Posts Tagged ‘Goa’

An Ode to my Childhood

February 15, 2015 Leave a comment

Write an ode to someone or something you love. Bonus points for poetry!

Goa is beautiful !  Goa is home to some of the best beaches in India – take Miramar, Calangute, Colva, Candolim, Bogmalo,  Anjuna or Vagator.  Here you also find some of the best churches and temples.  .  The Dona Paula beach was just a kilometre away from our home.  We would go there for evening walks.

In pre-primary school, I studied in Our Lady of the Rosary a convent school a walking distance from our home.  My 3 sisters and brother also studied in the same school.  When I was in Primary 3, I stood first in my class.  I remember that day very clearly  because when I came home from school my mother hugged me.

From Primary 4, I joined the Don Bosco High School in Panjim the capital city of Goa.   When I was in my primary school, I had no idea what I wanted to become in life.  During recess time, an icecream man would come outside our school selling all kinds of icecream – milk, chocolate, strawberry etc.  He would ring a bell to attract the students.  I always found him smiling and happy.  I used to tell my parents that I wanted to become an ice-cream man when I grow up.

My earliest memories of Goa revolve around activities off school.  The walk from school back home yielded so many treasures.  We would pluck black berries, tamarinds, mangoes, cashews and jamuns (fruit with blackish-purple skin ).

My brother and I would do most of the home shopping.  This involved buying ration rice, sugar , wheat and kersosene for lighting the stove.  In those days there were no gas stoves.  The walk to the shop was down a steep slope and quite an adventure.  The walk upslope carrying the kerosene was really tiring.  We would also have to carry the wheat to a mill where it would be pounded into fine powder so that my mother could make chapathis.

We would balance the shopping, studying and play after school.

We mostly played cricket, table tennis, basketball and other games like hide and seek, kabaddi and just running around with bicycle tires, marbles etc.

We lived in the staff quarters of National Institute of Oceanography.  We had a nice club here with ping pong table, there was also a cricket ground and a basket ball court.  The club had a library and a bridge room.  There was also a dispensary nearby.

Festivals were a great time in our colony.  I still have vivid memories of the Sarvajanik Ganesh Chaturthi celebration.  There were seven days of celebration involving dances, drama and bhajans.  All children would get a chance to participate.  We also celebrated Diwali, Holi and Christmas and everyone came together to celebrate.

Another interesting event in our colony was the open air screening of movies once a month.  It was a great occasion.  A screen would be setup and a projector was also setup.  The movie reels would come in the evening and all the children would be excited.  People would setup chairs in places where they could get the best view.  We watched most of the Bollywood movies of the 70s and 80s in our colony.  This was before the advent of the television.

I still remember the day television came to our colony.  As we did not have a television at home we would go to our friends place to watch Chayageet , Chitrahaar and the Sunday movie.  A year later we got a television at home.  It had a light brown shutter cover and was a Weston Black and White television.

In school, I loved to take part in elocution, debates, and quiz competitions.  My teacher Ms. Vilma Vaz who was pretty had a great love for English and inculcated the same love in us.  She explained poetry and English literature with great passion.  She also encouraged me to take part in poetry recitation.  I was good at mathematics and usually scored full marks.

Another teacher Mr. Crasto taught us music and public speaking.  He had a great oratorical style of speaking.  He has been instrumental in developing my public speaking skills.  On the last day of school, Mr. Crasto wrote this quote in my autograph : “Conquer yourself.  Self conquest leads to world conquest” .  I will never forget those inspiring words.

We could take up a second foreign language in school and I opted for French.  I loved French and studied it upto higher secondary.  I still remember some French and would love to visit Paris and see the Louvre museum , the Eiffel tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the museums and vineyards.

To commute to the capital city Panjim we had to walk down a steep slope and come to a bus stop near the National Institute of Oceanography.  From there it was approximately a 7km bus ride to Panjim where Don Bosco High School was located. Near the bus stop was a kiosk selling cigarettes, candies, milk etc.  Mr Fernandes was the owner of the shop.   Some of the candies were multi-coloured spherical balls and looked so wonderful  – called “godye” .  There were also chewing gum and bubble gum which we loved when young.

Growing up in a big family of 5 taught us a lot about sharing and we had to grow up learning to share space and also appreciate our differences and quirks.  I admire my parents for instilling in all of us the right values in life since young and giving us the greatest gift that they could give us – a good education, the foundation on which we could build our lives.

After my higher secondary, I joined the Goa Engineering College at Farmagudi which was about 35kms from my home in Dona Paula. It was  a great experience living with students from all over India in the college hostel.  After my graduation I had a brief stint of work at the National Institute of Oceanography.

There are myriad of magical memories that come to my mind when I think of Goa.  I am eagerly waiting and planning for a visit to Goa to re-kindle some of the moments that shaped my life!

