Dr Robert S Newman, a longterm friend of Goa with insightful views on it

I ran into a paper written by “Bob” Newman when a young student at the Goa University. Being my argumentative self, I wrote a packed aerogramme full of questions and disagreements. “Bob” responded with a patient and polite reply. Over the decades, I’ve enjoyed his writing, and gone on to read it rather closely…. And here’s why.

Village portraits, mostly expat achievers


So glad that this book’s author’s granddaughter (Giselle Lobo) gave me one of the few copies left, and also allowed it to be reproduced for the reader one-and-a-half generation after it was written.

The copy I have is falling to pieces. Literally. But in the meanwhile, we hope to have an ecopy of the same out soon.

Floreat Saligao (which means May Saligao Flourish, the author tells us) is a book of “profiles of eminent people of Saligao” by C. Hubert de Souza. I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Mr de Souza, but knew his late son (the popular and articular speaker/preacher/priest) Fr Desmond de Souza (CSsR) and other members of his family, including Giselle. She has resettled back in the village and is doing a great job with educating children with special needs here and elsewhere.

But I remember, as a seven year old, our teacher Ida (in…

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Ten of the best: novels about Goa

The Guardian of the UK recently published a listing of “10 of the best books set in Mumbai”. See Taking the cue from that listing, here’s a compilation of my own favourite ten novels set in Goa or her people.

* * *

Lambert Mascarenhas, Sorrowing Lies My Land

Undoubtedly one of the most neatly-crafted novels written in colonial times, whose story still resonates. My edition dates back to the 1970 Goa Publications reprint (“Price Rs 15”).

“The mountain far away, wearing a cloak of muddy brown, stood there against the azure sky, ragged as a tramp drowsing in the noonday sun. The May heat seemed to have scorched the very roots of the trees on it — the heat, merciless and cruel, which also cracked our fields, blistered our feet and made us perspire profusely.”

* * *

Peter Nazareth, The General Is Up

Damibia is a fictitious land-locked country in East Africa, in which a demented army general takes power and begins a brutal rule of surrealistic dimensions. Try telling any ex-Africander from Goa that!

“George (Kapa) was sometimes irritated by Goan hypocrisies. For example, he knew, although most Goans were very careful not to talk about it with him, that Goans thought the main prob Samajwadilem facing Africa was tribalism. They seemed to exempt themselves from the whole problem, as though they were not tribalist in their behaviour.”

* * *

Orlando da Costa, O Signo da Ira
A novel published in Salazar-ruled Portugal, and hardly adequately noticed in post-1961 Goa. A not-so-romanticised image of the Goa that was. Its Margao-linked author wrote to me after we met long back: “Indeed, it was an obsession that travelled with me from Goa in September 1947. I was 18 years old. After some unsuccessful attempts, I gave up — I thought — until I was about thirty, thirty-one.”

“As the harvests of the vangana appear along the meadows and the wind ripples the green horizon, the still-damp earth shivers with an intense, fertile joy. Even the fieldworkers are dazzled by the sight. They feast their eyes on the stalks, patiently hoping that the grain will become so fat and golden that it falls of its own accord.” (Translated)

* * *

Leslie de Noronha, The Dew Drop Inn

Another work that doesn’t get the attention deserved.

“The studio photographer, also gay, offered to do the oiling himself. Fortunately he had been warned by Armstrong to keep his hormonal churning under control, so Steve was quite safe and blissfully unaware of the photographer’s pleasant, if hard, reactions. The session went smoothly. The art pulls were an instant success with the white band of untanned skin looking very sexy.”

* * *

Silviano C Barbosa, The Sixth Night

Linda Cardoso grows up in Portuguese colonial Goa, and this book gets its title from the Goan belief that the goddess who visits the child on her sixth night determines her fate forever.

“The natives of Australia and Canada have native rights and privileges because the White Europeans signed treaties with them. But in India, the Aryans never bothered about such treaties with native Shudras and made the whole country theirs.”

* * *

Eusebio Rodrigues, Love and Samsara

This novel, set in 16th century India, blends “history, adventure, love and spirituality on the background of the arrival of the Portuguese, which caused a clash of civilizations”. 611 pages of finely set type.

“The stern Vasco da Gama, whom I had met in 1498, had changed into a butcher in the course of four years. Infuriated because the ‘pardesi’ Muslims had sacked the Portuguese factory in Calicut, he had exacted a hideous revenge. He lay in wait off Mount Eli for pilgrim ships returning from Jiddah.”

* * *

Margaret Mascarenhas, Skin

Pagan Miranda Flores leaves America, her job and her lover, to journey back to Goa and learn of dark and distant family secrets.

“Once her cousin Carmen said to her, ‘You know, for someone who’s terrified of planes, you sure fly a lot.’ At the time, she had been working for an international news agency … jetting back and forth between the corporate office in San Francisco and the eastern and southern regions of Africa, where she reported on civil unrest in Angola and Mozambique and on the thousands of people killed and mangled by landmines.”

* * *

Braz Menezes, Just Matata

Ten-year-old Lando sees Africa and boarding school life in Goa through his mischevious eyes; a charming story.

“‘Lando’, Mom calls out from the kitchen window, ‘Have you and Simba been creating the usual matata [trouble] for Mrs Gelani?’ ‘Of course not, Mom,’ I reply. ‘Dogs will be dogs. Simba simply loves Mr Gelani’s pyjamas.'”

* * *

Belinda Viegas, The Cry of the Kingfisher

The story of three Goan women, already being recognised as a voice of feminist writing from this small region.

“I also felt guilty about Zarella. As if I was somehow responsible for her behaviour and that I should make up to Mama and Papa for whatever they felt was lacking in her. So that we could be a happy family again. It made me resolve to do my best and work as hard as I could.”

* * *

Antonio Gomes, The Sting of the Peppercorns

Shades of Orwell, as the tumultuous Goa-Portuguese relationship of centuries gets reflected in the twists and turns of lovers, turmoil and tough times that come with drastic changes, distance and migration. Who wins? Who loses? If you expect the mere claims of victim-hood coming from a post-colonial society, this could surprise you.

“Paulo dropped the first bombshell: ‘I have no intention of assuming any position now under India; besides, I don’t know Indian or British law.’ He hurriedly continued looking at his mother and father and addressing his father. ‘I’m going to Portugal. I will need some financial support in the beginning. I give you my word in a year or two I will be on my own.'”

* * *

[Contact the columnist on fn@goa-india.org or 2409490 or 9822122436, after 1 pm.]

A hundred years young… almost!

The Goa Review of Books

The young Jesuit Kelwin Monteiro promptly agreed and shared a copy of the latest issue of Dor Mhoineachi Rotti. It is now online and free to access here.

Kelwin wrote:

As assured, kindly find attached to this mail the January issue of the Dor Mhoineachi Rotti.  Feel free to put it on any website or  blog, so that it reaches to the maximum number of people!  I will send you the issues every month! This is the 99th year of its publication.  The year 2015-16 would be the Centenary Year of publication!

Great going… The magazine is in Romi Konkani (or, as sometimes interestingly called, Amchi Bhaas).  It is priced at Rs 10 per issue, Rs 100 for a year’s subscription, and Rs 500 via airmail to any overseas address.

You can contact its editorial office at the Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr, BB Borkar Road, Alto…

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Rare, antiquarian, second-hand, and “loanable” Goa books

The Goa Review of Books

Do you have any Goa books falling in the above categories that you might be willing to share and/or sell with other Goa Book Club members?
If so, please list them. I have quite a few Goa-related book which can be referred to at my home (or borrowed, if duplicates are available). The single-copies of these books I’m reluctant to share for obvious purposes. Older Goa books tend to be hard to find and, often, impossible to replace.

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Translations, typesetting… Konkani

The Goa Review of Books

Just to put you in touch with a young lady (who did her graduation in Konkani and is now doing her Master’s in History), who’s open to doing translations (English-Konkani) and also typesetting in Devanagari:neelamtatkar499 at gmail.com
Neelam, feel free to join the Goa Book Club. There are authors here who might need translation services. It could also whet your appetite for books related to Goa.
ADDENDA: Anwesha Singbal write:
Hi. even i would be interested in translation jobs. I have been already empanelled on the government list too. Thanks. Email: asingbal@gmail.com. Contact: 9923442746
Sunetra Jog (sunetrajog at gmail com) adds: Hi Rico, Even I am interested in translations from English to Konkani or Marathi and Devnagari typesetting also.

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The Wikipedia… Making it Happen in Konkani

Konkani Wikipedia, in incubation

As you might be aware, the Dalgado Konkani Akademi and the Centre for Internet and Society Access to Knowledge Programme (Bangalore) are jointly organising a two-day Konkani Wikipedia Workshop to promote Romi Konkani in cyberspace, and on the Wikipedia in particular.

The workshop will be held on November 16/17, 2013 at the Krishnadas Shama Central Library, Pato, Panjim. But even if you’re far from Goa, you can help take this initiative forward.
What you can do to help:
  • Get in touch, pick up suitable articles to translate into Romi Konkani.
  • Work to locate sharable articles suitable for Romi readers.
  • Share your photographs via the Wikipedia, that can feed into this effort.
  • Edit articles in Romi Konkani, if you have the skills here.
  • Encourage others to contribute and share their skills and knowledge.
  • Pass the word around specially in colleges and among students.
To participate in the workshop, contact Jose Salvador Fernandes, Secretary of the Dalgado Konkani Akademi 9881810832 or dkakademi@gmail.com
If you cannot make it to Goa or cannot join the workshop, but would like to volunteer from afar, contact me (FN, SMS 91-9822122436 or fn@goa-india.org ) and we’ll see how best we can match your skills with the needs.
It’s also possible to contribute to the Wikipedia in other languages and scripts. Build knowledge and make it happen…

The night when Goa’s port went up in flames

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By Frederick Noronha

Anyone who followed the intellectual and political discourse in the Goa of the 1960s, and much of the past five decades, would surely know of the Shirodkar duo.

Both named “P.P”, the father (Pandurang Purushottam) was a freedom-fighter and former Speaker of the Goa Assembly. His son Dr. P.P. (Prakashchandra Pandurang) Shirodkar was a journalist turned official, who rose to become the Director of Archives, Archeology and Museum for two decades, and also Executive Director of the Goa Gazetteer.

At present, Dr. Shirodkar is based in Bangalore, coping with a bit of health challenges, but closely keeping in touch with issues linked to Goa, both in cyberspace and otherwise. Dr Shirodkar has recently come out with a book related to a sensational but often forgotten aspect of Goan history.

Some of us might remember it because of the ‘Sea Wolves’ movie, the 1980 war film starring Gregory Peck, Roger Moore and David Niven and shot in Goa. This film, as a quick Google search would remind us, is based on the book ‘Boarding Party’ by James Leason, which, in turn, is based in a real-life incident that took place is “neutral” Goa during World War II.

Dr Shirodkar’s book is called ‘Blazing Midnight’ Its longish subtitle reads: “World War II: German Remote Control at Marmagoa Silenced”.

On the inside cover itself, we’re told more about the book. ‘Blazing Midnight’ is about the “tragic story of three German cargo ships — Ehrenfels, Drachenfels, Braunfels and one Italian cargo vessel Anfora”. All had taken shelter in Mormugao Harbour when World War II began in 1939.

As Shirodkar notes, his book is based mostly on Portuguese archival documentation available at the Goa Archives. “It brings out the truth and exposes thoroughly the Portuguese neutrality during World War II,” says the book. It also gives details about the the exchange of PoWs (prisoners of war) in Marmagoa Harbour, with extensive details about various diplomatic levels involved to transfer the PoWs coming from Japan in the vessel Teia Maru and from the West in the ship Gripsholm.

Dr Shirodkar starts with pesonal reminiscences. He was just over two years old, living with his grandparents at Caranzalem. He was told of this later by his mother, when he was seven. Residents of Dona Paula and Caranzalem cam e rushing towards Panjim, “running with their infants and belongings on their heads screming, crying, wailing, sobbing and shouting”. They were shouting: “Bomb poddlo, bomb polldo” (A bomb has fallen.)

From the episodic, Dr Shirodkar shifts to the factual. In five serious chapters he talks about the intrigue that led to the bombing. A German master spy was suspected to be operating through the ships (or this was the British justification). This resulted in a “blitzkreig” aat the Marmagoa Harbour, and was followed by an exchange of PoWs.

In Chapter IV, he talks about the “fate of the crew”. As Dr Shirodkar points out, the court in Goa came out with the “totally biased contention” of the Portuguese authorities of Marmagoa Port that “no alien ship had ever entered the port on that fateful night” when the ships went up in flames. This put the blame on the German and the Italian ships’ crew.

Some of the sailors from these vessels — like Fritz Dimsak who had his watch repairs shop near the Panjim municipal garden, or Karl Breitkopf — stayed on in Goa. Others had more tragic tales to tell.

Four Germans opted to remain in Goa. E. Tiegel stayed on, as did Dimsak, who lived here till his death. Kurt Beck was Manager with Sesa Goa and Walter Sedlazech was a mechanic at the same firm. Karl Breitkpt and E. sAutter are believed to have stayed till a few years back in Vasco. Harald Finck expired in Goa and was interred at St. Inez. Ernest Truper died at the Aguada Jail and was laid to rest at the St Lourenco Church cemetery, Sinquerim.

Given that the same subject is covered, a comparison with James Leasor’s book Boarding Party is tempting. That book may have the glamour. Does the current one have more factual details and inputs? That’s for the historian to say…

By some coincidence, or perhaps it was meant that way, a translation of P.P. Shirodkar (Sr.)’s memomirs was also almost simultaneously released. Its author writes on the back cover: “If the Indian concept of rebirth is true, and on account of any, if the Almighty willed not to bestow on me a rebirth in India, He should grant me that rebirth in Angola.”

The author was imprisoned in Goa and sent to exile and imprisonment in Angola. His biography was published in Marathi in August 1988. He says that for a decade and half, he could not get down to that because it would reveal the names of the Angolans involved to the Portuguese secret police, the PIDE, in still-colonial times. After 1977-78, he was still caught up in important issues like “caste and class system, temples in Goa, Marathi language” and other “burning issues”.

Needless to say, Shirodkar has been a major player in post-Liberation Goa. But his book calls for closer attention and debate, in that it has the potential to throw interesting light on little-known aspects of Goa’s campaign against Portuguese colonialism.

