I love the rains in Goa. When I was away I used to yearn to be here in the monsoons to see how the weather would beguile everyone.
This year, we were away for most of May. We only descended in Goa in the first week of June. In vain did I sit in the balcony at Kharghar watching the Mumbai-Pune Expressway watching for rain. Scouring for clouds left me defeated, so the only thing to do was to head for Colaba and do a boat ride at the gorgeous Gateway of India. The previous day my niece Melanie had watched the Ram Gopal Verma film The Attacks of 26/11 (2013) and was holding forth on Nana Patekar’s sangfroid in this docudrama of the Mumbai attacks of 2008. Listening to the film commentary at the actual location of the attacks with the sea stretching in front of us made us realize how iconic these buildings like the Taj hotel and Leopolds were.
The weekend we landed we set off for Siolim, the seat of our forefathers where Natty showed us around the property. Baba kept clear of the piggies and would not be persuaded to go within a mile of the cows. Seeing her work in Kurla I had promised Michelle (Melanie’s sister) I would organize a paper quilling workshop in Goa for her to showcase her skills. Many rainy days were spent by her making beautiful quilling shapes like dolls, coconut trees and 3-dimension flower pots with flowers. Dodging the heavy rain we did go down to Bogmalo beach for snacks after dark. Mabelle and Michelle (sisters) tripped outside in the drizzle, confronted the foaming sea, and gaily wrote their names in the wet sand – and of course photographed it in the pitch darkness. Queenie cooked their fav dishes and they feasted on mancurada and manilar mangoes. Indoors, dad, the carom ace, showed us a few tips when we hauled our carom board into the hall.
The quilling workshop on Sunday 12th June went very well. We were kindly allowed to use the society clubhouse at Porvorim for a nominal fee. Varsha Naik, one of the participants, who works at the Central Library was full of praise for Michelle (16) for cultivating her hobby at such an early age. Zoe Rodrigues (84) was full of enthusiasm to learn. Her joie de vivre bowled us all over. The little children, some accompanied by parent(s) were reluctant to leave. At the end Michelle made cards for the participants, stuck some quilling work on it, signed it and gave it to them.
The next day, 13 June, as they were packing their bags to leave I read my poem to the 3 sisters. The poem was titled ‘Fr. Joseph Rowland-Salema’ (1999) written on 13 June, the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, and the feast of Siolim church. This year the feast is being celebrated the following Sunday (today) in Siolim. See the poem on my blog.*
*www.lastbustovasco.blogspot.in; Published in Gomantak Times Weekender St. Inez, Goa on Sunday, 19 June 2016. Pix taken at the quilling workshop conducted by Michelle David (centre in black top) at Devashri Garden, Clubhouse on Sunday,12 June 2016.