Aug 2, 2007
This is about the most bizarre thing to do while encountering a book: try to read it from the ending! That’s just what I did with the autobiography of someone you might know, a lady called Imelda Dias. So one is still trying to put the pieces of the jigsaw together; but it was an interesting read.
Most of Goa of a particular generation — those around here in the 1960s and 1970s — would probably remember the name “Imelda” (or even Imelda Tavora). She then was the most popular announcer in the State, at a time when radio was the unquestioned king of all the mass media. (Forget about TV, which didn’t exist here yet, and newspapers were far smaller.)
So I began reading her book with the Epilogue. This chapter took me to my schoolboy days in the 1970s, and the music that Imelda played for all of us via the radio. It came through loud and clear on Sunday afternoons. It came on Friday nights. It came in the afternoon siesta time on weekdays.
All the names of the programmes sounded so very fresh — ‘Your Choice’, ‘Latin Rhythm’, ‘Your Favourites’ and more. Many readers would probably even recall the sign-off name “Yours truly, Imelda”.
This book is about the Goa that was, touching a bit on colonial Goa and the period just after 1961. Those were times of change and uncertainty. But they were nice times too, in a way. Imelda’s book tells the story of the Catholic elite of the times, the nostalgia with which it looks back, and life in the “good old days”.
Subtitled “An Autobiography of a Woman Ahead of Her Times”, this is also a story of a woman going against the trend, settling for a divorce in the 1960s, and facing the patriarchy of Catholic Goa of the times.
It’s a book edited by Margaret Mascarenhas, editor of ‘Skin’. Spiced with the gossipy details of Panjim’s life in the 1970s, parts of the book are very engrossing. But one couldn’t believe all one read, even if this only incited one’s curiosity to learn more of those times.
Besides her boarding years in Pune (then still Poona), this story talks about life in All India Radio, what it meant to be a political refugee of sorts in Salazar’s Lisbon post-1961, and stories of love and romance from another era.
It’s a good read for anyone who grew up in the Goa of those years, and one would not hesitate recommending it (2006, Rs 250, printed and published by Imelda Dias, pp 189, hb).
With an catchy title like ‘How Long Is Forever’ and a covered mostly in black-and-white cover, this is a book that would catch your attention. Strangely, it isn’t very well displayed in most bookshops. Friends I mentioned it to, had all not come across it either!
How do you sell a book in a scattered market like Goa, complicated by the fact that, despite our literacy, we are not quite a heavy-reading population?
Jesuit linguist-priest Dr Pratap Naik <pnaiksj at yahoo.co.in> recently announced that the TSKK Konknni Course Book in the Roman script will be released in the last week of September 2007.
At a special pre-publication price of Rs 175, this book is available — via post — from the Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr, B.B.Borkar Road, Alto Porvorim, Goa – 403 521.
I ran into Odette Mascarenhas <odette.mascarenhas at gmail.com> via cyberspace, thanks to a brief mention of one of her books in last week’s column.
Writes Odette: “I would definitely help in any way I can to encourage Goan writers to reach their goal. I know how difficult it can be.” She is herself the author of two books. Besides the one mentioned last week, there’s “Masci: The Man Behind The Legend” on the famed chef Miguel Arcanjo Mascarenhas.
Rashmi Uday Singh wrote about the latter in businesstravellerindia.com: “It’s fascinating how a Goan
kitchen boy whose job was plucking 200 chickens a day rose to become world’s celebrated chef who catered to the kings and queens and viceroys of the world. Not only does his story come alive, you can actually recreate his food and have a taste of this legend too.”
But Odette Mascarenhas, from her experience with two books, has another less glamorous story to narrate. The first major hurdle in her work was finding the right publisher. Says she: “We have been running helter skelter to all the big names for over three years. Tata Press, Wilco, Rupa, Penguin, Jaico. While they all liked the idea, the question was: is it a viable investment. Very few Goans are known in this field.”
After publishing the book on their own, getting the book stocked and distributed — even in Goa itself — proved another challenge.
Says she: “Moreover… though space is expensive, it would be nice, if they (book outlets in Goa) could keep a small ‘Goan corner’ for writers to promote their skills (in local bookstores). After all if a fellow Goan will not help another, who will? Its happening for art, with exhibitions to promote local artists, but writing has taken a back seat.”
She adds: “The idea of having a read-out session (to promote Goa-based books) seems brilliant. They do it abroad. Maybe some shop could buy the idea?”
What the print world finds it difficult to do, the online world manages. A statement put out in cyberspace says that the entire Konkani Bible is now available online in Kannada script. See http://www.konkanibible.org/
In these days of competitiveness, when the world throws open a range of opportunities, are students in Goa geared up to seize them? At times when parents are willing to pay upto Rs 35,000 as annual fees for primary school, we could do with a better range of career opportunities at the adolescent level.
Two Goa books on careers made it to the bookshops recently. One was ex-Gomantak Times journalist Ilidio de Noronha’s “Careers: The Complete Guide” (Pp 178, Rs 150, Plus Publications, 2464687) and the other is “Choose Your Very Own Career: A Guide for Students, Parents and Teachers” (Pp 617, Rs 65, Basil D’Cunha).