Other interesting posts in this category:

Categories: Books Tags: , , , ,

100 facts about me

March 21, 2011 7 comments

1. I am a down-to-earth guy who loves reading, poetry, music and travel
2. I am a Sagittarian but lately have morphed into an Ophiuchus
3. I was born in Thrissur in Kerala
4. I am fourth in a family of 5 siblings (1 brother & 3 sisters)
5. I am married and have 1 daughter
6. I grew up in Goa, India
7. I studied at Don Bosco High School, Goa
8. My first job was as a Research Fellow at National Institute of Oceanography, Goa
9. I can speak English, Hindi, Marathi, Konkani and Malayalam. I also learnt French for 3 years at school.
10. In 1994, I moved to Singapore and now I live in Singapore
11. Currently, I work as a Customer Quality Engineer at Seagate Technology International, Singapore
12. I am an Optimist
13. I believe that watching TV is mostly a waste of time
14. Although an introvert by nature, I love public speaking, debates and quizzing
15. I keep myself fit by doing Yoga and occasionally run a marathon
16. I love to lecture and believe that I will be a good teacher
17. I love nature
18. I love the seaside and enjoy outdoor activities like inline skating and cycling by the sea
19. I am a seeker and am in search of the meaning of life
20. I am a Hindu and love to read the rich, vast literature in Hinduism like the Gita, Vedas, Upanishads etc
21. I have travelled to Malaysia, Thailand, England, Scotland, Belgium, Netherlands and the USA.
22. My blood group is A+
23. I like to read P G Wodehouse, Frederick Forsyth, Roald Dahl ,etc
24. I take interest in news, current events & blogs
25. I love mathematics, science and technology
26. I like to play table-tennis and cricket
27. I am learning to play the violin
28. I prefer tea to coffee
29. I enjoy a weekend siesta
30. I would love to visit Switzerland, France, NewZealand and Spain
31. I like to have time with myself
32. I prefer quality to quantity in friendships
33. I can loose my temper but makeup very soon
34. I am gentle, kind and can get along well with people
35. I love humorous shows like ‘Whose line is it anyway’, Mind your language, The Naked Gun etc
36. I love Tom & Jerry, The Pink Panther, Tin Tin comics & Popeye
37. I like cartoon strips like Dilbert, Beau Peep etc
38. I like Hindi comedies like Hulchul, Golmaal, Khatta Meeta etc
39. I like stand up comedians like Russell Peters, Jay Leno & Shekhar Suman
40. I like to watch a sunset
41. I like taking a stroll in the park
42. I enjoy flying a kite with my family on a windy day
43. I join my kid in building sand castles on the beach
44. I spend time playing board games with my daughter
45. I go swimming once a while
46. I like to wake up early in the morning
47. I enjoy going for a jog
48. I love watching a movie with family
49. I love spending time with my family
50. I love going on a holiday
51. I like to enjoy the sights and sounds of a new country
52. I have started tweeting and blogging
53. I like to Volunteer for the needy and disadvantaged
54. I would love to start something on my own – entrepreneurship
55. I am a member of Toastmasters International
56. I like to learn something new
57. I love cashewnuts, dates, mangoes & groundnuts
58. I love to drink rasam and soups
59. I love to listen to riddles and jokes from my kid
60. I care about nature
61. I am not comfortable with gossip, frauds and back-biters
62. I miss Dona Paula, Miramar, Calangute and the other lovely beaches in Goa
63. I like travelling by train in India. It is a feast for the senses.
64. I like the atmosphere in the Mumbai local train – the songs, the card games, the ladies cutting vegetables etc – it is life on the move
65. I like a certain degree of cleanliness and too much mess can drive me crazy
66. I am not very talkative.
67. I like icecreams, samosas and gulab jamuns
68. I do not do too much planning and organising
69. I spend my money wisely and like to save for a rainy day
70. My favourite actors are Amir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Juhi Chawla & Kamal Haasan
71. My favourite singers are Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Yesudas & Kailas Kher & Shankar Mahadevan
72. I admire leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Subash Chandra Bose, Abraham Lincoln & Martin Luther King
73. I admire scientists like Einstein, Newton, CV Raman & Edison
74. I prefer free-and-easy travel rather than package tours
75. Writers who inspire me are Robin Sharma, Deepak Chopra , Dale Carnegie & Stephen Covey
76. I spend a lot of time on twitter, facebook and blogs
77. Beautiful art and photography do interest me
78. I like the music of Abba, Beatles, Bon Jovi, Queen & Michael Learns to Rock
79. I like blue, orange, brown and red colours
80. I like to be open about myself
81. I sometimes find it hard to say NO
82. I enjoy the company of children
83. I usually brush with Colgate and have tried Closeup but don’t like to experiment with toothpastes
84. I take an interest in current events and follow happenings around the globe
85. I love research, teaching and a job that is mobile
86. My friends have greatly influenced me and I am still in touch with them
87. I remember Anand Prabhu one of my favourite teachers. I also remember Paul Vaz, Mr. Crasto & Ms. Sardinha.
88. I dreaded my PE teacher who slapped me once. I was also slapped by my art teacher.
89. My school friends Oscar Rebello & Pravin Sabnis inspire me even today
90. My college friends Srinivasan Ramaswamy & Nilesh Naik were great friends
91. In school, I was good at elocution, poetry and debates. However, later I did not take much interest in these activities.
92. I am quite particular about what I eat and prefer vegetarian food.
93. I take red wine and beer occasionally
94. I want to make a trip around India – Jaipur, Srinagar, Agra, Ooty, Kanyakumari, Mysore, Munnar, Kovalam. I also want to make a trip to Goa.
95. I like my daughters planning & organising skills. She makes our family moments memorable.
96. Engineering college was fun. I remember the ragging and the induction ceremonies. Hostel life was fun too where we got to meet friends from all over India.
97. I got my driving licence in Singapore and learnt inline skating and ice skating here.
98. I got an autograph from Amitabh Bachchan & Satyen Kappu while shooting for Pukaar at Cidade de Goa resort in Goa when I was a small boy. That was the closest I came to an actor.
99. I enjoyed the games we played as kids – climbing trees, pushing tires along the road, 7-tiles, gulli-danda, cricket, kabaddi, plucking jamuns from trees etc
100. When on a trip, I prefer not to answer calls or surf the net.

%d bloggers like this: