**************DEVACHEA NAVAN ANI GOEMCARANCHEA MANNANK******************* This blog is an attempt to delve into the traditions, heritage, culture, lore and ambience that spawned an enigma. A state of mind. And to perchance perform a perfunctory probe into the psyche of the Goemcar. ************************************************************************************************* GOEMCAR: Any person anywhere in the world - Goemcar rogtacho!

Saturday, September 16, 2006


The present Archbishop Felipe Neri Ferrao was baptised in the 15th century church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Moira. Even though he hails from Aldona; his mother was a Moidekarn.
There is an image in the cemetery chapel, of Christ crucified. It is unlike the usual images, since it depicts the feet of Christ nailed apart from each other, not together.
The belfry holds three bells, perhaps the only one in Goa to do so. The main bell of Moira originally belonged to the former Jesuit college in Old Goa and was cast in Portugal in 1739. Almost 200 years after it was cast, the bell developed a crack and was shipped back in 1952 to Braga to be recast in the same foundry. Iit was then shipped back to the delight of the Moidekars.


Comment:Bessau poddovn re Bismu-saibacher ani sogllean Moidecarancher.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sobit Carambolim


CARAMBOLIM or Karmali, the village with lush, fertile paddy fields, with a largely agrarian population, possesses historical firsts in the religious sphere besides the world famous wetlands known for a variety of wintering birds.

A progressive landmark
Hitherto, Carambolim, about 14 km from Panjim and just about 2 km from the Old Goa pilgrim centre, had remained largely unheard and unseen. The Konkani Railway, however, has brought the once sleepy, rustic village within sight of development hosting as it does Goa's third important station of the Konkan Railway. Karmali or Kormbolle for the locals, is probably one of the best known places in Goa, because thousands of tourists get a glimpse of its natural grandeur today.

Since Goa’s Liberation the local agriculture suffered a major setback, having changed hands from the management of the Comunidade to the 'deemed' owners following the enaction of the Land to the Tiller legislation. Once considered a paddy granary of the taluka, the harvest has been diminishing due to the fertile fields suffering inundation time and again.

Goa's birding hot-spot
Goans, however, are blissfully unaware that the 72-hectare Carambolim lake is a major spot on the international birding map, and highly frequented by European tourists. Several species of exotic, migratory birds have been flocking to the Carambolim lake for hundreds of years, attracted by the verdant landscape and quiet, incredible charm of the picturesque wetland.

Writes Clive Harris, in his trip report of November 14-21, 1998: "I saw more birders than at any other location in India - even than on my visits to Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur... On November 16, I jumped into a taxi and headed off to Carambolim Lake, a good site for waterbirds. One treat was a Laggar Falcon making attempts at catching a Little Ccoromant. The village, south of the lake, has a stake-out for an unusual Saxicola species that is thought to be a Stoliczar's Bush-cat."

The destructive weed
Bird lovers, however, are saddened by the fact that the melodious sound of birdcall is gradually reducing. As environmental researcher Nandkumar Kamat says, "Carambolim lake and many such lakes and freshwater eco-systems in Goa today face serious problems, due to the mismanagement of these community-owned lakes by the people themselves who were traditionally maintaining these water bodies, since the advent of the government subsidies."

Since 1995, the vicious Salvinia Molesta, an aquatic weed, has "made a disturbing ingress in the panoramic Carambolim lake and one wonders whether the measures taken by the authorities are adequate to meet the challenge posed by the weed to the very survival of the lake, the well-known habitat of rare birds". Kamat suggests the release of salt water from Cumbharjua canal into the lake from the sluice gate under the road, to destroy the unwanted weeds. Kamat also opines that "the full organic load could be drained out into the Cumbharjua canal through the sluice gates at low tide". In an attempt to save the lake some non-governmental organisations recently help clear away more than 30 truck loads of the weed.

Pages in History
The ancient temples of Carambolim were of deties like Betall, Sidnatha, Gram-Purusha, Khetrapall, Ravalnatha, Santeri, Ganesha, Vanavdevta, Butapriadhar, Fondde-Gaosalo-purusha, Kunbi-purusha, Brahman-purusha and Nirvaocipurusha, according to Rui Gomes Pereira (Hindu Temples and Deities). The only temple in Goa dedicated to Lord Brahma is believed to have been constructed in the 5th century, AD.

The Divar island and Carambolim village were the two prominent places near Old Goa, where the first mass baptisms or conversions to Christianity were effected. According to Antonio Victor Couto, the general baptism took place on June 24, 1560, in which 14 ganvkar families received baptism. Rather than lose their estates, the households yielded to conversion. But a large section of devout Hindus escaped the religious intolerance. They took the image of Lord Brahma to Kormoli in the Satari taluka.

Historical records left behind by Gabriel Saldanha state that some centuries ago the carcasses of four elephants, which had drowned in the vast lake, caused an epidemic, which virtually decimated the village. Those that escaped the village then are said to be the families like Barros in Velim, Viegas in Carmona, Lobos in Aldona and Calangute, and Afonsos in Santo Estevam.

Carambolim Church and first priest
Carambolim's age-old church dedicated to St John was originally a chapel figuring among those built before 1541. It was raised to church status during the tenure of Bishop D Joao Albuquerque in 1553. However, by 1542 the Church was demolished and a bigger one was raised sometime in 1714.

