[[ Read pdf ]] Reflected in Water: Writings on GoaAuthor Jerry Pinto – Cekhargaproduk.co

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10 thoughts on “Reflected in Water: Writings on Goa

  1. says:

    Goa, at least to the contemporary Indian middle class imagination, renders a rather monochromatic picture, one of beaches, beer and unabashed, intoxicated revelry This is a shame, that a place possessed of such natural and historical riches for the interested traveller is reduced to a caricature sometimes literally, as in the illustrations we find on the walls of both upscale hotels and seedy, ramshackle little bars Before visiting Goa two months ago, I found myself frantically looking for material to read before travelling to a state I d never been to before The recommendation I had was Farrar Far, a scholarly tome I figured I had to get to a decent library to read Filing that for another time, I poked around the internet and found what I think is the best book for the literary traveller of the Indian variety to approach Goa Please correct me if I m wrong I would love recommendations Goa fascinates me endlessly Part of the singularly delightful series of city centred anthologies Penguin started bringing out almost a decade ago, Reflected in Water than does justice to the project, which is to educate a traveller new to its shores about this rather misunderstood and misrepresented sliver of India The pieces collected here by Jerry Pinto, whose literary credentials are impeccable come from wide range of writers, poets and memoirists, including a memorable essay by Graham Greene, writing in 1964 from a village in Anjuna One cannot help but wonder how Goa must have looked like then, before the hippie years, untouched and almost virgin country The politics that gave credence to Goa and the burning issue of its independence from its neighbouring Maharashtra is given ample space, as is its syncretism before, during and after the Portuguese years with the Hindu faith There are essays on Goan cinema and art, music, food, and of course, the little state s much celebrated rains There cannot but be a dark, rather sad undercurrent of nostalgia that runs through the book Goa has lost as much, perhaps , that it has gained by tourism and its fame as India s party destination And therein lies the paradox that this anthology puts forward to us thinking travellers How do you reconcile the fact that what led you here will also soon strip the place of all its beauty, its unique culture and perhaps everything that is really Goan What do you, as a tourist, owe Goa in return A difficult question, with an equally difficult answer.


  2. says:

    This book seemed like an interesting read, but goodness gracious, it just dragged on and on It was almost as if someone had googled Goa and brought together every single essay, article, poem, or memoir ever written on Goa Like any anthology, this was a mixed bag for me I loved a few, but sadly the vast majority of them were rather dry and tedious The ones I did enjoy reading were William Dalrymple s At Donna Georgina s , Frederick Noronha s On the Abbe s Trail , Vivek Menezes article on Francis Newton Souza who claimed to have swallowed Goa whole , an excerpt taken from Alexander Frater s Chasing the Monsoon something I have marked to read when I travel back to Kerala in the monsoons, reserved for quiet afternoons watching the rain and Naresh Fernandes quest to find a bone from the arm of St Francis Xavier What worked for me Although rather tiresome, the book brought to light many interesting aspects about Goa to me For example, Dalrymple s interview with Donna Georgina who still thinks about crossing the border to India , and who believes that the liberation of Goa in 1961 was not really a liberation but of a botheration,is an example of someone who still remains fiercely loyal to the Portuguese On the other hand, there are essays which mention the cruelty of the Portuguese and the movement for liberation in the 1960s Post independence, the focus shifts towards Konkani pride and the need to keep Goa separate from Maharashtra.Another aspect of the book that I found compelling was the role of religion in Goan society Maria Couto s essay Keeping the Faith , for instance, narrates how numerous families were separated in the wake of the Portuguese conquests A few members fled the scene, and escaped down south in order to protect their faith, whilst the others stayed on and embraced Christianity Although still related by bloodlines, they are now separated by religion What fascinated me the most was the fact that despite having converted, many of them still maintain Hindu traditions, even going as far as worshiping in temples In the same way, I found it interesting that one could certainly find Hindus among the mass of the faithful at Bom Jesus where the tomb of the 16th century Jesuit priest, St Francis Xavier, is located Interesting trivia every ten years, St Francis body is brought down from the altar for worship, and this is known as the Exposition During one such ritual, a lady was so overcome with devotion that when she bent down to kiss the saint s feet, she bit off Xavier s big toeand it began to gush blood What I missed in this book It s a book on Goa Why wasn t there any mention of Mario Miranda and his wonderful work George Menezes is one writer from Goa whom I have had the pleasure of reading before, and I do think he has written much better work than Where has all the culture gone Unfortunately, none of those were included either, and if they were, I m sure this would have been a engaging read Further, I must confess I chose this book because I had only recently discovered Jerry Pinto and was looking forward to reading him With the exception of a poem and an old Goan folktale, there wasn t anything else penned by him Oh well, looks like I ll have to wait to read Em and the Big Hoom instead.


  3. says:

    There is to Goa than sun and sand, the hippies and the fenny, and Portuguese influence and the stately churches It s all these and It is a tiny geographical land which has been constantly struggling to maintain its own identity, first with the forces of the Portuguese colonialists and then, after the liberation, with the Indian state, as Maharashtra first annexed the state to its borders and then tried to impose Marathi as the official language, as opposed to the local Konkani The book, incisively edited by Jerry Pinto, is a precious mixture of critical essays, book extracts, commentary, poetry and even a comic strip, ruminating the past, present and future of Goa, how it came into being as a result of the old marriage between Konkani and Portuguese, and how it fought hard to retain its own identity, first at the hands of the Portuguese, and then, the Indian state, and now, the onslaught of globalization Among other things, I did love the placement of two contradictory pieces together First, an extract from William Dalrymple and second, Prabhakar S Angle s defence of the misrepresentation of Goa.


  4. says:

    I ve never been to Goa and like most Indians, most of my impressions of the state are a bit cliched and anchored on the stereotypes beaches, drugs, greenery, churches, Portuguese colonialism etc This anthology of writings on Goa did a lot to educate me on the aspects of Goa which I never cared to bother about the Marathi influence, the strong Hindutva strains, the various musical gharanas along with all night classical concerts, FN Souza s art, the Goan diaspora, the fisheries and agro industry, Goan theater, memories of the 1964 military action and much Some pieces of writing by the foreign travellers to the state Graham Greene, Richad Burton, van Linschoten etc were a bit tedious for me to follow and so were some of the stories Naresh Fernandez s quest for the relics of St Francis Xavier was the most enjoyable read.Someday when I visit Goa, I ll be grateful to this book for helping me see and search for than what meets the eye.


  5. says:

    I thought I knew at least a little about Goa Turns out I ve barely even scratched the surface.


  6. says:

    I bought this book because of my strong ties with Goa Some of the essays are good and some bore one to death Overall its a good read and gives an overview of some though not all aspects of Goa


  7. says:

    thoughtful