Blazing Midnight
Dr P P Shirodkar
Pradnya-Darshan Prakashan
BB Borkar Road
Alto Porvorim Ph 9742210126
Pp 206

My Life in Exile
Pradnya-Darshan, as above
Pp 336

They came, they found, they imagined

Goa: Found and Imagined

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By Frederick Noronha

Young Swedish professionals and researchers who visited Goa recently came not as mere tourists, but to attempt to understand the place and imagine where this tiny region’s strengths could take it.

Students of a post-Master’s inter-disciplinary course in Urbanism from the Royal Institute of Art at Stockholm looked at how Goa was coping with its challenges of participation, its water-economy, and tourism. Their work has just been published as a book titled ‘Goa — Found and Imagined: Possibilities, Potentials, Tips and Tools‘.

“Although their richness was far too deep and complex for us to embrace and to claim that we had become more than just acquainted with, we were struck by the Goans’ love for and engagement with their land,” say the co-authors of this 100-page book.

The book itself looks at the planning process in Goa and its far-from-easy recent attempts to involve the citizen, the potential of Goa’s water resources, a possible kind of tourism “that does not destroy Goa’s unique landscape”, and how Goa’s infrastructure systems could perform to meet citizens’ needs.

Says the Swedish Professor of Architecture Herietta Palmer in the introduction: “Each story points towards something already present but not yet working to its full potential. Each story is trying to say — listen up, there is another possible route, which doesn’t necessarily follow 8 Introduction mainstream ideas of modernization and development.” Continue reading They came, they found, they imagined

The General Is Up, again

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Peter Nazareth, the father of the first-ever anthology in English of Goan writing published in the 1980s, is Professor of English and Advisor to the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Born in Uganda of Goan parentage, he obtained his honours degree in English from Makerere University College.

Last week, the third edition of his novel ‘The General Is Up’ was released at Des Moines, Iowa, US. This Goan writer with strong links to Africa, North America and ancestral links to Far East Asia, gives FREDERICK NORONHA an insight into his writing, his perspectives and the responses this book drew. Incidentally, The General Is Up is set in an imaginary African country, where a General comes to power and decides to expel Asians from that country…. Not surprisingly, the setting is the Goan community there.

Please describe the novels you wrote. Of these, which is your favourite?

I like both the novels (The General Is Up and the earlier In a Brown Mantle, 1977, East African Literature Bureau). They are connected, but different from one another.

What motivated you to write The General Is Up?

I had started writing something before leaving Uganda, after the first novel was out; but then I left Uganda to accept the Seymour Lustman Fellowship at Yale and I abandoned what I wrote. Again, I started writing something at Yale, but abandoned it. I started writing something when I came to (the University of) Iowa, but abandoned it too.

Then I received a request from the editor of Dhana (the journal of creative writing) in Kampala (the late Professor of Creative Writing at the Makerere University in Uganda) Austin Ejiet, asking me to write something for the journal. I found that abandoned piece and sent it to him and he published it, saying that it was remarkable and he hoped I would continue.

What have been the responses to the novel so far?

Jose Antonio Bravo, novelist from Peru, told me that what I had telling him about Idi Amin led to his having nightmares and he wanted to write about it. But, he said, it was my story and I should write it and if I did not know how to do it I should buy Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ and I would know.

I did buy it and read it but I felt like writing about his novel and this became my second book of literary criticism.

The following year, Cyprian Ekwensi, the Nigerian novelist (who began writing novels before Chinua Achebe) suddenly said to me, “My god! You have the novel in your head! Write it!”

I told him that that was just what Bravo had said to me and I found that Bravo planned his novels like an architect and when it was ready, he wrote it. “Good,” said Ekwensi. “Let me show you how I do it.” And he took me to his room and I found he did it the same way, planning it like an architect.

So I went to a bookstore downtown and bought paper and began planning the novel: and at a certain point, the novel took off and I wrote it in a kind of trance, except that it swallowed up all the other pieces I had written and abandoned.

All I had to do after that was fine tune the novel. Ekwensi read it and made some suggestions, particularly about how to make it a novel instead of something based completely on real life. I have kept on fine tuning it (just as the Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o has kept on fine tuning his third novel, ‘A Grain of Wheat’).

Who do you think appreciated it the most? Why?

old-edition-coverThere are some African novelists who have loved both novels. One of them was Uche Chukwumerije, who visited Goa. He loved the treatment of the General in my novel and the humour of the novel. So much so that he began writing a novel in which he mentioned and analyzed my novel. He sent me what he wrote.

What were the difficulties to publish it initially?

The difficulty in publishing ‘The General is Up’ initially is that publishers and readers in the West, including the US, do not want their readers to know what is going on in the Third World which they are responsible for. My novel pinpoints everyone and every person who is responsible for what happened regarding the General, his coming into power, and his Expulsion.

From the beginning, I have liked writing all kinds of things: plays, literary criticism, fiction. I write my literary criticism as though I am writing fiction, that is, I mix everything up. In fact, I write more literary criticism because literary criticism is about who had the power to control how fiction in the Third World is interpreted. Of course, publishers and readers in the West do not tell you the truth: they say your work is not up to the standard.

On the positive side: I was urged by Ayi Kwei Armah (the Ghanaian writer) whom I met in Dar es Salaam in 1970 when I had the manuscript of ‘In a Brown Mantle’ with me, to get my novel published by a local publisher. The East African Literature Bureau was very interested and Armah told me to go ahead with EALB. He was telling me this after he had two novels published in the US by Houghton Mifflin, a big publisher, and his novels were praised by reviewers in Newsweek, Time and The New York Times. He was completing his third novel at the time, after which he was turning to write his fourth and fifth novel and get them published with a local publisher (East African Publishing House). He now lives in Senegal in West Africa, and has set up his own publishing firm and publishes his own novels among other things.

Sketch of Peter Nazareth by Steve Gronert Ellerhoff

‘Erotic yet sensitive’

Actor, writer and director Karan Razdan who works for Bollywood is one of the creative talent who voted for Goa as part-home. He is famous for direct films with controversial themes like Girlfriend (2004), Hawas (2004), Souten: The Other Woman (2006) and also wrote and directed the hit TV series of the mid-1980s Rajani.

He talks with FREDERICK NORONHA about his new book Tantra and Tantrika, which could get a Goa release too soon.

Q: Your first book, so how difficult and challenging was it? Why?

It was difficult. I am so used to writing screenplays. A two hour screenplay is easier to reign in, control… But a book is a totally different ball game. It’s too vast and it takes time to get a grip over it. My editor Shubha Saha was a big help. She is a journalist and a realist. She would chop down some chapters and I would fight and put some of it back again. It was tough but a very fascinating process.

Q: Does your reputation as a scriptwriter, etc help or hinder being an author?

Obviously it helped. When I was in college and wrote short stories, I would send it to all the leading newspapers. But they would all come back with a rejection slip. So… yes, now that I am a established writer and director, getting a publisher was the easiest part. Shray Jain, my publisher was very supportive. Continue reading ‘Erotic yet sensitive’

From brick and mortar to pages and ink

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By Frederick Noronha

THIS IS such an unusual, optimistic, upbeat story that it almost sounds too good to be true. But when Gerard da Cunha, the Godhra-born architect of Goan origin, sheds his inhibitions and tells you the story of his forays into publishing, the candour of his tale hits you hard. You had better believe it!

