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Newsletter. Issue 2007-25. December 08, 2007
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Goan Voice Canada Special
Ė Reading List for the Christmas Holidays

"The following is a list of books on Goa or by Goan Authors which may be of interest to our readers:

Domnicís Goa
By Domnic P. F. Fernandes

Review from: http://www.goanet.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=852

Released: April 27, 2007 - Kala Academy, Black Box, Campal, Panaji, Goa
Publisher: Abbe Faria Productions
Foreword: Placido P. D'Souza
Illustrations: Domnic Cordo
Edited & typeset: Frederick Noronha
Designer: Cecil Pinto
Printer: Rama Harmalkar
Front cover photo: Jude D'Silva
Back cover photo: Assavri Kulkarni
Domnic's portrait: Alex Fernandes

ISBN 978-81-904640-0-0
247 pages, Rs 350

Domnic Peter Francis Fernandes is the Internet's find. Since 2003, when he began penning his thoughts in cyberspace, he never quite stopped.

What would you say when a man in his fifties, busy at work in the hot desert sands of Saudi Arabia, suddenly discovers his talent to jot down amazingly detailed pen-portraits of the Goa that was half-a-century ago?

As he wrote, Domnic got rave reviews. His work was met with appreciative acknowledgment, and ever so many email messages telling him just how meaningful his writing was. Via cyberspace, his pen-sketches have already helped thousands understand and appreciate their own relationship with this tiny but significant region of South Asia.

Now, Domnic's labour of love takes on a paper-and-ink existence and a reality that goes beyond the virtual world.

Domnic has been egged on to write a book, and the product is in your hands. As he explains, "These articles are my personal experiences. They tell the story of the Goa I knew. You would find many set around Bardez, in the central Goan coastal area, and sometimes the narration pointedly refers to my home-village of Anjuna. But, I feel, and you might agree, these stories also paint a wider picture of far-reaching social change taking place in Goa over a half-century.

Take a closer look. Judge for yourself...

The author can be contacted at:

The book is distributed in :
Goa by Broadway, near Caculo Island, Panjim; Varsha Book Stall, Azad Maidan, Panjim & internationally by http://www.OtherIndiaBookStore.Com

Churches of Goa
Josť Pereira Professor Emeritus of Theology, Fordham University, New York

Goa's churches, Roman in scale, are the finest Neo-Roman monuments found in Asia. This book establishes Goa's cultural individuality, the basis for the distinctive character of the Goan church; describes the basic style of the Neo-Roman church specified by the five orders of classical architecture and lists the Goan church plans in vogue; and gives a detailed account of nine churches as examples of Goan architecture, which either closely follow European models in idiom and style, or subject European forms to an Indian aesthetic. Richly illustrated with maps and line drawings, the book will be of immense value to students of architectural history and the informed tourist interested in Goa and its culture.
Product Details

124 pages; 37 halftones, 2 maps & 3 color plates; ISBN13: 978-0-19-566541-3ISBN10: 0-19-566541-4

Folk Songs of Goa
From: https://www.vedamsbooks.com/no38670.htm

Mando-Dulpods and Deknnis/
Jose Pereira, Micael Martins and Antonio da Costa.
New Delhi, Aryan Books, 2005, xxv, 85 p., $19. ISBN 81-7305-280-8.

"Konkani Song, of which Goan Song is the preeminent branch, is a treasury of the traditional music of the Indian subcontinent. It has at least 35 types, monophonic and harmonic, the former prevalent before the Portuguese brought western music into India, and the latter, consequent to the western impact. It was in Goa that Indian musicians first began to compose in western musical forms, incorporating into them motifs and nuances of their own immemorial tradition.

Among these 35 types four were created to accompany social dancing: the Mando, the Mando-Dulpod, the Dulpod, and the Deknni. The Mando, the finest creation of Goan Song, is a slow verse-and-refrain composition, in six-four time, dealing with love, tragedy and contemporary events, both social and political. Aryan Books International has published two volumes on the Mando, entitled Song of Goa, Vol. I: Mandos of Yearning (2000); and vol. 2: Mandos of Union and Lamentation (2003).