The latter is an English-Konkani book. Both carry advertisements, making their prices more affordable to the
young, who would obviously be their main target audience.
Question is: will such books, which contain a whole lot of useful information, reach to the educators, students, parents, and school libraries — that can make better use of them?
While everyone gets worked out about “non-Goans” entering the State, and the buy-out of Goa’s land resources, we don’t seem as concerned about ensuring that our kids are competitive enough to take on the bigger world. Books like these are a welcome addition to those published in Goa.
Feedback welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org, 832-2409490 or +91-9970157402
Goa books, best-sellers
List as per Golden Heart Emporium, Abade Faria Road, Margao-Goa. Ph.: 2732450/ 2725208 Email:
- GOA: The Land and the People. Olivinho JF Gomes, National Book Trust Rs. 110
- 100 Goan Experiences Pantaleao Fernandes The World Publications Rs. 395
- GOA Romesh Bhandari Roli Books Pvt. Ltd. Rs. 225
- A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of Goa P. Killips Orient Longman Rs. 195
- Goa: A select Compilation on Goa’s Genesis Luis De Assis Correia Maureen Publishers Pvt. Ltd. Rs. 395
- Goa’s Struggle for Freedom Dr. P. P. Shirodkar Sulabha P. Shirodkar Rs. 395
- Farar Far- Local Resistance to Colonial Hegemony in Goa 1510-1912 Dr Pratima Kamat Institute Menezes Braganza Rs 200
- Goa Indica: A Critical Portrait of Postcolonial Goa Arun Sinha Bibliophile South Asia in associate with Promilla & Co., Publishers Rs. 495
- Goa With Love Mario Miranda M & M Associates Rs. 350
- House of Goa Gerard Da Cunha Architecture Autonomous Rs 1900
Blogged with Flock
Some comments on a recently-published essay, part of Jerry Pinto’s Reflected in Water: Writings on Goa (Penguin Books): “Teotonia R. de Souza’s profile of the little-known ‘opium smuggler who tried to liberate Goa’ is as captivating as Frederick Noronha’s portrait of Abbé Faria, eighteenth-century priest, mesmerist and revolutionary, and one of the region’s most famous sons.” (From the book’s jacket and on Penguin.)
And, Karishma Attari’s review in The Hindustan Times titled Furious and funny in Goa: “Every anthology has its strong leaders and its stragglers. Not every piece in this compilation is a winner. Adil Jussawalla’s delicious diary entry is at odds with the dispassionate, somewhat boring account of Noronha’s hypnotist-priest….”
Finally, Peter Nazareth‘s comment on the NewDiaspora mailing list which says this: “The book looks like a personal exploration of Goa by Jerry Pinto from Bombay (Mumbai), and he has a two-page “intuitive” introduction — not surprising since he is a poet. So the review was wrong to underrate it: and speaking of the review being wrong, I found Fred Noronha’s search for Abbe Faria to be fascinating, not boring — it is one of the best things I have read by Fred.”
So… take your pick!
Those Good Ol’ Days
Stories From Two Schools and A College in Mapusa, Goa
Price (in Goa) Rs 150. Pp 84 (large size)
“Must be ink fell on it,” commented three-year-old Aren, struggling to get his words right after gingerly asking permission to see the book. Touching the wrong book can mean big trouble, as the kids have by now learnt. “This looks like my school notebook,” Riza (8) commented earlier in the evening, pointing to the cover. “Can I write on it?” she went on to boldly ask, when shown another page with the same texture.
I was thrilled. Obviously, the artist had done a good job in getting across his point!
The ‘artist’ in this case is Britto Old Boy Alex Braganza, the Patto-Panjim based commercial artist better known for the music he and his late brother August created through the many bands they were linked to. The way he and his Broadways team slogged to package this book (if one could call it that) over a ad-busy Christmas season was inspiring. One saw it at close quarters, and learnt a lot more about Alex in those days.
The blue-green-red BMX logo (for three prominent educational institutions in Mapusa) stands out on the cover. The top half of the
page looks like an exam paper, and the title is scribbled across it with a neat schoolgirl’s handwriting. Under the BMX logo is the
Konkani saying, “Mog Assundi”. Particularly untranslatable (like other good Konkani sayings), it could mean anything from “Hey, don’t keep any anger (as we leave)” to “Go with only good memories”.
The “ink” Aren noticed was a blotch of blue on the front cover… meant to depict ink. Which it did. Effectively.
About the book, one can say little here. My name figures as being responsible for editing it… after reading a few pages, I realised
where exactly the errors had crept in! Ouch! But let’s leave that to some others to talk about ….
This “book” (inverted commas, because it has a souvenirish appearance, and a number of ads from alumni and their networks) has some 32 “chapters”. Some are brief, less-than-a-page essays, and other span as many as four pages. Giving that alumni tend to be people in their fourties (if not older) with failing reading-vision, a larger point-size might have made sense. But, being an ‘insider’, I know that money, paper and time factors were more important.