The other day, Cunha did the same at the PublishingNext 2013 conference in Goa. He’s a man who has achieved a lot in the field of architecture nationwide, and therefore it comes as a surprise that he’s covered so much ground in publishing too.

“Being an architect, practising in Goa, about 12-14 years ago, I felt it was my duty to come out with a book on Goan architecture. So very idealistically, I started writing the book. I got co-authors in place, and a photographer. Then I tried to look for a publisher. I had spent a lot of money already, a lot of effort. Others said it was not feasible. It would take two years to do, and if we could find some sponsors, then it might work out.”

Gerard came back to Goa, completely disappointed, as he puts it, and started contacting the printers. Gerard points to his slick coffee-table book ‘Houses of Goa’ that resulted from all this effort. But, we’re moving ahead of ourselves in the story.

Some 4000 copies would cost Rs 18 lakh, he was told by the printers. Co-incidentally, he got sponsorship for an exhibition on the same topic. He says he offered the book — “I didn’t even have a dummy at that time” — at the exhibition. While its price would be Rs 1400 after publication, his pre-print offer was a sharply discounted Rs 875 (or even less, for bulk orders). “With no book around, I sold about 300 copies of this book,” recalls Gerard, with a mild chuckle. Continue reading From brick and mortar to pages and ink

Art… from the heart

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Work of Clarice Vaz (Brian Vaz’s wife) who says: “After a tremendous response and sale of all my paintings in April this year, I was encouraged towards taking up painting full-time. It allowed me to relax totally and transported me into a new magical world of creativity.”Calangute scene

She has been doing abstracts (see above) and feels it gives scope to “express my innermost thoughts and feelings”. (Readers would recall that Clarice and Brian’s elder son passed away of a heart ailment while completing his engineering education, and her work is devoted to their son Craig.

Art from SaligaoClarice (+91-9527528285 or claricevaz@ymail.com) does what she calls “fluid painting”. She explains: “I try to work the colours and allow them to flow into a pattern I can perceive. Here, variation in colour, form and texture interact to make an interesting composition — similar to poetry in colour.”

Among the works visible above are the four-piece Mackeral Sky — Baga Sunset; Goan Flaour; September Flowers; Nirbhaya; Stillness and Energy; the Mae de Deus Saibin and three untitled paintings.

Canada-based Saligaocar artist Mel D’Souza has been giving her an encouraging nudge and more… and Africa-born Clarice (who grew up in Moira and St Mary’s) has often appreciated that help!

More art

In honour of...

Understanding the book, and how it was shaped in the past

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By Frederick Noronha

The history of the book? What’s that, I can hear you asking. This might be a new term to many of us, given that the field is itself quite nascent. For instance, the academic journal ‘Book History’ was established only in 1998. In India, just two universities — Jadhavpur and Pune — seem to be seriously involved in work in this field. It has only recently been seen as an important field for study.

The history of the book is broadly defined as “the history of the creation, dissemination, and reception of script and print”. In a simpler language, it deals with the ‘back story’ of the book. What all was involved in making a book, into a book.

Recently, the University of Pune held an interesting seminar (in late September 2013) in this field. It was called ‘Journey of the Book: From Manuscript to Digital’, and looked at a wide range of subjects indeed.

Historians looked at ‘the book as history’. Others focussed on manuscripts in Puranic texts, contestations over the Bible in India, and Tamil texts from its Palmyra leaves times.

Dr. Rajan Barrett, a friend of Goan issues who traces his roots to Mangalore, spoke on ‘The Bible: Reception, Rejection, Contestations and Reformulation in India’. When we met up later, Dr. Barrett mentioned that he had started out life in academia in the field of Mathematics, but moved quite drastically to another field like English.

To me, the most interesting paper was the animatedly-presented one by Dr. Abhijit Gupta (Jadhavpur) called ‘Darogar Daptar, or the Strange Case of the Non-Existent Books’. Gupta looked at the fictional stories of a retired police officer of another (the 19th) century. The officer talks about some five book-related scams, involving a single unsucessful writer, in the Battala area of north Calcutta, once the heart of the book market in Bengal. The stories were fascinating; but more than that, it also reminded one how much certain parts of the country — like the Bengalis — love their books. Continue reading Understanding the book, and how it was shaped in the past

Makeover in a village hamlet — passion provides the punch

MUDDAVADDI, Saligao: From a demure salwar-khamiz to a gym suit in one minute. That’s the time taken for the transformation of Kanika, a young lady who entered a newly-renovated first storey in this residential hamlet of narrow lanes on a Tuesday afternoon.

In one monsoon, meanwhile, Ramesh Ghadi has converted a significant part of the mind-set of his village of Saligao (Goa) into a surprisingly fitness-conscious one.

Ghadi returned after 16 years from the Gulf, and spent some time managing health-clubs in five-starred deluxe hotels back in Goa. But, quickly enough, he shed the security of a job in favour of launching out on his own dream.

Late in the Summer 2013 he launched Ghadi Fitness, at Muddavaddi, tucked a little distance off the CHOGM Road. Now, he already has over two hundred persons on his rolls, and with his cool approach takes the message of staying fit to the average middle-class Goan village.

His diversity bulges like his muscle. A Konkani poet himself, Ramesh has staged Konkani plays in the locality temple. His story is typical of the Goan youth with much talent, hidden and waiting for long to be tapped.

On the Saligao-Net group on Facebook [http://www.facebook.com/groups/saligaonet] he’s also known for charming posts about the Goa of the 1970s that he grew up in, often accompanied by a photo clicked on his mobile phone’s camera. He describes the humble folk in a charming style through the simple ways of his writings.

But ‘passion’ is a concept that Ramesh repeatedly talks about. And believes in.

He builds his gym with this emotion; and how! Not just does he attract young men with bulging biceps, but he has lured many first-timers from Saligao and its neighbourhood to think of keeping fit by sweating it out four or more times a week.

From all signs, they’re taking to it with enthusiasm.

“We do hear noise from the gym,” says Ramesh’s wife Anushka with a smile, herself in a black track suit, but seemingly enjoying the near-celebrity status her hubby has gained in his locality with his unusual approach. The gym is a floor about their traditional home, done up with earnings from the overseas stints of Ramesh and his brother Digambar (Diga).

Once you’re in, you get the idea that this is not just about any gym. It a village club. Together with his personal training, Ramesh offers personal talk. If he sees a journalist in you, the focus will go on interesting aspects of a Goa which don’t get written about.

The village sarpanch (council chief) joins in exercises here on some days. So do others whom one might not link with being fitness freaks. You can meet your schoolmate Mark, whom you didn’t spot in decades, and some mums sneak off to don their gym shoes after the kiddies pack off for school.

Don’t be surprised to see Facebook posts of the 50-something Ramesh, telling you what one gymmie has just achieved in the field of fashion. “Everyone says our police are unfit. Meet Manoj,” he says, pointing to a muscular cop who comes to work-out with Sandeep and Suwanand, who are also policemen by day. Or night, depending on their shift, I guess.