While the Mando is an art song, the remaining three types represent Goan folk song. The Mando-Dulpod is a slower variety of the Dulpod (or a quicker sort of Mando), also in six-four time, facilitating the transition from the slow rhythm of the Mando to the quicker one of the Dulpod. The Dulpod itself, in six-eight time, is typically descriptive of everyday life in traditional Goa, particularly that of the Christians. The Deknni ("Song the Deccan"?) is a song imitating Hindu music in the musical idiom current among the Christians, in two-four or six-eight time, descriptive mostly of Hindu life, with special attention given to the temple dancers. The present volume contains examples of the Mando-Dulpod and the Deknni. Hopefully a future volume will be devoted to the Dulpod." (jacket)

The Tailor's Daughter
By Ben Antao
Published: 2007
Publisher: Goan Observer Private Ltd.
ISBN 81-89837-03-6
338 pages, Rs 300 (North America $25)

What happens when the beautiful, charming and ambitious Eliza Rodricks of Nairobi comes to study tailoring in Margao and falls in love with the local bhatkar? She doesn't think twice before giving away her heart and body to the arrogant seducer Jorger Pacheco.

This is a novel with an unusual theme that will leave readers spellbound and heartbroken. It's a story that takes a searing look at the hypocritical and traditionally caste-bound society of seemingly modern Goa.

The Tailor's Daughter is the Canada-based novelist's third novel. His previous two novels, Penance and Blood & Nemesis, received critical praise abroad and in India. The author, born and bred in Goa during the Portuguese colonial times, has an unerring memory of life in Goa before it was liberated in 1961.

The author can be contacted at:
Phone: +1 (416) 250-8885

Review from:

Tailorís Daughter probes Goan psyche shaped by caste, class and colonial mindset
Lino Leit„o

Ben Antaoís third novel, The Tailorís Daughter, is set in Marg„o, Goa, at the height of Salazarís dictatorship during the 1950s. In this novel, Antao, through his characters, engages in exploring the mindsets of Goans who lived in the confines of a stratified society of that time.

Besides Antao, there are also some other Goan writers who have looked into this oppressive relationship that existed in Goa between landlords and serfs. Landlords, known as bhatkars, came mostly from upper caste and class; and serfs came from lower caste with no standing in the society; they were non-persons called mundkars.

A Goan writer, Orlando da Costa, in his novel O Signo da Ira, set in Goa of 1940-41, gives us an authentic picture of the exploitative relationship between bhatkar and mundkar in that colonial period. Another well known Goan writer, Prof. Lucio Rodrigues, exposes the sordid bond that existed between bhatkar-mundkar in his short story, It Happens. But Antao, in Tailorís Daughter, probes into the Goan psyche sickened by caste and class of those colonial times.

Although the narrative in the novel spins around two leading characters, Eliza Rodricks and Jorge Pacheco, there are other minor characters in the novel that provide us with a view of a society that was kept in check through the supremacy of caste and class.

In that society the lower castes who excelled in various trades and crafts supplied the essential services to run the feudal economy of Goa; and yet, because of the caste biases instilled in the Goan psyche their skills were looked down upon. Elizaís parents who both earned their living working as tailors in Goa found it harder to make ends meet. In the end they migrate to Kenya, settling in Nairobi. By working hard and economizing, they ventured in opening their own tailoring outfit for men and women. Their enterprise succeeds. Now they have an urge to elevate their social status without purging their inherent servility.

Eliza brought up in Nairobi became aware of caste discrimination that was practiced among Goans. The Goan makaranióclerks who came from higher casteóhad their own clubs, Gymkhana and Goan Institute, where tailors werenít welcomed. Goan tailors had their own club: Goan Tailors Society. Eliza who attended Dr. Ribeiro Goan School noticed the subtle differences the way she was treated by other Goan students; because of this stigma of caste, she perhaps changed her last name from Rodrigues to Rodricks and became obsessed to marry into higher caste. She is a screwed-up personality with an acquired inferiority complex in her psyche.