Chapters focus on college and school memoirs from Mapusa. By young students, by students who passed out half-a-century ago. Or teachers and lecturers. By a historian, ex-priest who gives an interesting insight into life during the post-1961 times with the Jesuits. By an engineer who tells a great story of life in Mapusa and Britto’s, warts and all, during the ‘fifties. By an ‘Africander’ boy who moved from Britto’s to the Jesuit novitiate, to political commitment and then working in a prominent global tech company in Britain. And by many more.
There’s also a tribute to ‘Pop’, as Fr Nicolau Pereira, St Xavier College’s longest-serving principal, was known. Interestingly, it
comes from the free-to-share Wikipedia online encyclopedia…. That’s the power of sharable information recycling. You create a Wikipedia entry. Then print it somewhere. When people notice that, the Wikipedia entry will probably grow in quality and depth. Or will it? Let’s be optimistic….
But to know more about the book, check it out. Without publicising it (or building up expectations) further, one could say that two
realisations stuck in my mind while putting this together. Firstly, there are so many people waiting to tell their “story”, if only asked.
They need some convincing that writing is applied commonsense and a discipline anyone can inculcate, hardly rocket science. Secondly, the sharable-content Creative Commons model works — specially when profits are a secondary issue, as for these alumni networks.
Content for this (and an earlier book, ‘Britto Retro’) were largely generated through online electronic mailing lists. This being the
case, it would be unfair for any “publisher” to claim copyrights over the resulting material. All of it (in this book, and most in the
‘Britto Retro’) was put out under a CreativeCommons.org license. It implies a sharable, some-rights-reserved approach (rather than the ‘all rights reserved’ approach of Copyright).
Not only did it make the content sharable (two publications are out, more could result… at least in terms of e-books… ). But it also
ensured that the price of the resultant publication — because of the ‘not for profit’ clause, and also the fact that it could be repackaged anytime more affordably — was itself reasonably priced.
That, to me, was a satisfying experience.
Contributors to this volume include Arlette Azavedo, Cecil Pinto, Benny Faria, Joyce Heredia Fernandes, Charmaine Abreu Lobo, Avelino D’Souza, Caroline Andrade, Alex Pascoal Silveira, Clara Fernandes, Lea Mathias, Jose Da Gama Paes, Ingrid Vallesl Po, Constantino “Tino” de Nazare, Anna D’Souza, Lydia De Souza, Anne Vaz, Sr Margaret Correa (a nun en route to Bamako in Mali when she wrote her piece), Dorothy Desouza Almeida, Dr Teotonio R de Souza, Daniel DeSouza and James Fernandes (both profs at Xavier’s formerly), Aureo De Souza, Lumen de Souza (nee Pereira), Oscar Correia Noronha, Nadia Isabel Miranda Fernandes, Sidney Mendes, and poet Brian “Mr Xavier” Mendonca.
Obviously one shouldn’t be reviewing a book one has himself been closely involved in… On the other hand, the option is that, Goa
being Goa, most books published here never ever reach the reviewer’s eye. (Very few reviewers exist anyway. Neither is there space for locally published books in most publications.) So, while confessing about this confict of interest, I won’t stop myself from keying in these few words.
Believe them at your own peril….
It was a long time back that the Mumbai-based prolific writer and editor Jerry Pinto asked me to write a chapter for a Penguin book on Goa. Forgot all about it (though Jerry did say it was due in 2006), till the other day. A cyberfriend drew my attention to an announcement in GoanVoiceUK. The book is now out. Can’t locate the final copy I wrote on my cluttered hard-disk. Will someone present me a copy of this book to read, then? That’s just an excuse… maybe one should just be patient.
Described variously as the Kashi of the South, the Rome of the East and the pearl of the Orient, Goa, located on the west coast of India, is renowned for its scenic charm, its beaches, and the architectural splendour of its temples, churches and old houses. With its sun-sand-surf leitmotif it is also the land of the lotus-eater, a tourist’s paradise of fun and frolic, raves and revelry. But Goa is more than just the world’s favourite holiday destination. Its unique history, shaped by the various dynasties that ruled it—the Rashtrakutas, the Kadambas and the Bahmani Muslims, before its 450-year-long occupation by the Portuguese from 1510—has given it a distinctive flavour, a different rhythm, an easy cosmopolitanism.
Reflected in Water is a collection of essays, poems, stories and extracts from published works that bring to life both the natural beauty and the changing social and political ethos of India’s smallest state. From Mario Cabral e Sa’s delightful take on the earliest Portuguese women to come to India to Gita Mehta’s description of hippies at Calangute, from Alexander Frater’s mesmerizing account of Goa in the monsoon to Manohar Malgonkar’s ode to the Mangeshi temple, this anthology celebrates the irreverent and the sacred in equal measure.