Ramesh has the gift of the written word too. He told me, in his soft-spoken and quiet manner, of an essay he wrote in the village school, Mater Dei, that a generation ago struck his teachers as unusual and outstanding even then. He’s still a man with a hundred-and-one stories to narrate. From local lore, to focussing on the village footballers of the 1970s, and even ghost stories from Saligao, he can tell it all.

But there’s a story behind the Ramesh Ghadis of Saligao too.

In the 1970s, a retired Army employee from South India — whom everyone called “Joseph Sir” — settled in Saligao with his family. He then set up a rudimentary village gym, with the rough and ready equipment available in those days of scarcity. As a result, at least four to five village boys gained life-long careers from that initiative — often working at top health clubs and as swimming coaches in the Gulf.

Today, many of them are back home. Contributing to their village in their own unique ways.

Ramesh was himself at the Ramada’s there. “I know enough Arabic to discuss gym topics,” he says with a smile.

It’s not that Saligao didn’t have a gym earlier; but that was seen as meant for more hard-core training for serious-minded young men. Now you see people in their “sweet sixties” (Ramesh’s term) to young women coming in after work. The former to stay fit, some of the latter to gain weight!

Ramesh says of his long stint in the Gulf. “Once, when visiting home for the Ganesh festival, I looked around at the village pond (the site where the festival ending culminates) and realised I didn’t recognise 60% of the people present. That was when I decided it was time to come home,” he says.

“With my writing in cyberspace, people now know I’m not just a toughie with muscle,” Ramesh told me recently. But then, you can’t blame those who meet him for noticing the bulge on his arms, chest and more at first glance!


Location: Muddavaddi, Behind St. Anne’s Chapel.
Phone : 9850450055
Timings : 6 am to 10 am. 4 pm to 10 pm.
Charges : Rs 1000 for entry. Rs 500 per month.

Understanding Indian diaspora’s complexities

Understanding Indian diaspora’s complexities

IANS Sep 17, 2013, 12.00AM IST
(Understanding Indian diaspora’s…)

Book: Indian Diaspora and Transnationalism
Ajaya Kumar Sahoo, Michiel Baas, Thomas Faist
Publisher: Rawat Publications, Jaipur rawatbooks.com
Pages: 442+xiv
Price: Rs.1,150

Like the parable of the Elephant of Hindoosthan, the Indian diaspora is indeed a strange animal; difficult to map, complex to comprehend and wide in its scale. “Migrants,” says this book, “no longer simply cross borders to live elsewhere but regularly turn this ‘crossing borders’ into a lifestyle of its own”.”

“Indian Diaspora and Transnationalism” sets out to “present not only an important overview of the state of the study on Indian transnationalism but also act as an important source of inspiration to think beyond the concept and the way it has been studied so far”.

Seventeen essays, three editors, and over 400 pages go into this effort. The range of approaches and diverse themes chosen make this an easy and fairly interesting read, even for one not directly connected with the subject itself. Some essays have been compiled from other sources, as the acknowledgements page makes clear, but the choice is interesting nonetheless.

Early on in the hard-bound volume, its three editors raise issues of “theoretical developments and practical implications” of Indian transnationalism. They point out that, with over 25 million people, India’s “is now one of the largest diasporas in the world”. Continue reading Understanding Indian diaspora’s complexities

Backstage Battles… and the Sometimes Harsh Realities of Goa

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By Frederick Noronha


In the midst of the monsoons, when Goa’s fair-weather friends and tourists have quite deserted the place, collegians and other youngsters reclaim the dance-floor. If you’re past a certain age, you might have never ever heard of this event, but in fact the Battle of the Bands has going great guns for the better part of the last decade.

The duo behind this event are artist-designer Bina Nayak (now based in Mumbai) and Keith Fernandes (an ex-Bombay Goan, now based squarely in Goa).


Each year, on August 15, convenient because of the national holiday, the day-long Battle of the Bands draws hundreds of young people, from Bardez and beyond. It is usually held in the Parra-Arpora area. Its aim? “To get back the lost glory of live music. To fight to be heard amongst all the DJs!” explains Bina Nayak.

In 2003, Keith Fernandes came up with the idea of the Battle of the Bands (BTB, for short) because there were then hardly any live music shows, especially in the Rock music space in Goa.

But at that time there were plenty of DJ shows happening in Goa and elsewhere. Like, for instance, the War of the DJs, which was huge then. The Battle of The Bands aimed to give a similar push to Rock bands, its founders suggest.

At that time, there was also a Rock band competition in the open air auditorium at the Kala Academy, which somehow had stopped in the 1990s. Incidentally, that was a college band competition and Keith and his group had even won it one year. Also, the popular entertainment-music space called the Haystack in Arpora (run by the late musician August Braganza of Mapusa), had been discontinued somewhere around that time.

Being a musician himself and the son of a Jazz musician, Keith felt the need to “do something” for the Live music scene. Things fell in place.


The Bands rocked the event from 2003 to 2006. “We got the best bands from Goa, Pune, Bangalore and even Mumbai. Bands like Infra Red and Mogh. But [over time] the quality seems to be deteriorating. We started getting DJs and dance groups from the first show itself. They wanted to play for free during the breaks or while the bands got ready. We never turn away talent. But once these guys got a foot in — they just got better and better!” says Keith. Continue reading Backstage Battles… and the Sometimes Harsh Realities of Goa

Tears of Salt

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adas2Salt has been an important produce of coastal Goa for centuries, and has been exported from here to countries in Africa and the rest of Asia. But today, the traditional salt sector lies decimated and threatened by extinction, says a new book on the subject.

“Goa once was a hub of salt making. Salt was the currency that allowed Goans to import essential commodities. Today, the very same occupation lies derelict, its spine truly broken by a century and more of official polices, governmental apathy, low social status…,” says a book authored by Benaulim-based sociologist Dr. Reyna Sequeira.

Sequeira, who did her Ph.D. on the salt making communities of Goa and is an associate professor at Quepem, says in the book that traditional occupations must be remembered “not as a tapestry in a museum merely to be viewed, but as a living part of our society”.

Her field work, spread over a couple of decades involving both her Masters and doctorate on this often ignored subject, looks at salt makers in three villagers scattered across diverse pockets of coastal Goa — Agarvaddo (Pernem), Batim (Tisvadi) and Arpora (Bardez).

Besides focussing on the salt making communities, she highlights the “geography, history and politics” of salt in Goa. In the first two, one gets a hint of how the area of salt extraction has shrunk particularly over recent decades, but also since the late nineteenth century and the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty. Continue reading Tears of Salt

Ore, and more

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By Frederick Noronha

cover-anarchitectofmoderngoaIt’s always fascinating to read about the movers and shakers in any society. More so when these stories come from the otherwise little-discussed world of business. Not only do these narratives give an insight into the lives and times of the people that were, but they give deeper hints into how society works, what makes it tick.

Here we have the story of a doyen of Goan business, Vishwasrao Chowgule. In tiny Goa, along with other big names like the Dempos, Salgaocars, the Chowgules, the Menezeses, the Timblos (and a handful of others) have shaped the world of business. And, one could say, in some cases, even politics, economics, news, and education.

This book was first published nearly a generation ago, around 1975. But those were times when reviews of new titles hardly happened — probably less than even now. So, the recent second edition of this title is an excuse to look at it once over again.

Amidst Mario Miranda’s typical drawings — even the dusty port of Mormugao looks scenic when seen this way — we get an image of Goa that was, and how it was “built” up. Between a plethora of figures, and facts, an interesting picture emerges.

We see colonial Goa growing on iron-ore, in times when the world was itself recovering from the ravages of World War II. Strangely enough, it was the losers of the war — the Japanese and the Italians, through Sesa then — that depended more on Goan ore to reconstruct.

Interesting tidbits emerge from the many stories included in this compiled volune. Did you know, for instance, that the first Japanese ore-carrier ‘Shozen Maru’ sailed for its first consignment exported by the Chowgules way back in 1950. Ore was brought in country craft from the Sirigao mines! The Chowgule brothers supervised the loading operations personally.

We hear shades of the debate which still continue till this day: Was Goan ore being sold cheap to Japan? If so, why? How did Goan ore compared with Australian? Should Goa have its own steel plant?

In times where only a handful of books, if at all, were published on Goa each year, this one takes on wider strokes. For instance, it has an essay by author, journalist and art-critic Dnyaneshwar Nadkarni, who talks of “the cultural heritage of Goa”.

In between the hard-bound covers, what we come across here are contributions from various persons who knew Vishwasrao Chowgule. They comment on his role in various spheres — the Goan (and Indian) economy, economic and capitalist growth in Goa, Goa-Japanese ties in the iron ore trade (from an era when Japan, not China, was Goa’s main buyer), and tributes from fellow industrialists, friends and admirers.

mscbThe last category includes individuals as diverse as former Lt. Governor S.K. Banerji, ex-chief minister (and mineowner herself) Shashikala Kakodkar, and ambassadors, judges, union leaders, ex-MPs and former editors. Few of our generation, for instance, would hear a bell in the name of V.H. Coelho — the Consul General in Goa between 1951-54, before the post-Independent Government of India imposed its economic blockade on this former Portuguese colony.

This is V.M. Salgaocar, the head of another business empire in Goa, talking about Vishwasrao Chowgule in 1975: “My association with Shri Vishwasrao has been both long and rewarding. We first chanced to meet on the train from Vasco to Mormugao, about forty years ago. He gave an impression of energy and enerstness. Later he built himself up into a leading industrialist and businessman. Since then several business and social occasions have brought us together. During such meetings I discovered that Shri Vishwasrao, who can be strong and firm, even tough, in business negotiations, can also relax and be full of human warmth.”

Beyond the kind words, it could be noted that here are two whose thoughts and preferences shaped the Goa that we know. Both played a key role, directly or otherwise, in shaping the language controvery of the 1980s, for instance.

One slightly confusing element is the inclusion of recent images and photographs in the generation-old book. So, it would appear, the picture of the now-plush Chowgule College (in Margao) and the Chowgule House, overlooking the waters, are more recent additions to the earlier book. Continue reading Ore, and more

Good gosh!

This is embarassing! I’ve not made a post here for months, and Goa Streets calls this one of the ten best in Goa.


One of the first journalists to exploit the power of the Internet, Frederick Noronha blogs about Goa and books, and issues that concern both. The books that he publishes under Goa 1556 are profiled here, along with vintage Goa photos, videos of events in Goa, lists of useful links on Goa and loads of photos of everything under the Goan sun.

Frankly undeserved!

To be fair to myself though, I keep sharing content via cyberspace… but not in a proprietorial, visit-my-site/blog way. So you’ll find my tracks elsewhere, not necessarily organised in one place.

BOOK EXTRACT: How Much Gold Does a Goan Need?

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smbTHE GUN, if that is what it was, was held to my third thoracic vertebra. I did not have the curiosity to look round into the gunman’s face. He may have noticed my heirloom earrings swinging rhythmically as I walked briskly ahead of him, but he made no attempt to snatch them. His attention was elsewhere.

That is how you may yet see me, on very special occasions, sporting my grandmother Luisa’s filigree earrings. Exquisitely worked gold chrysanthemum petals surround a tiny sapphire in the open flower which dangles an inch below the delicate bud on the lobe.

Nowadays even my middle class friends and relations go in for diamonds and platinum and bank lockers, but a few decades ago we all believed in gold: gold with pearls, gold with cameos, gold with corals, gold with the ubiquitous green stone, gold toned down with silver and revved up with marcasite chips. Goans have always been particular about their jewellery. Workmanship counts for much more than the material. It is not as elsewhere in India, “The dowry was three kilograms of gold.” Thanks to the brilliant Marquis of Pombal, women in Goa inherit a share of family land, so gold is almost only decorative.

In those days I was so fond of the metal that I carried my entire hoard of it on my fatimanoronhaonly visit to my brother in California. Two delicate bracelets, the harp-shaped studs my musical Aunty Ninette gave me, my parents’ gift of thick gypsy rings, Avòzinha’s sapphire-punctuated danglers, all accompanied me around the Wild West.

“Twenty-two carat, wow!” raved our American friends. “Here it’s all fourteen carat.” Many of the women wanted to know more about my gypsy earrings with the embossed money plant round the edges. They asked about the traditions that produced such ornaments. They wanted to know how much such jewellery cost. How would I know? Gold was always a gift, its price unknown. Like a jet black dress, it was always classy, regardless of price.

On weekends my brother drove me around the magical countryside or to a musical performance in San Francisco. During the week our lifestyle was austere. Since Des worked late at the lab, I used the Santa Clara County transit system and got to know Palo Alto and Stanford on my own. I admired the efficiency of the bus drivers who could count the fare as each passenger dropped coins into the transparent box, and hand out a ticket and a greeting without missing a beat.

It was cold and sometimes scary walking home from the bus stop those winter evenings. My way led down a bright street lined with pretty houses and gardens, then over a humped bridge across a creek and suddenly along a darkened lane. Struggling students and petty criminals could afford the rents in those apartment blocks on our side of the creek. Continue reading BOOK EXTRACT: How Much Gold Does a Goan Need?

Writing Green: A Guide to Handhold You

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Reviewed by Frederick Noronha

cover-eerJournalism is obviously an imprecise science. As has been pointed out: while science tries to be deliberate, precise and reflective, journalism is fast, imprecise and keen on drama. Yet, what would science be without the public outreach that the media offers? You could say the same for environmentalism, even if the latter is more of a social movement trying to influence the political process by lobbying, activism, and education so as to protect natural resources and ecosystems.

Many younger journalists (and a few not-so-young ones too), including media students, have their heart in the right place. They have a natural inclination towards the environment. But here is the dilemma: how or where do they get started?

The other day, I was pleasantly surprised to see two copies of Santosh Shintre’s handbook — published both in English and Marathi — reach by the post. Santosh had been in touch with me via email earlier, though one had all but forgotten our conversations.

Environmental journalism was one of the themes I too have had a soft-corner for during part of my journalistic career, in particular in the 1990s. Some of my employers encouraged my interest in this. But then, in post-Liberalisation India, the space for writing green simply dried up, thus putting subtle and not-so-subtle pressures on freelancing choices.

With Keya Acharya of Bangalore, nonetheless, more recently I co-edited a book called The Green Pen, where senior environmental journalists across India shared their experiences. Because of another of my interests, in cyberspace, I founded by happenstance the India-EJ mailing list for environmental journalists in India. Today it is run on Googlegroups by those still active in the field.

But contrary to the impression this all might create, I too would often be struggling to understand this vast field. More so, given that my background is not in the Sciences and my Green commitment stems from my heart and feelings about the need to go in for sustainable growth, whatever that might mean. Continue reading Writing Green: A Guide to Handhold You

Goa, The Army, and migration

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cover-bashonregardlessThis book comes from a prominent retired Armyman, “one of our Army’s foremost battlefield commanders”, and a soldier with his roots in Goa. It was for the last reason that I chose to borrow this book from the Central Library, when one happened to chance upon it.

We’re told on the back cover: “Lieutenant General W.A.G. Pinto’s experiences as a wartime divisional commander during the 1971 Indo-Pak war form the pivot of these memoirs….” Pune-based Pinto served the Indian Army during the not-so-peaceful times of 1943 to 1982, and retired as the General Officer Commanding in Chief, Central Command.

As one could expect, the story is often told in military (or militaristic) terms: “thrust into Pakistani terrotiry… the epic Battle of Basantar… decimated the opposition… knocked out one infantry and one armoured brigade…” (p. vii)

If you’re wondering where the title of the book comes from, we’re told early on, in the foreword itself, that Indian soldiers entering “captured Pakistani territory” were faced by “eye-catching signboards”. One said: “You are entering Pakistan. No passports required. Bash on Regardless.” Another read: “Pak Mines Only. Bash On Regardless.”

At the start of the book, Pinto talks about his Goan connect. His father was from the Gustavo Pinto branch of the Pintos of Santa Cruz, Goa. Like all Goan migration stories, Walter Anthony Gustavo’s sister was born in Pakistan, he had another brother (Major General Sydney Alexander) in the Army, and the loss of property back home forms a crucial part of the narrative.

He writes: “In the distant past, one of my early ancestors was a Hindu of the Nayak caste or class. All the property from Campal, Santa Inez, Mira Mir, Gaspar Dias, Caranzalem, Donna (sic) Paula, Vanganim, Taleigaon, Santa Cruz, Bambolim was all his, a mighty fortune and also a misfortune. What happened to it all and how did it happen?”

Pinto says says a receipt for Rs 20 shows his father sold his share of the Vanganim property to his brother. “The starred Hotel Cidade-de-Goa on the high ground overlooking the beautiful lagoon is now located on the property,” he writes.

It is tougher to believe that “the land on which the old Goa Medical College stands today was donated by one of my grand or great-grand parents”. (Didn’t the government simply acquire land of the politically uninfluential for such purposes?) But more amusing is the story his father’s lease of his share of the property called Mira Mar, where the estuary of the Mandovi River meets the Arabian Sea, “to a Portuguese gentleman, who put up a hotel called Hotel Mira Mar”. Continue reading Goa, The Army, and migration

‘Casinos in India are a faint shadow of what it is in the West’

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Dinesh Patel's bookAfter a book on restaurants in Goa and another on historical fiction, journalist-writer Dinesh Patel has come out with a title on casinos. It looks at the scene both in Goa and far beyond. This is the first book in India of its kind. He shares with FREDERICK NORONHA some details about the book, and his views on the sector here.

How would you briefly describe Indian Jackpot?

Indian jackpot is the first comprehensive book on casinos that throws light on various aspects of the gaming industry, right from its world and Indian history to the types of casinos, different types of games, what to expect at a casino, what not to do, house advantage, gaming superstitions, among other topics.

The book gives an overall view and also features the tycoons of gaming industry and showcases the top twenty gaming destinations in the world, gaming nations and India’s gaming neighbours, besides gaming in India itself. The book also warns about the harmful effects of the casino and explains the evils of going overboard.

Could you be seen as promoting casino gambling? If so, would you see this as an issue?

I have made it aptly clear in the preface — “Do not Overdo What You Must Do” — that the book should not be taken as an effort to promote casinos, nor an endeavour to denounce it. We get what we deserve and if casinos have come to our shores there is more than one reason, than mere economic compulsion. I think it is a good facility to have, specially if you are entertaining guests who have not seen a casino. Again, casinos now give tourists the night-life option that was missing.

What is the state of casino gambling in India today? Has it lived to its expectations (of promoters, governments, clients)?

In all seriousness, casinos in India are a faint shadow of what it is in the West, and thank God for that! The casino industry can still be seen to be at a fledgling stage and at the whims and fancies of government institutions. When the gaming industry took off in Goa in the 1990s, a lot of entrepreneurs were keen to strike gold and join the bandwagon of what seemed a lucrative business option, supported by the government.

Today while the big guns have managed to stay afloat, smaller operators have fallen by the wayside. Faced with government policies and high fees, many casinos are shutting shop or stalling operations and awaiting government announcements at the Assembly session in March. Continue reading ‘Casinos in India are a faint shadow of what it is in the West’

Bookshops in Goa

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Confidant/Golden Heart Emporium, Near GPO, Margao Goa 403601 Behind Main POST OFFICE, Same as Confidant. confidantgoa@yahoo.co.in Ph 2732450 or Walburg Coutinho, 9823 010528.

Book Mart G/8, Costa Chambers, Near Hotel Nanutel, Margao, Goa 403601 Ph 2711796

Wisdom Books 118, 1st Flr, Lake Plaza, Damodar Ling, Fatorda, Fatorda, Goa 403602 Ph 2743433

Maya Book Store Near Bank Of Baroda, Isodorio Emilio Baptista Road, Margao, Goa 403601 Ph 2731759

Yugved Pustak Gahar, Near Shantadurga Temple Gogol, Margao, Goa, 403601 Ph 2710754

Mayoor Book Service Radha Enclave, I B Rd, Margao, Goa 403601 Ph 2737041 or 9422443265

Kitaab Book Store, Sterling Apts,, Nr. Alankar Bldg, Panjifond,, Margao, Goa 403601 Ph 2731493

Priolkar Brothers, Municipal Bldg, S250, Gandhi Market, Margao 403601 Ph 2730367 or 2737057.

Zito Almeida (Near Cine Lata, Holy Family House, Opposite Cine Lata, Margao, Ph: 2732354, 2715319).

Remedian Vaz Book Stall (Old Market-Pornnem Bazarant).

M P Raikar Book Stall (Near Bank of India).

Narayan D. Munz (Near Bombay Café).


Broadway bbcbooks@rediffmail.com Ph 6647038, 2420677 Khalil: 9822 488564 (sometimes you get a msg saying “Please check the number you have dialled.” Ignore. The number is right. Retry later.) Faheem: 9860 030339.

Singbal’s Book House Communidade Building, Church Square, Panaji Ph: 2425747

Sardesai Enterprises, Coelho Pereira Building, Dr Dada Vaidya Road Ph 2420538.

Valsad Book House (Law Books Only), 3 Amina Apts, Dr Dada Vaidya Rd, Opp Hotel Manoshanti 2229510

Shri Nagesh Book Agency (Law Books Only), 7 Shri Saraswati Mandir, Panaji Head Post Office, Goa – 403001. Ph 2230503.

Book Fair C/o Hotel Mandovi, DB Marg, Panaji, Goa – 403001 Ph 2224406, 2426270, 2224405, 2224407 [For stocking, headoffice: Norman Faleiro 2427904]

Varsha Book Stall, 1 Ormuz Road, Near Azad Maidan, Panjim. 403001 Ph 2425832.

