Author: Fr Nascimento J. Mascarenhas Genre: , ,
ISBN: 978-93-80739-35-9 Price (PB) : Rs. 350 Mail Enquiry
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Goa’s heart beats in its charming villages. This book is on Saligao, one of Goa’s many colourful and scenic villages. This book is authored by a priest from the village who has served in diverse parishes across Goa. Fr. Mascarenhas has an abiding passion for Goa’s history — specially Church history and has authored half-a-dozen books so far. The book’s goal, says the author, is to provide “readers with an enlightening snapshot of the history, culture and traiditions of Saligao”.

“Saligao abounds in dustry lanes and naorrow pathways which will take you to quaint shrines and half-hidden gardens, old crumbling houses next to brightly painted modern structures or well maintained so-called ‘Portuguese’ houses,” says a foreword to the book by Yvonne Vaz Ezdani. Offering a good amount of local history, the book keeps its style informal and catchy, and intersperses its text with attractive illustrations. It talks about unusual institutions and individuals that make up the village. For instance, the village-crier of the yesteryears was called the ‘parpoti’. Way back in the 1920s, expat villages took the initiative to set up a local club that took care of the locals’ entertainment and intellectual nourishment. Today, in distant regions — Bombay, London and Toronto — expat villagers keep their flag flying by organising events and cultural get-togethers, as do expats from some other villages of Goa. Saligao has had its traditional schools. Later on, its neighbourhood was also one of the first to play home to English-medium schools in Goa. This perhaps explains why so many of the people from around here migrated to the English-speaking world.

The book lists ‘house names’ used to describe village families. The book looks at the indigenous people of the village, modes of transport of the past, the beggars of the yesteryears and how these were dealt with locally, or traditional forms of coping with a dark road in times when Goa lacked electricity. One section looks at the games played by local youth. Small Saligao has a number of prominent names linked to it. Like prominent ophthalmologist in Portugal Dr Claudio da Gama Pinto, educationist Anacleto Lobo, the doyen of Indian cricket Anthony de Mello, the Goan pioneer in Karachi Cincinatus F. D’Abreo, noted musicians such as nightingale Lorna and folklorist Oslando, bishops and the Karachi-based Mother Bridget Sequeira, military men, writers and professors.