Teotonia R. de Souza’s profile of the little-known ‘opium smuggler who tried to liberate Goa’ is as captivating as Frederick Noronha’s portrait of Abbé Faria, eighteenth-century priest, mesmerist and revolutionary, and one of the region’s most famous sons. While Antoine Lewis fleshes out Goa’s culinary delights, Frank Simoes pays a tribute to feni, the quintessential spirit of the place. Naresh Fernandes’s obsessive search for the elusive humerus of St Francis Xavier echoes Vivek Menezes’s quest for a painting by F.N. Souza, arguably the greatest painter the state has produced. And various aspects of Goa’s history and society, arts and architecture engage the interest of writers as diverse as William Dalrymple and Graham Greene, Maria Couto and Armando Menezes.
Insightful essays, intense poetry and evocative fiction, as alluring as the place they describe, make Reflected in Water redolent of the very essence of Goa.
Contributors include: William Dalrymple, Richard Lannoy, Graham Greene, Maria Aurora Couto, Margaret Mascarenhas, Gerson da Cunha, Manohar Shetty, Eunice de Souza, Alexander Frater, Adil Jussawala, Armando Menezes, Frank Simoes, David Tomory, Richard F. Burton, Gita Mehta, Ranjit Hoskoté, Mario Cabral e Sa
Published by Penguin Books India
Published: November 2006
Special Price: Rs 395.00
Cover Price: Rs 395.00
Yesterdays at Monte: Jogging Down Memory Lane
Edward de Lima.
vikkurocks at hotmail.com
Rs 100 pp78.
A book written “almost 43 years after leaving school”. By a retired (and prolific author of self-published books) Dr Lima (b 1946).
He studied at St Anthony’s Guirim from 1953 to 1963. Incidentally, he did his PhD on ‘The Creative and Critical Writings of Armando Menezes’, the Goan poet and teacher. (We both share an interested in collecting books related to Goa! … Dr Lima reading them, and we, well… just collecting them!)
Among the chapters: early years; lunch at school; annual concert; Mocidade Portuguesa; corporal punishments; pranks in and out; school debating society; the Konkani card; brown hair episode; retreats in school; our teachers; and classmates. A nice tribute from an alumni, organisations of which are growing in Goa!
Check the Guirim alumni online [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/montedeguirimschool/] and see the book cover at [http://www.flickr.com/photos/fn-goa/301760385/]
Empowering Rural Women in Goa:
An appraisal of Self-Help Groups under SGSY
Arlette M H Mascarenhas
Goa Institute of Rural Development & Administration
Ela, Old Goa
No date mentioned. 96pp.
It’s one of those schemes with an unpronounceable, almost unrememberable names, probably crafted by bureaucrats with a one-size-fits-all approach in New Delhi. So who’s to blame for not recognising sufficiently the Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY Scheme)?
Do we fail to appreciate its potential? Have we just become cynical of all government? Have we no empathy left for rural concerns? Or is this all just official spin?
Mascarenhas introduces the SGSY as one of the “micro-credit programmes for women (that are being) increasingly lauded by development agencies as an effective intervention with a positive impact on economic growth and improvement of the social status of women”. This is not necessarily true in Goa, but in other parts of the ‘developing’ world and India.
So how is this being played out in Goa? Does it go beyond the traditional pickles-and-papads model? Does it impart new skills?
This study looks at Ponda and Quepem talukas. It focuses on all-women self-help groups. Ponda is described as the “land of temples, singing, drama and folk-art”. Becoming a tourism spot, with many engaged in tourism -related activited and agriculture, it’s very different from hilly Quepem with its villages scattered. Quepem’s people depend on agriculture and farming.
Mascarenhas says Goa has 426 self-help groups under the SGSY. With names like Nagesh SHG, Betora SHG or Kamakshi SHG, Navdurga SHG, Mahalsa SHG, and Sateri SHG, these tiny insitutions are bringing about a change in the way women perceive themselves, and their abilities.
Or, are they?
So what do they do? Mascarenhas writes: “Their activities include vegetable, flower and coconut selling, taking catering orders at weddings and feasts; and selling flowers, making and selling masala powder, pickles, sweets, papads, shell items, etc”.
Ponda’s many temples, notes the author, creates “good business” for selling flowers and coconut. But then, shouldn’t value-added speedy skill upgradation be a priority with Goa’s rural womenfolk? Can we just manage with a ‘more of the same’ approach?
In Quepem, meanwhile, self-help groups now have an income “from Rs 3000 to even Rs 6000 and even around Rs 8,000 at times”. This sum may seem like a pittance, when converted into dollar-equivalents. But consider the fact that many parts of Goa simply don’t have access to the monetised economy. And that, till a generation ago, most people lived ithout money in any case. On the other hand, we can’t get smug with a this-is-fine approach!
Activities are mostly agricultural like cashew, fruit and coconut selling, dairy farming, with a few taking up to sweet-making and candle-making.
Amidst a whole lot of detail — such as what motivated women to join, family incomes before and after joining the self-help groups, attitudes within the groups, group functioning and more — there is also an attempt to sketch
the broad picture.
Some conclusions from this study:
* Such groups can do “much better” in Goa.
* Mere financial assistance does not help the women.
* Many women do not possess prior experience in production.
* They need institutional support.
* Training, skill upgradation, marketing strategies is their need.
