Quintessential Goa

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Yes, this is one of the famous Indian cartoonist, Mario Miranda‘s cartoons and is part of the decor in our home. Miranda was an excellent cartoonist, but he excelled himself when he came to scenes from Goa. Any Goan worth his salt can identify the quintessential characters he created. Either we know them personally or have heard about them at some point in time.

The Goans have been associated with being a laid-back lot of people.  They love their food, their drink and their music. But they’re also quite religious. Those of us whose ancestors were ‘forcibly’ converted to Roman Catholicism by the Portuguese colonialists are often more Catholic than the Romans! The scene in the cartoon is part of a larger tableau of a religious procession. The two guys up in front are commonly known as ‘irmãos’ (brothers) who carry candles and standards.  It is quite an honor to do that. When José was young, although he lived in Mumbai, his paternal grandfather asked for him to be outfitted in this cape and the young chap  was given the honor (or burden) of running around like the little guy in the procession.  José was a small irmão! 😉

Miranda’s Goa cartoons also displayed a lot of musicians and musical settings.  Music is another thing we Goans do very well.  Goa supplied violinists, pianists and a whole other lot of musicians to the Indian film industry for years. Goa too has its own film industry.  Two of the well-known and much loved Goan movies were made in the 1950s-60s. They are Amchem Noxib and Nirmon.  Although we spoke not a word of our native Konkani, we grew up listening to this song – Molbailo Doufrom the movie Amchem Noxib .  To this day, it evokes such a feeling of nostalgia within me.

I will always associate good humour with Goa too. I can still hear the voice of my grandfather telling me stories and funny incidents that took place in our native village, Saligao. This is one story though that my Dad told us. Apparently a group of men would hang around the tinto (market), gossiping about the other villagers and calling out to unsuspecting passers-by to include them in the conversation. The butt of their jokes was  Caithanin (Cajetan) who was having problems passing his High School exam. One day they called out to him, and the leader of the lot says: “Hey, Caithanin you failed again right? I’ll make a deal with you that if you pass your exams in the next attempt, I’ll buy you a cycle.”  Now the leader’s son  Bosthiaon (Sebastian), was apparently having problems completing his Medical course. So Caithanin without batting an eyelid says, “What are you saying? If your Bosthiaon finishes Medicine, I’ll build him a hospital!”

Many characters can be found  in the book Ferry Crossing too.

Good food in Goa……..I’ll leave that to José to elaborate on in our upcoming posts.

 

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25 thoughts on “Quintessential Goa”

  • Such an amicable place Goa is. Loved reading this . laughter love and fun seem to be goa’s forte
    Thanks for introducing new terms and songs 😀
    I would love to settle in GOA !. I used to have those long anglo-indian kinda frocks too. Aah How I loved them
    After seeing Goa in many movies wanted to go thr
    all in good time !
    good day

  • Lovely post Corinne ! enjoyed reading, got to know a little more about Goa and Goans, I liked the cartoon too, thanks for posting, and hoping to hear more from jose !

  • Loved the song even though I didn’t understand a word of it – such a pleasant melody – why does it sound familiar? And quintessential – great minds think alike 😀

  • My grand father had some cartoons of Mario framed and hanged in his office. He had a very dear Goan friend who had gifted them. 🙂

    I love Goans. Such a cheerful lot you all are 🙂

  • I am in love with Goa as I have lived there for 5 years when my husband was posted at Dabolim, near Vasco. My first trip to Goa had been in 1992 when my son was just 6 months old, he is 21 now but Goa remains etched in my memory forever. Loved the joke, they do have a great sense of humor.

  • I remember seeing Mario Miranda’s cartoons in the Illustrated Weekly and they always had fascinating stories behind them. Goa is a dream place to live and settle…

  • Never been to Goa (though I’d love that so much) However my neighbor , Maureen, is a Goan and I do get a peek into the lives of Goan through her 🙂

  • I visited goa only once and loved the humble culture there. The picture that you posted reminded me of the calenders we use to get during our school days which had such pictures.

    We were 3 siblings and we wud fight to get one for self. Lolz…those drawings were amazing.

  • this post is the best so far corinne – you know how much I love goa- the people; the food -just wow. I have stayed there for 2 whole years (only) but somehow a part of me is still there …. llaughed out loud at the medical joke – gee. and yes mario’s cartoons are a revelation !

  • Corinne Goa is my favourite Holiday destination. We are quite close to a family who are Goans and they happen to be my Principal and his family. So, I got a taste of Goan food, and music since childhood. I like the famous goan dessert Bebinca too 🙂 I love Goans and their laid back, happy go lucky attitude towards life 🙂

  • Note to self – You have to make Goa happen this year for sure!
    Corinne – Lovely post. Music and sense of humor I have heard is in abundance there. Rest, I shall go whenever I go and find out! 🙂

  • I LOVE Mario Miranda’s cartoons!! Just amazing! I used to spend hours looking at each character and trying to identify the counterpart in real life! 🙂

  • I’ve heard it said that every Goan type is represented in Mario Miranda’s cartoons. I often wonder, am I a type, and did he sketch me in too? Great post, as always. You and Jose have got to stop doing this Goa thing. I’ve been a Non-Goa-visiting-stuck-in-Bombay type of Goan for the last 6 years, and it breaks my heart.

  • I had been in Goa for just three years , but formed a bond with her like a best friend …you are so right about Mario Mirinda’s paintings 🙂 And I better purchase that book at the earliest 🙂

  • Talking about Goa and Goans is always exciting.:D Afternoon siesta and Goans , is another favourite subject that never ceases to amuse me. Something very endearing about it. Punekars indulge in it too but Goans leave their establishments open while they catch a wink. Indians are fortunate to have seen Mario Miranda and his superlative works.

  • I find Goans very endearing. All the folks I met from the place are very warm, genuinely nice and sport the brightest of smiles. I plan on visiting Goa in the monsoons – God willing, it would materialize one day 🙂

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