Holiday


It’s a Saturday, and I’m in the mood for enjoying a holiday 🙂 Winter has pretty much set in around where we stay. The warmth of the sun will be most welcome now.

It's all fun 'n' floric in the sea
Fun in the sun. Palolem beach, Goa

This is post #18 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

Art for all


The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.

–Pablo Picasso

Which is why, perhaps, it must spill out of the halls of exhibitions and galleries, and enter the public space.

Tray of stones
Three course meal

Perhaps it was the influence of Mario, or the general laid back ‘hippie’ culture that is now synonymous with Goa, that encouraged art to spill on to its streets — from graffiti on the rocks, to sculptures at street crossings.

Graffiti at Palolem
Graffiti on the rocks. Palolem beach, Goa
Close up of sculptures
Sculptures at a crossing in Calangute, Goa

Check out more street art from around India: Chennai, Darjeeling, Puducherry

Oh my! What sharp teeth you have!
Oh my, what sharp teeth you have! Graffiti at Palolem beach, Goa

This is post #17 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

Mario’s legacy


Mario de Miranda was a celebrated Goan artist, illustrator and cartoonist. He began his career in the Times of India in 1953. He passed away in December 2011, and was posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan (India’s second highest civilian honour) in 2012.

There are four galleries dedicated to his art viz. Panjim, Porvorim, Calangute and Mumbai.

Having spent two full days in Calangute, with the Gallery just over a kilometre of where we stayed, we felt it would be quite an injustice, not to visit. And so, with barely an hour left for our departure, we decided to make a dash towards the Gallery.

Mario's Gallery
Mario’s character welcomes us at the porch
Hello
Hello, it’s quite sunny here. Maybe you’d like to step inside

At the Gallery, we were treated to a mouthwatering array of everyday objects adorned with cartoons.

Souveneirs with a difference
Souvenirs on sale
Mario's legacy
Lampshade with Mario’s cartoons

While most people associate Goa with cashews and feni, we found the gallery to be a treasure trove of very unique souvenirs.


Photos taken with a Moto G3 and Moto G4. Click/tap to enter my Flickr Photostream.


This is post #7 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

Still standing


“What’s that?” I asked our friendly cab driver.

“Oh, that’s nothing. Just some old ruins,” he replied in a laid back tone, that could only be described as Goan.

The Churches of Old Goa are staple tourist fare. And like diligent tourists, we paid a visit to the most famous of them all – the Basilica of Bom Jesus and the adjoining Se Cathedral. Both sites had ingredients one would expect from a medieval church – massive in size, walls engraved, high ceilings housing intricate chandeliers and a presence that makes you speak in whispers, lest anyone else hears. With the sea of humans, though, the churches were reduced to fancy backgrounds for selfie enthusiasts – even with signboards and staff members explicitly asking people not to take pictures with people in them.

Making our way out of Se Cathedral, I noticed a lean brick tower in the distance.

As we made our way around the streets of Old Goa, the tower became taller, and then hid behind some trees.

The cab driver looked in the rear mirror. “There really is nothing there. Just ruins.”

I looked at my fellow travellers hoping for at least one of them to share my eagerness to visit that lonely tower.

After a few minutes the driver asked, “You want to go there? We can make a short stop.”

As soon as we reached, I jumped out of the car with a new friend. With others waiting, our instructions were clear. Go there, take a few pictures and head back as soon as possible!

Up close, the tower revealed itself to be just a fraction of what it must have been a few centuries ago. There was a large open space in front, and a large hall just behind it. At its fullest, it may have been much grander than the more illustrious buildings we had just visited.

‘Ruins of St. Augustine Complex’ read the signboard on one of the large stone bricks. Built in 1602 and abandoned in 1835, this church collapsed within the next few years. The silence of the space seemed to speak about its neglect and the lost grandeur.

Amid the spectacular ruins, not all seemed gloomy, though. A few pillars along the side of the fence spoke of survival even as the rest of the land stood barren.

I longed to spend more time within the hall behind the tower, but felt contented that I had the opportunity to visit. I grabbed my pictures and hurried back to the cab.

Back home, on digging around the web, I came across an interesting story surrounding the Church. In Hunting for a Georgian queen in Goa Srinath Perur writes about a martyred Queen, and the search for a missing relic that continued into the 21st century.

And a bonus bit of trivia – the eerie song, Gumnaam hai koi was filmed at the ruins.

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In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: what is guaranteed to distract you? What is your “Ooh, shiny!”?