PHOTOFEATURE :: By Frederick Noronha
Victor Hugo Gomes had been bugging me to visit Benaulim, and, as usual, I kept postponing. A man of few words (except when he’s writing detailed articles on themes like Goan music!), he just kept telling me, “You come and see for yourself.”
Finally, we did make it there.
His collection was the most amazing set of objects of the Goa of the yesteryears that I’ve seen at one place. That this artist and former curator of the Museum of Christian Art had done it all by himself, no state funding, and in his own home (with support of his lecturer-wife Alie, short for Aldina) is
all the more creditworthy.
In his collection, you can unwrap the story of Goa’s agriculture, cullinary practices and more. There are pots of every shape and size from yesterday’s Goa. There are spoons, and other kitchen utensils. Another collection deals with agricultural implements, and the technology — however simple, it was effective and sustainable — of the Goa of the past.
On Monday evening, November 2, 2009, Mario Miranda inaugurates the Goa Chitra museum, as Gomes calls it. As we forget what life was in yesterday’s Goa, this venture is a powerful reminder of a simple people, living simple sustainble lives. In a manner that probably made us more
contented than we are today.
Pots in their rich diversity:
The artist behind it all: Victor Hugo Gomes
Kitchen technology: simple but eco-friendly, human-driven grinders
A torture chair from the past? Note the spaces to tie hands and feet.
Goan tools, in diverse shapes and sizes
Can you guess what each is used for?
Measures and agri implements, from another day.
The artist’s home
Soda water bottles. Remember?
Beer, from Madras.
The cutter’s arm
Ladles, of wood
Benaulim, where the museum is set
Scenic setting for such a succinct story.