When Eliza came to Senhora Lopes in Marg„o to hone her tailoring craft, we see her ditching her first boyfriend Diogo Baltazar from Nairobi, even though he came from the Brahmin family. She falls for a randy male from Goa, Jorge Pacheco, a gigolo, a kind of a Brahmin who is a caste supremacist; and besides, he is the only son of Nazarinho Pacheco, a bhatkar. Though she is warned by her friend Silvia and Senhora Lopes about Jorge, she dismisses their counsel as she wants to hook him as her husband to elevate her status. And being who he is, Jorge only wants to use her to gratify his lust. Their torrid sex that the author depicts so vividly is a contest of two people giving bodily pleasures to each other without tenderness and caress. No deep commitment here; and both of them have their own hidden agenda.

Eliza, the tailorís daughter, is a girl who hasnít emerged from subjection. If you sample her thoughts, you will understand why. Here are some of her thoughts:

(a) Perhaps, this is Godís way of telling me that Iíll marry into a Brahmin family.(p.11)
(b) I truly believe that God saved you for me, Jorge. (p 117)
(c) In a letter to her parents, she writes, ďI have wonderful news. I am in love! His name is Jorge and heís the only son of a bhatkar. (p.172)

Since Eliza was not personally emancipated, she had no self-respect. When Jorge Pacheco physically abused her and humiliated her, she lacked the courage to speak up her mind.

The Tailorís Daughter gives the readers the view of the Goan psyche shaped by the 3Csócaste, class and colonial mindset.

Montreal, Canada
August 31, 2007

Feasts, Feni and Firecrackers
Written & Illustrated by Mel DíSouza
ISBN: 1-895109-44-2

The book is priced at C$ 9.95 per copy, plus postage, in Canada and US,
Via the author. Contacts: Mel D'Souza, 21 Brentwood Drive,
Brampton, ON L6T 1P8 Tel: (905)793-6123

Review By:
? Frederick Noronha http://fn.goa-india.org†
? Ph 0091-832-2409490


Mel Souza was one of those Goans who ran into me via cyberspace. We subsequently met up during one of his visits to Goa. With him was the illustrations he had done for the Downhomer Magazine in Newfoundland, Canada, and also others he had worked on for his ancestral village of

He has a neat way of putting his ideas across. In one sketch Ė or cartoon, if you wish -- he depicted a parade of Salgaokars, before the village church in their feast-day finery. In it, he depicted many villagers in a way that reflected their family name. (Many a village home has some kind of sobriquet, sometimes flattering other-times not.)

Over the past week, Mel wrote in. He informed that his book, "Feasts, Feni and Firecrackers: Life of A Village Schoolboy in Portuguese Goa", has been just published in Canada.

He says: "(Over recent years) I had continued to write stories about my schooldays in Saligao, from the perspective of a young boy, and this book is all about those days."

This book covers stories that are about Mel's schooldays in Saligao in the late 40's and early 50's. He studied at the Mater Dei Institution.

Says he: "My target audience are (a) non-Goan Canadians and Americans who have been the readers of my columns in the Downhomer Magazine over the past 14 years, and who want to know something about my background, (b) Goans who would like to reminisce about the times I write about and (c) younger Goans who want to know what Goa in the 'old days' was all about."

This book is dedicated to Mel's grandmum "Louisa Maria de Souza who taught me the love of folklore, tradition and rural living". Its smallish chapters touch on diverse themes -- Mel's roots; worship, weddings and witchcraft; fun, frolic and frivolity; customs and quirks; memorable moments (the harvest feast, the school concert, ruckus over a rat, beans and sweet potatoes, frogs' legs, the cinema and Principal Lobo of Mater Dei).

Quite a few pages are devoted to "Saligao In Them Days". Including an overview of the village, family nicknames, village transportation, bicycles, village doctors, village beggars, village oddballs, "our daily bread", village craftsmen, paddy fields, feni and tavernas, the poor priceless pig, Pandu and 'international freight', the city fathers, and snakes.

The book is priced at C$ 9.95 per copy, plus postage, in Canada and US, via the author. Contacts: Mel D'Souza, 21 Brentwood Drive, Brampton, ON L6T 1P8 Tel: (905)793-6123

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