Posts Tagged ‘pangim’

As I watched the Franchesca PNJ 210 pass us by from the ferry which was taking us from Diwar to the main land, I began to watch the glistening water of the Mandovi river and remember my escapades of the past 2 days. The train was about to leave from Karmali station near Old Goa for  Mumbai within the hour and we were scrambling to get to the station, especially since I had to get into the train and find a seat with a ticket which was waitlisted. As I realized later there were many like me who were getting back to Mumbai in the general compartment after a weekend in Goa.

It was a cold February morning and I was waiting for sleep to come by as I contemplated traveling all the way to Goa via home for the carnival.  It would be a 700km journey by bus initially as I ran through it in my head and I would have to get back by train had I to be back fit enough to work.  The effort did not seem worth the while given the journey and the lonely nature of the travel. Earlier that evening I asked a few friends and it seemed their weekends were planned leaving me in the lurch with no choice. As I left that day for home I was sure the journey was going to be painful and long and that I would question myself all the way of whether I had made the right choice. Life has a way of sometimes making you question motives, all the more if motives have to be justified en route. So here I was sitting in the bus waiting to cover the initial part of the journey to Pune by the state transport bus.  Though it took me one whole day  to reach Goa via a short stay at home, i was refreshed at the site of familiar scents and faces.

It seems like yesterday even today when I see those ancient structure in Goa. The Portuguese who lived and ruled in Goa make their presence felt everywhere. The carnival there was begun in the 18th century and has been there ever since. A King of Chaos, King Momo  is elected who announces the start of festivities . It is said that the carnival was started by the Portuguese in Goa and was revived after the liberation of Goa to boost tourism. Traditionally the carnival(Portuguese meaning:-to take away meat) is meant for merry making before the austere season of lent. It entertains revelers from all parts of the world with floats, live music and loads of characters giving it a fairy tale appearance. Many companies get to advertise their merchandise as well, of course the people with a cause are not far behind in making their presence felt.

The time given was around 4:15, as we made our way by the ferry, then by NH 17 towards Panjim, all I had in mind was the floats I had never witnessed at close quarters. The only floats I was accustomed to were those that made their way along Rajpath on the republic day. To see live floats was a unique thrill in itself. Later though I was certain the journey was well worth the effort and the pain. As we made our way by lorries two wheeler,  and i cursed her for having a scoterette than a bike, I was thankful all the same. Two wheelers are a must to experience the tiny allyways of Goa and to make the Goa experience fun. As we made our way through the packed reveling traffic on the streets of Pangim, I looked for place while Lorrie made sure I was not distracted by the floats and have an accident. We finally found parking place in the Pangim market alongside a number of other bikes. We walked passed towards the street marked as the route of the floats to find lorries friends. I for once was least bothered about friends or anything else for that matter. The floats that made their way slowly along that street was all I was interested in. As time passed by I remembered Lorrie’s mom telling us not to get too close to the revelers lest we were smeared with colours and the like, eggs and other novelties at this were not uncommon as aunty told us. It is said that the erstwhile rulers during carnival as part of the rowdy celebration aimed  flour, eggs, oranges, lemons, mud, sand-filled gloves along with dirty water, various liquids and glue  at passersby. Used pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils were also thrown out of windows. Perhaps this was done to discard the old and the dirty before the Lenten fast. The first to catch my eye was the float of the churches of old Goa.

These were tall frames on which were draped banners of the churches to give it a 3D look. After which came the float of the association of spastic people. The gap between floats was large enough for us to catch a bite and move along to a suitable spot to view the happenings.

There were huge forms of the peacock, a king kong form  and a hunter hunting what seemed like a leopard, each with its own message. The anti-drug abuse junta made their way in between proclaiming their bit too. After a while the effects of the journey began to set in and we made our way to a cafeteria nearby for a bite. Little did I know that the floats were at their end and would be over within some time. As I walked back along Pangim streets with some live music playing in the background, all I could think about was coming next year for a repeat of this experience.


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