* Information on the latest available technology is also key.
* Such schemes are meant mainly for BPL (below the poverty line) sections; but others too manipulate and squeeze in.
* Officials need to focus on quality groups, rather than “just forming groups for quality sake”.
* Officials need training in rural communication, and patience with the rural poor.
* Before introducing credit programmes, officials need to offer brainstorming sessions on the principles of micro-credit.
* Group members need to act as managers and watchdogs, ensuring discipline on themselves and reducing dependency on “outsiders” (including NGOs, or non-governmental organisations).
* Villagers need training in marketing techniques.
Mascarenhas’ report suggests that such groups venture into other activities — fruit, fish and meat processing or canning; tailoring, flower and candle-making; organic farming; setting up nurseries and floriculture; mushroom
cultivation; moving into other varieties of food; working in handicrafts….
All in all, an interesting report, with some honest and critical pointers at where things need to be improved. While there could be scope for other perspectives on this issue, for sure it throws light on a topic that few are otherwise concerned with.
Here’s a list of some useful articles available in the Konkani research bulletin (Sod) brought out by the Thomas Stephens Konkkni Kendr of Alto Porvorim, which was out in April 2006 (just got a copy late):
* Konkani Myths: Pratap Naik SJ
* Social damage done by Goa’s language controversy and (the) conspiracy behind it. Ramnath G Naik
* Roman script, the soul of Konknni. Nelson Lopes.
* Socio-economic growth of the Goan community through the Konkani language. Tomazinho Cardozo
* Roman script for Konkani, a must: now or never. Godfrey Gonsalves.
* Script controversy. Eduardo Faleiro.
* A response to “Konknni Myths”. Alito Siqueira.
* Scripting controversy: debating the war of the Konknnis. Jason Keith Fernandes.
* An attempt to understand Konknni language assertion movement. Sammit Khandeparkar.
* Mother tongue blues. Madhavi Sardesai.
* Konkani versus scripts. Matthew Almeida, SJ
* The African, Portuguese, Kannada, Marathi, Malvani, Hindi and English influences on the hybridized Siddi-Konkani dialect. Geralda de Lima Angenot
* English medium primary education for better future. Cypriano Lopes.
* Response to “English medium primary education for better future’> Joe F Vaz.
This issue is priced at a reasonable Rs 50 (100 pp) in Goa.
By way of background, the TSKK has long been solidly in favour of the Devanagiri script. Recently, it rethought its position, and its director Dr Pratap Naik sj is one of the leading campaigners in the movement to get recognition for the Romi script. While this perspective obviously dominates the publication, there are also views that question it (like iconoclast Alito Siqueira’s essay, he’s always there to raise some thought-provoking point of view). Check it out if interested in language and how this intertwines with other complex social realities in today’s Goa!
PS: You can contact TSKK on tskk AT sancharnet.in or find out more about it via
http://www.tskk.org or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Stephens_Konkkni_Kendr
Khalil Ahmed’s Broadway Books on Saturday (Aug 19, 2006) released Tony Martin’s new books Life is Beautiful and Time Pass. At a somewhat formal function, the release was done by Dhempe College mentor-to-a-generation and theatre person Ms Isabel Santa Rita Vas in Panjim this evening.
Fr. J Loiola Pereira, Director of Diocesan Centre for Social Communications Media Fr J Loiola Pereira andGoa Art College lecturer Willy Goes (also a musician and writer himself) spoke.
Fr Loiola Pereira in his foreword to Life is Beautiful says, “‘Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.’ I can assure the reader that each of the stories in
this book will provide such a precious moment.”
“Each tear-jerking story here hits the consciousness like a winged missile making an impact that lingers. You will love reading them. Again and Again. They will make you think. They will make you feel. They will rip the strings of your heart apart and knock your soul out of its unfeeling slumber. And if you feel like crying as you read, Good. It shows you are still human,” says Tony Martin in the preface to the book.
Willy Goes feels that at a time when more and more of our students turn out to be nothing more than rote-machines, a sense of critical thinking in children is the need of the hour and Times Pass is a small but positive step in that direction.
My former journalist college Mr. Martin (whose real name is Anthony Baretto, something everyone has probably forgotten) teaches English at Shri Nirakar Education Society’s SS Angle Higher Secondary School and is the author of Naked Goa, It’s a Funny World and The Practical English Teacher..Miguel Braganza compered.
Anthony M Barreto aka Tony Martin can be contacted at Galgibaga, Canacona, Goa — 403728 M: 9422390701 R: 91-0832-2632012 and via his website Canacona.net
Report on soc.culture.indian.goa Usenet newsgroup about an earlier venture to set up a book review site for Goa which somehow didn’t survive due to technical problems.
[BY SELMA CARVALHO] Reading the E-Seniors notebook, I am struck by how strong the literary tradition is, in Goa. The beautiful narratives transport us to a time most of us are unaware of and would be lost forever but for the eloquent words of these men and women.
It is amazing how a small state in India managed to produce so many great writers spanning four languages. The feat is akin to that of Ireland. It is said that the lush Irish green, its wet weather and a hoary Celtic imagination often fueled by myriad spirits is what brings out the writer and poet in the Irish.
