Thursday, 18 September 2014

Good Friday in Cuncolim

-Brian Mendonca



A feeble sun
Rises in the West
The hills pause.

Fowls forage
Among coconut saplings
as the green and red Taina
Heads for Margao.
On NH 17 bound for Karwar
The blue and yellow KSRTC bus
minces no words.

A bare-chested man
winds a pump for water
as a Portuguese bandstand
(now a memorial to Gomes)
Reflects NUSI's mirrored facade.

Gina Peters, 41, from Veroda, Cuncolim
Does a Miss Havisham
as Sandeep shuffles in with usal pav.
Mangalore tiles await the rains
as boughs of trees groan with raw mangoes.

A window from a hospital room . . .
'It's usually dull on Good Friday
-- specially between 12 and 3.'
says my father.

(Goa, 2003)*

I read this poem of mine this morning to my class. I was speaking to them how Lorraine from Parra burnt herself last week. She was suffering from depression. My mind went back to Gina Peters who also burnt herself more than a decade ago in Cuncolim. Lorraine had two grown-up children. So why did she do it? Is this a trend in Goa?
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*Self-published in Last Bus to Vasco: Poems from Goa (New Delhi, 2006). Photo of NUSI hospital by goaphotoblog.

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