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Newsletter. Issue 2002-2. Nov.15, 2002
Newsline Canada
Letter from Goa
Goan Voice UK


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People Places and Things


'Family Matters' by Rohinton Mistry

By Shirley Saad
From the Life & Mind Desk
Published 10/22/2002 7:00 AM
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SAN DIEGO, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- "Family Matters" by Rohinton Mistry, Knopf, $26.00, 434 pages.

In Rohinton Mistry's "Family Matters," retired professor Nariman Vakeel suffers from Parkinson's disease and osteoporosis. On top of that he has fallen, while taking his evening walk on Bombay's uneven pavement, and broken his ankle.

From his bed we get a look back at his love for Lucy, the Goan girl his parents forbade him to marry. We also see Yasmin, the widow they found for him, and her two children, Jal and Coomy. Yasmin and Lucy are both dead now, and Jal and Coomy have been taking care of their stepfather in their dilapidated apartment. Jal is an ineffective, mild man, but his sister Coomy has been nursing 30 years of hate and resentment.


Tim C. de Mello (of Goanet and Goacom) successfully completed the Casino-Niagara Marathon Walk of 42 Km (26 miles) on October 27. That Tim, probably the only Goan and Indian participating in the walk, finished 66th out of 86 hardly matters since there were merely two competitors of his retired/age group. He took just over 6 hr and 53 min, averaging about 15 min per mile. He trained for the events for nearly 28 weeks, as one of his activities during retirement.

By Tim C. de Mello, P. Eng.

The holiday season is approaching fast. Tis the season to be jolly (and to over indulge).

Yes, Goan Christmas delicacies are truly delicious but very unkind to our bodies. Most Goan "kuswar" is either made of coconut, deep fried sugared dough or a combination of both. Combine this with a nice tasty, fatty, soropotel and you have all the ingredients necessary to help you gain a few more pounds, get your cholesterol count up and increase the plaque linings in your veins and arteries. All of this inevitably leads to hypertension and/or heart disease. This is the leading cause of death in North America and particularly so for those of us from South Asia.

Our life styles have changed significantly from those of our forefathers. Not only do we enjoy a continuous season of plenty but also our exercise routine is next to non-existent. Why walk to the corner grocery store when you can drive there? The net result is that obesity in North America has now reached epidemic proportions even among children.

What is the solution? Do we have to buy into the numerous diet programs that many claim can reduce your weight and tone up your muscles to near miraculous proportions? Most of these "miracle" diet programs have been shown to be nothing short of a fraud. They do not work.

The solution, therefore, is common sense. Eat less i.e. in moderation. Keep your nutrition well balanced and exercise moderately, but regularly e.g. a 15 min walk about three times a week. This regimen gets more critical as one passes middle age.

Sometimes, it is difficult to maintain a regular exercise regimen. You may need the support of a group. This is what I did soon after I reached 60 years of age. I joined Canada Fit a program designed to train you to walk or run a Marathon.

With this group discipline some of our walks started at 5:15 am and with the camaraderie that you develop with members of the group, it is a little easier to achieve your goal.

I achieved mine on October 27, 2002 (http://home.ican.net/~demellt/marathon/) after a 28 week program of training.

You can do it too!

Try to make it one of your New Years resolutions.

By Tim C. de Mello

The immigrants are coming! The immigrants are coming! In large numbers.

Out of state Indians are flocking to Goa for easy pickings. Goa is one of the, if not the, wealthiest states in India. Employment is easy to find and the wages are very good. A common laborer is paid a minimum of Rs. 100/- per day. This is much higher than they can get in many other parts of India. All these new immigrants need somewhere to stay. And they squat anywhere they can. If your property is not clearly defined with a boundary wall they could (sometimes aided and abetted by the local Goans) squat in one corner and wait to be challenged. If this does not happen soon their temporary lodgings are converted into semi-permanent lodgings using bricks and mortar. Once this happens, it is too late to remove them without compensating them heavily. Worse still, if they are not removed they can claim the whole property and that will next to impossible to change.

Many Goans have lost their properties this way.

Are you going to be the next Goan to confirm this statistic?

Property values in Goa have gone up considerably. It is my belief that ancestral properties were bequeathed to us for safe keeping for our children. However, if one wants to dispose of ones ancestral property one has to ensure that it clear of all liens and challenges from squatters. If not, it is truly a legal nightmare.

Prevention is definitely better than the cure in this case. How can overseas Goans do this? They can hire the services of companies like GOACOM that specialize in this type of service. These companies not only keep an eye out for illegal squatters but will also inspect the properties regularly and furnish reports recommending repairs that need to be made.

Your ancestors handed you a rich legacy, which includes your property. Many siblings may share in this legacy. It is imperative that all the shareholders come together and decide how the property should be dealt with.

Ignoring your ancestral property is tantamount to losing it.

Protect it. The changing political and security climate in the West and many other countries where Goans reside may force you to consider the question:

"What if . . . . . . "

Act now before it is too late!

(From the PULSE of the G.O.A)

Mrs. Julia Maria Carvalho celebrated her 100th Birthday on Sunday, September 15, 2002. Born in Anjuna, Bardez, Goa, Mrs. Carvalho was raised in a humble Catholic home.

Her 100th Birthday was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Martin Pereira at 2250 South Millway, Mississauga, Ontario. Amidst a congregation of over 90 relatives and friends at the reception that followed, one of her sons, Anthony Carvalho, said a few words about his mother.He truly upheld his mother by a beautiful quote: What is a home without a mother. For it is said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world

There were numerous overseas birthday wishes from a number of dignitaries namely: The Pope, Queen Elizabeth, Canadas Governor General Adriene Clarkson, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mi ssissauga Councillor Ward 8 Katie Mahoney, Steven W. Mahoney, M.P. Mississauga West, John Snobelen, MPP Mississauga West.

Mrs. Carvalho thanked those who organized the beautiful celebration, and those who attended. She concluded by telling everyone present to say the Rosary and love one another. The Hall was then filled with the words of Goas most renowned song Viva re Viva asking for Gods Blessing.


See Ontario Seniors Secretariat http://www.gov.on.ca/mczcr/seniors/

Elder abuse is the focus of a conference on Nov. 18 and 19 in Toronto sponsored by the Ontario Seniors Secretariat.

Between four and ten percent of Ontario Seniors 58,000 to 145, 000 have experienced some form of elder abuse, according to 2000 Statistics Canada study. Sixty-eight percent of seniors who were physically abused say they were assaulted by a family member.

Ajit Jain in Toronto

Novelist Rohinton Mistry is sick and tired of facing "unbearable" humiliation at the hands of US customs and so out of disgust he has cancelled his tour of America halfway.

In the face of racial profiling following the September 11 attacks, "a brown skin and a beard are not a felicitous combination", he told the Globe and Mail daily. So, he told his publishers Alfred A Knopf, that he was fed up. The writer cancelled his tour to Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Salt Lake city, Utah, Iowa City and Madison, Wisconsin.

"He has been extremely unhappy about the way he has been treated in airports around the US in the first half of the tour," a representative of Alfred A. Knopf was quoted as saying in the front-page report.

"As a person of colour he was stopped repeatedly and rudely at each airport along the way... to the point where the humiliation for both he and his wife has become unbearable."

The US Immigration and Naturalisation Services recently stated that all people, irrespective of their citizenship, who were born in West Asia will be fingerprinted and photographed while entering the US. To this list they added Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. So all Canadians born in these countries will also be subject to this kind of special attention.


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