Certainly we share the green, the wet and the spirit in its many forms, with the Irish. There is a wandering minstrel and poet in every Goan soul and it
stirs to life with pen and paper.
Much of Goa’s unpublished talent that came of age as the colonial era snaked to an end, doubtless received little encouragement to follow a life in the arts. Nevertheless the wandering mistral persevered amidst this reluctance. Some became professors at universities and took to writing only part-time.
The generations that followed fared much worse. The choice after secondary schooling was narrowed down to three streams of education, science, commerce or arts, of which arts was definitely looked upon with much disdain. Perhaps the quantum of those that followed their literary ambitions had diminished but certainly not the zeal and the talent, which is evident in the prolific writers of Goa today.
What does the future hold for the Goan literary tradition? It is for the literary luminaries of today to pave the way, to battle outmoded ideas that exist
surrounding a life involved in the arts and create opportunities for young writers to put their best pens forward. A society bankrupt of its artistic heritage and future is a society bereft of imagination, values, foresight and ultimately its soul.
Novel, “Penance” by Ben Antao
Publisher Goan Observer, Goa, India
Soft cover, 329 Pages
I have just finished reading the Canadian novel, “Penance” by Canadian Goan author Ben Antao and published by Goan Observer, Panjim, Goa, India.
It’s too bad the North American publishers still shy away from Goan novels and novelists. I am sure if Rohinton Mistry had submitted this novel to Alfred Knopf or any other big name publishers, it would have been published. But Rohinton has not yet published any Canadian based novel so far, a fact not ignored by his Canadian critics.
Author Ben Antao has succeeded in his first foray into a mainstream Canadian novel. The fact that Ben has based this novel on a more than familiar Catholic way of life and the fact that he is married to his Canadian born wife and also the fact that he worked as a professional high school teacher in Toronto, has all worked very well for him in his portrayal of the Canadian Catholic teachers’ intricate way of life in this Canadian novel. As a result the ethnic novelist leaves no stone unturned in making it a full fledged Canadian novel, and not an ethnic one.
This novel is well written with some lively scenes, flashbacks, monologues, a keen human observation and a precise narrative. The book has been well edited. The novel is just about 60,000 words, a little too short for a full fledged novel, and the reader ends up wanting for more. But the author makes up for this by using double line spacing, which makes the book much easier and faster to read and also makes it 329 pages long.
The first part of the novel follows the pattern indicated on the book’s blurb, as the author uncovers the background of his characters with his typical show-and-tell craft, which most modern novelists adhere to. The second part is lot more interesting and as the novel comes almost to an unexpected end, it holds the reader’s undivided attention so much so that you can’t possibly put the book down as the tragic end just bowls you over.
The author employs so much of his Catholic religious belief and doctrine in his writing as the novel progresses and regresses with flash-backs and transitions and taking us back to the sixties, that it almost looks like you are reading Bible at times, replete with visuals of existence of God and some explicit sex thrown in, all at the same time and on the same page. The imagery used in this novel, especially the conservative way of life of all the characters, who happen to be staunchly Catholic, and who eventually become teachers, shapes up a real world full of living colours.
The author skillfully puts all pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together in the story and switches between characters seamlessly and makes transitions very easy on the reader. I must point out I had a little hard time figuring out the timeline of the story though. The book is heavy on emotions, except in one case where I was certainly looking forward to a really emotive meeting between the father and his young son, who longed to see his father after a long separation from his mother, but unfortunately the author missed a great opportunity to quench the reader’s thirst for this sensational reunion. But the end is completely captivating and suspenseful, and makes up for all the logical sequences in the first part. I found all four characters to be too
perceptive of each other, a fact not too common in real life.
All the scenes are eloquently accomplished, complete with minute details such as the facial and body features and even the clothes, the deportment and demeanor of each character. Sean’s (the son) character, which was more conspicuous by its absence in the first half, figures prominently at the very end. The morality of the story may not have much bearing or relevance in today’s modern times, but it did occupy a pride of place in the Catholic society right up to the sixties, and brings lots of nostalgia to those who lived through those innocent times.
After reading this novel, if you are a true believer in the Roman Catholic Church, you will never look at the opposite sex in a luscivious way, especially if you are married or committed, else you would have to pay for your dear life with grave consequences as depicted in this novel. Ultimately, no matter what you believe in, you will have to pay for your sins. There is no free lunch. Like they say in Goa “Korit to Bogit”. And pay you must, either now or later, as the title aptly says it all, through
I loved this novel!
Silviano C. Barbosa, Author of the novel, “The Sixth Night”
‘Getting Married in Goa’ is the Plus Publications’ marriage guide, in a new edition. It’s edited by Ilidio de Noronha and Lester Fernandes, with Cedric Silveira as editorial co-ordinator.
Obviously advertisement-driven, it also contains quite a bit of useful information. Starting with customs and traditions (the Catholic kazaar, the Hindu lagn, and the Muslim nikaah), matchmakers, cybermates, and the “countdown” to marriage.