Andre Vaz, a son of the village and a brilliant student of the College of St Paul and later a Latin Professor, was first Goan priest, who later become the first priest of Goa. He was ordained by Dom Joao Nunes Barreto in Chorao’s St Jerome seminary, his first mass on May 19, 1558, at the College of St Paul. He was instrumental in spreading the Christian faith to the villagers of Carambolim, where he was named the first parish priest.

Under the leadership of the present parish priest, Fr Lino de Sa, plans are afoot to raise funds from generous sons and daughters of the village as well as kind-hearted Goans to convert the church from decrepit an old monument into a respectable place of worship through renovation and conservation.

Along the rail route
The length of the line from Bombay to Mangalore along the west coast is to be 760 Kilometres and out of that 106 Kilometres line runs through the State of Goa. The Konkan Railway is the biggest railway project undertaken in the Indian sub-continent in the present century. The project commenced on October 15,1990 and the Government of Goa approved the alignment passing through the State of Goa on December 17, 1990.

On the social plane, benevolent institutions are pitching in with their efforts to make life less worrisome for the less previleged villagers. Among these the nuns of the Missionaries of Charity belong to Mother Teresa's institution, render yeoman service.

The village, where child marriage were prevalent once upon a time, has undergone another strange phenomenon. Since the gavddas, who were converted to Christianity did not receive good treatment for the landed gentry, they reconverted themselves to Hinduism around 1926. Hence here we find people of the Nav Hindu denomination, some of whom possess Catholic surnames. The younger folk, particularly girls, are seen today heading for the nearby Corlim Industrial Estate, where they find employment.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Maestro August Braganza

Pioneer, musician and singer AUGUST BRAGANZA passed way early on September 7. A man who's brilliant music rang out loud and clear on a moonlight night, his tongue-in-cheek wit hid many emotions and dreams, but always filled a void in others. His family, friends and well-wishers remember this talented and sometimes idiosyncratic musician as the first to lend a helping hand, even if he was in need himself.
From starting Haystack and producing the best equipment and sound, to his eagerness to give budding stars a chance to excel, Goa has lost one of its best. The memory of his bright-eyed gangly figure perched on a stool with his guitar, while his baritone voice and quick jokes made one forget their worries, will be imprinted forever. Only August Braganza's skeptical yet amusing take on life could be responsible for a restaurant after his own heart, Getafix or even Unhygienics.
Alex Braganza, his younger brother, learnt music under the master entertainer himself. From a band called the Band, sting to Symphony, they were inseparable. "From the early days, we performed at Republic Days, on Carnival floats, the Asian Games, all the major shows in Goa," Alex says. Remo started his career playing at Haystack, a place thought up by August himself. "August was one of the first ones to start many innovative ideas in the state," Remo says. "He was one of the best sound engineers".
"August was a born musician. In my opinion, he was a pioneer, a guy who was part of a musical revolution in Goa. He made me join his band in the 80s," says percussionist Bondo.
The funeral will be held on September 9 at 4 pm at Arpora.

Suruchi Kapoor Gomes & Kurt Gidwani, GT

COMMENT: A musician par excellence, an entertainer of the best Goemcar kind, a doyen amongst band leaders. May his soul rest in peace. And if talent is appreciated in heaven, there won't be much peace there. Archangel Gabriel, the rest of the angelic hosts and the blessed saints will be rocking to the rhythms of Augusto Braganza.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Konkan vo Concan

Goa Konkani Manch launched in Karwar
[ 3 Sep, 2006 2241hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

The Goa State Konkani Ekikaran Manch was launched with Asha Palankar as convener in Sadashivgad here on Thursday.

According to members of the Ekikaran Manch, the aim of the manch is to organise the movement for the unification of Konkani language speaking Karwar and Joida taluks with Goa.

About 70 Konkani language leaders, poets and litterateurs met at Sadashivgad and deliberated the issue of the unification of Karwar and Joida with Goa state.

At the meeting, they discussed the pros and cons of the merger of Karwar and Joida in Goa for nearly four hours, from 11 am to 3 pm. Finally, they launched the GSKEM (Goa State Konkani Ekikaran Manch).

Ashok Rane was made secretary and Prakash pawar, the treasurer of the manch. The meeting was attended by Mahabaleshwar Sail, Nagesh Karmal, Ramesh Veluskar, Takuram Shet and Ravindra Keluskar, Konkani litterateurs from Goa.

The local unit of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi (MES) at Sadashivagad and its leaders like Vishnu Kalgutkar and Shivanand Rane joined hands with the GSKEM and said they would dissolve the MES unit and fight for merger of Karwar and Joida in Goa.

The activists said that Karwar and Joida, with 90 per cent of Konkani speaking people, should be merged with Goa, the only Konkani state in the country.

The members also argued that Karwar up to Amadalli was a part of Goa during the Portuguese regime and that it was given to the British for developing the port.

They insisted that from the historical, language and cultural points of view, Karwar and Joida should be unified with Goa.

Konkani activists have decided to organise a rally in the city and submit a memorandum to the deputy commissioner on the issue. They have also decided to lobby for the issue on the floor of the Goa State Assembly.

Comment: I wonder how it would be, if it could be at all and should it be? Can sorpotel slurping Cristaos accept the fact that the inclusion of Karwar and Joida would reduce their percentage of the population very dramatically?

But then would it not be better to have a greater majority of people claiming Concannim as their mother tongue rather than be a lingual minority in the present day State of Goem?