St Paul’s Book Centre, Rani Pramila Arcade, 18th June Rd. Ph 2231158

Book World, 104 Kamat Chambers, Opposite Hotel Neptune, Panaji, Goa 403001 books@goatelecom.com Ph 2421857

Pranti Book Shop 9 Uge Kamat Complex, Phase 5, Panaji, Goa 403001 Ph 2228041

New Book Shop C/o Hotel Fidalgo, 18th June Road, Panaji, Goa – 403001 Ph 2226291

Om Books Store Shop No 27/28,1st Floor, Alfran Plaza, Near Don Bosco School, M G Road, Panaji, Goa – 403001 Ph 2422908 or 9970125816

Jeevit, #8, 2nd Flr Patto Centre, Bus Stand Ph 2438638 or 2411201 (home)

Amrut Book Depot, KTC Bus Terminus, Patto Plaza Ph 2223490, 2438082

Gomantak Book Center Shop No 13, Near Maruti Temple Kadamba City Bus Stand, Panaji, Goa – 403001 Ph 2437639

Wisdom Book House 9 Rayu Chambers, Helidoro Salgado Road, Panaji Head Post Office, Goa – 403001 Ph 3260748.

4D Books Shop No. 46, Kamat Arcade, St Inex, Panjim, Goa – 403002 Ph 0832 – 6653454 M 9225980770 Website (not up) http://www.4ddistributor.com

Goa Konkani Akademi at Patto. 243, Patto Colony, Panaji – Goa – 403001 Phone: 2437385/87. email: info@goakonkaniakademi.org Only Konkani books. Government-established body.

Dalgado Konkani Akademi cum Tiatr Akademi of Goa. Ph c/o Jose Salvador Fernandes 9881 810832.

Semi-permanent exhibition next to Domino’s Pizza across the street from Kamat Resataurant in Panjim.

Institute Menezes Braganza should be regarded as another semi-permanent book exhibition venue (can buy many of my bargain basement books).

New Central Library at Panjim, has opened an outlet to dispose of books published by the Dept. of Art and Culture.

Vendor near Cafe Vihar.

Bookstall in Panjim market. Entrance from north end.


Literati Bookshop E/1,282 Gaura Vaddo, Opp Tarcar Ice Factory & Next To Abc Farms, Calangute, Goa – 403516 books@literati-goa.com http://www.literati-goa.com Ph 2277740 Contact Diviya Kapur

Goa Unlimited, G-1, Don Domingoa Residency, Naiko Vaddo, Calangute, Bardez, Goa – 403516. Contact, Nikhil Mirkar. http://www.goaunlimited.com Landmark: Near Calangute Post Office. P 2281888. M 98221 88818 , 93731 88818 Fax 2276046

Book Palace (Ms Sunita) GTDC Building, Opp Football Ground, Calangute, Goa – 403516 Ph 2281129

Jay Jays Book Shop Ph: 2275581 Near Cavala Hotel, Saunta Vaddo, Baga, Calangute, Goa – 403516. Second-hand books. http://bit.ly/SecondHandBooksGoa

Nicky’s in CSM Road, Baga (very friendly owner, some books for sale, some for rent).


Bookland Books & Stationery, 6,Raghunath Apartments, Opp Auto Service, F L Gomes Road, Vasco Da Gama, Goa 403802 Ph 2511413.

National Book Depot, Municipal Market, Vasco. 403802 Ph 2512659.

Sahayee Book Stall Railway Station, Vasco. 403802 Ph 2512765.

Saras Book Stall, Shop No 3, Palaciano Building, Baina, Vasco Da Gama, Goa 403802. Ph 2510579.


Ameya Book Agency, Below Sirsat Hospital, Tiska, Ponda, Goa 403401. Ph 2314731.

Vidya Vriksh, Shop No G2, Kurtarkar Commercial Arcade, Ponda 403401. Ph 2319718 or 2314879.

Nalanda Books & Crafts Combine, 2 Mahalaxmi Shopping Complex, PB No 91, Ponda 403401, Ph 2312443, 2317613.

Roop Rohan Agency (Near Public Café)


Damodar Book Stall Shop No 7,Karmali Building, Near Sarvoday High School, Cuchorem, Goa 403706 Ph 2650371.

Pranav Book Stall House No 1135, Thai, Shiroda, Goa 403103 Ph 2306280.

Narvekar Agencies, Luis Apartments, Near Fish Market, Marcela Goa 403107. Ph 2287779.


Other India Bookstores, Alternative, NGO, Environmental books. Above Old Mapusa Clinic, Feira Alta, Mapusa 403507 Goa. Ph 2263306 otherindiabookstore@gmail.com http://www.otherindiabookstore.com

Valex Stationery and Book House, Shop No 3 St Britos Apartments, Next To Mapusa Clinic, Mapusa (Mapuca), Goa 403507 Ph 2251041. Saligao (Res) 2278289.

Suraj Book Stall, Feira Alta, Main Road, Mapusa 403507 Ph 2250167.

Ganga Books & Stationery Saldhana Business Towers, Shop No.A2, Near Mapusa Court Junction, Mapusa, Goa 403507. Ph 9923083512.

Shalom Book Shop S-2, Fred Plaza, Nr. DCB Bank,, Morod Road,, Mapusa (Mapuca), Goa – 403507 Ph 6520869 [Contact Edwin, c/o nancy3@dataone.in]

Pratap Book Stall, Near Maruti Temple, Mapusa (Mapuca), Goa 403507 Ph 2254822.


Indulgence Book Shop, Techno Park, Near Landscape City, Chogm Road, Porvorim, Goa 403521 Ph 6525543 [NOW CLOSED]

Shree Ganesh Enterprises, S9 Britania Hse, Alto Porvorim, Porvorim, Goa 403521 Ph 2414476.

Manali Book Shop, c/o Milind Salkar manalionline@sify.com C/O Manali Guest House, Dmello Vaddo, Near Anjuna Beach, Bardez, Goa – 403519 Ph 9890298321.

Narayan Book Stall Chapora, Vagator. 403509 Ph 2274449


Nile Gen. Store & Book Stall


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Understanding India’s roots of Western classical

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By Frederick Noronha

P1120174Western Classical music first came to India as a extension of the colonial encounter, but over time it has become “an essential part of Indian culture”, says scholar Sebanti Chatterjee who has recently done her M.Phil on the subject.

Chatterjee’s study is a comparative study of the practices of Western Classical Music across three areas — Mumbai, Kolkata and Goa.

But while Western Classical has stayed a “marginalised presence” in India, musical elements of this genre “get comfortable absorbed in other musical styles — both in the realm of indigenous and Western music”, comments the scholar.

With the curiosity of the scholar and the soft-spokenness of a research student, the young lady plans to shortly take on her Ph.D. in this rather unusual field – Western music in India.

Tracing its history, she notes the importance to understand the Western Classical music scenario in late eighteenth century Anglo-Indian society. The 1760s and 1770s saw rise of all male musical clubs with limited access granted to the ladies, such as Catch club. In the 1780s there was a lucrative business of supplying Anglo Indians with music and instruments. Continue reading Understanding India’s roots of Western classical

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