If you got married here, you know how puzzling it can be in this information-poor state. Useful tidbits of information include brides’ and grooms’ checklists, budgeting your wedding, and even a section on “the Goan art of gifting”.
Getting ready for your big day, and details on the ‘law on marriage’ is also included. Honeymoon tips and more are also included. So is a section on ‘family planning the natural way’.
Quite a useful book. Good value for money. Provided you have marriage on you mind, that is.
%T Getting Married in Goa
%S The Complete Wedding Guide
%A Ilidio de Noronha & Lester Fernandes (eds)
%I Plus Publications E2, S2 Martins Enclave, Caranzalem
%E email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
%C Caranzalem, Goa
%D May 2006, 3rd edition
%G ISBN 81-903087-1-8
%P pp 176, Rs 125 US$5.95, Euro5.95, UKP4
%K guide, Goa, marriage
Reviewed by Frederick Noronha
One problem with books in Goa is that you never know when a new one is published. Obviously, book reviewing is a task not done very much seriousness here (except for a few publications like Goa Today). While castigating others, this reviewer also needs to accept blame for some long delays sometimes. This very title, for instance. That it is a labour of love is no excuse for not getting it done on time!
Reviewing Edward de Lima ‘Spoken Konkani: A Self-Learning Guide’ 2006 cannot be an easy job. He’s an agreeable person, one you couldn’t pick up a fight with in public. And he was also in charge of our National Cadet Corps troop during the lone year one tried this out almost a generation ago. He could immediately build up a rapport with boys in the troop.
This is a simple book by him, which promises to teach you a bit of spoken Konkani, not too much, in a simple and easy manner. It has 20 ‘units’ — the author’s long years in academia shows. Dr Lima recently did his PhD on the Dharwad-based Goan writer Armand Menezes.
This is a welcome addition. One says so because of where one comes from, and one’s belief in the need to promote and encourage a diversity of languages (Konkani, whether Devanagari and Roman and its many other scripts, Marathi, English, Portuguese, Kannada, Malayalam, Sanskrit too … and anything else).
It is obviously a departure from the dogmatic days of Devanagari-Konkani-alone approaches. Strange how so many writers (of the non-Devanagari camp) just took a break in their writing, without even realising how dogmatism was blocking creativity, ever since Devanagari became the lone accepted script post 1987.
Lima proffers to teach you Konkani by way of conversations at situations you are likely to encounter. The post office (with email around, it’s not that important anymore), the hotel, the doctor’s, the restaurants, and so on.
At the start of the slim book, there’s a guide to pronunciation. What one found useful was, at the very end, a listing of months, Konkani numbers, time, useful words and phrases, spices (mossalo), taste (ruch), nature (soimb), cereals (dhanya), vegetables (tarkari or bhaji), fruits (folam), Goan fish (Guenchem nustem), parts of the body (kuddiche andde), animals (zanvaram), birds (suknni or sonvnim), and the ever-complex set of relationships in Konkani (nathem). As an aside, I just disagree with Lima when he says “hippy” is a derogatory term for a foreigner in today’s Goa.
People in coastal Bardez will use this term for any Caucasian, without the bat of an eyelid. And why blame them, when hippies are the foreigners they first encountered (post Portuguese departure)? Even my decent academic friends get labelled thus quite frequently.
This is Lima’s third release. The second was a reprint. When we met many moons back, and I promised to do the review, he told me the earlier publications — in 2001 and 2002 — had done well. Artist Ramanand Bhagat has a neat illustration on the cover. Maureen’s at Panjim is the printer. The book, priced at Rs 100, was printed with a 50% financial assistance through the Goa Konkani Academi’s educational scheme.
It’s devoted, rather quaintly, “to my mother whose words I first learnt to lisp”.
Released in February this year, the book was inspired, says the author, by his several cousins — second-generation Goans in England, Canada and Australia — who were keen to learn to speak Konkani, while just on holiday in Goa.
Says Edward da Lima (58): “I wrote the book in the Roman script because it would enable all English readers easy access to the language. To learn Konkani in the Devanagari script would have been a formidable task, as they would first have to learn the script.”
It’s written in the dialect predominantly used in Bardez in North Goa, or Bardeshi. “I found it easier to write in that dialect as I speak that dialect myself,” the author told me. He says Konkani has the strong form of consonants like n, t, d, ch and l — which do not exist in English — and hence his transliteration guide could help readers navigate this “treacherous sphere”.
Any challenges while doing this work? Says Lima: “The problems are the same faced by all translators. There cannot be an exact translation of any sentence from a source language like English to a target language like Konkani without compromising its core meaning. It is a difficult task to find an accurate, meaningful and creative synonym to each word.”
Did you know that the the English words “please”, “excuse me” and “sorry” do not have their Konkani equivalents. Of course, this does not make Konkani a rude language! Check out the wealth of words to describe fish, different forms of rice, and so on.
On the script row, Lima feels: “There are many reasons as I see it. One is, Roman script writers do not get due recognition. The second is that financial assistance is only made available to the Devanagari section by the government. And the third is that Roman script writers face discrimination at government interviews, as they are required to write in the Devanagari script.”
He’s pragmatic when he says knowledge of English the international language is essential, even while “Konkani is our lifeblood”.
Incidentally Lima belongs to a generation that never had to — or got the opportunity to — study Konkani. He learnt English, Hindi, French and Portuguese. An alumni of Monte de Guirim in Bardez, he recalls times when it was the biggest school in North Goa, with 400 boarders at its height. He was there from 1953 to 1963, and recalls times when “boys from all surrounding villages used to come up like ants” climbing up that hillock.
I guess purists would attempt to write off this slim book as too basic. But, then, we have long complained about the lack of accessible language learning tools in Konkani, isn’t it?
%T Spoken Konkani
%S A Self-Learning Guide
%A Edward de Lima
%I Vikram Publications, 515 Lima Vaddo, Porvorim Ph 832.2413573
%C Porvorim, Goa
%O paperback, references, bibliography, index
%G ISBN not available
%P pp 63
%K Konkani, language, Goa, Roman script
Young Female, Travelling Alone
Anne-Marie M Pop
iUniverse, Inc (New York, Lincoln, Shanghai)
Pp 149 US$12.95
REVIEWED BY Frederick Noronha
Minutes after the postman rang the cycle-bell and dropped this book at the door, I was devouring it. As anticipated, it dealt with India. And, my next guess was right too: a significant section focussed on Goa, the former Portuguese colony on the Indian west coast that this reviewer call home
Let’s shift focus to where it should go: the book and its author. Writer Anne-Marie M Pop is a Montreal-based computer engineer. In 2001, she took on a two-year job in Sweden, and then quit for a seven-month “backpacking journey through Asia”.
This is a reflection — let’s not say ‘record’ — of her times in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia and India.
It takes her through Cambodian border scams and brothels, Buddhist meditation centres in Thailand, scenic islands, the Mekong and the rain forests. She also lands up in the sex-drugs-and-full-moon-party trail still surviving a generation after the hippies first sought solace and escapism in Asia.
Anne-Marie’s book is an easy and entertaining read. It’s armchair-tourism from the safety of your own home, with the tantalising promise of bringing in close, but not too close, the perils that Asia.
Anne-Marie M Pop faces many dangers. More so, as the “young female, travelling alone”. She’s critical of how Asian men treat women. And as an Asian male, this reviewer would acknowledge that she has a point. But is it Asian males alone? Oftentimes, oppression has a more subtle face on it. In Asia, it doesn’t. Not following culturally-apt behaviour could also be risky; and this holds true for any part of the globe, even if the risks play themselves out in differing ways.
Her chapters are usually just two pages long. One comprises just four paras! While this may seem unusual, it makes for easy, relaxed reading.
‘Young Female Travelling Alone’ gives the reader both insights and an interesting travelogue into a number of diverse parts of Asia. But does it go deep enough? Does it repeat stereotypes that we are already brainwashed about? We’d leave that to the reader to judge.
What this writer has to say about Goa and the rest of India struck a chord. She was writing about a place that’s barely eight kilometres from home. The last book of the kind is Dr Cleo Odzer’s “Goa Freaks”.
[It's a sad story of how a young Jewish lady got caught up with drugs, and almost died of it. [She cleant up, did her PhD on sex tourism in Patpong, and worked for a rehabilitation group in the US. But, earlier this decade, she returned to Goa, only to die her in an incident which still brings in many curious questions from people who knew her.]
Anne-Marie M.Pop’s description was realistic and down to earth. No wonder, as a reviewer, one was both surprised and disappointed to read the ‘fiction/general’ tag on the back cover of the book. It’s so life-like, I thought it was true!
Or, is it?
Given his energy levels and zest for life, you wouldn’t guess Victor Rangel-Ribeiro is an octogenarian. If he’s not mentoring young writers and egging them on, he’s spending long hours perfecting sheaves of manuscript pages or taking a keen interest in his love of music.
Born in 1925 in the village of Porvorim, he lived his life in the shadow of his father, who, he says, could do almost anything not just well but with panache. Victor Rangel-Ribeiro has had two careers — one first in Bombay, and the second in the United States. And they have encompassed several fields.
In education, he was a high school teacher in Mumbai, and in New York a teacher of illiterates, a teacher of the poor and disadvantaged both young and old, a teacher of university students, and for a very short time a “teacher of pampered teenagers whose parents were so rich they did not give a damn about getting a good education”.
As a journalist, he has been a reporter, subeditor, and assistant editor in Mumbai, and has then written for the New York papers as well. In advertising, he became the first Indian to be copy chief with J. Walter Thompson Co. in Mumbai, and was also the first Indian to be copy chief with a very small advertising agency in New York. Read the rest of this entry »
Amita Kanekar, of Goan origin and a teacher of architectural history and
comparative mythology in Mumbai, has in mid-2005 come out with her first novel. It’s titled A Spoke in the Wheel: A Novel about the Buddha (ISBN 81-7223-574-7). [04MAY2005]