Bonderam: A village square party in Goa

Like at all times in Goa, There is no place for the word melancholy. It took mere 3 hours for me between the last trip to Aguada , through a whirlwind of activities and a bout of viral…and nothing in the world helps you recover faster than a trip, festivities and bonhomie such as the Bonderam fest, at an island close by, which is going on even as I write. And those three hours were enough to rejuvenate me from an arriving melancholic phase to renewed joi de vivre.

Goa is a small place. Before leaving I tried to contact some of the friends in the vicinity about their plans to meet up. While we were lost amongst communication, each ferry point had a surprise. I had decided to take the ferry to divar island from the crossing at Old Goa. And whom do I meet here but my Portuguese teacher, Professor Isabella! Further up and into the ferry, we got split, but we soon met up at another strategic location in divar. A second acquaintance, Anoop, I spotted on the ferry itself, this time on the way back towards Ribander.

At Divar, I was immediately struck by the peace, tranquility and the water all around. The parking was neatly organized and was converted from a football ground. Even the mostly boisterous party revelers and tourists arranged their vehicles in neat rows.

A small village square fest is enough reason for celebration. Kids with hula hoops.Pretty girls in bright dresses swishing to waka waka . Waka waka never sounded better. The local MC did enough justice to spreading cheer over the hardly 5 floats which were up for competition. Being city bred, I often compare any parade with the republic day parade, but infront of this party atmosphere, that seemed a stoic and rigid ritual. The village square was literally shouting “ yes!! we are partying on the street!”. Beer was flowing.

The sky was now getting clouded and anticipating rains, I decided to get back. Way back through the quaint village itself was a pleasure. What really caused my heart beat to stop was the 30 feet almost vertical slope from the road to the ferry. Luckily a senhor helped me reverse it up the ribander point. O senhor, obrigada!

After all that partying I asked myself what was bonderam all about? Guess will have to ask my friend exoticgoa that. But for me and a few hundred people present there, it was one big excuse to party!

Update: Here are more photos of Bonderam taken by Exotic Goa.

Second update: Here are exquisite photographs taken by Anoop Negi.

A walk around in Goa in Monsoons- Bliss.

Goan weather is such that one feels like on a perpetual vacation. Now look at Fort Aguada above. Does it appear as if this picture was taken only a few hours back? Well it was. And that’s how it looked. Even better maybe. Rain is hardly a dampener for those who wish to enjoy Goa. Before I start to sound like the tourism department, Let me tell you the background of my visit. After many months, Angel’s school declared an impromptu holiday today. Naturally, the two of us, took advantage of the sun ( in the morning) and took this walk from our hill , down into the city. (actually Panjim is no more bigger than say Rk Puram in Delhi, Adyar in Chennai and Parel in Mumbai, though I still feel that those are much bigger).  A very nice elderly gentleman stopped to offer us a ride downhill, which we refused, simply to enjoy the walk down. While I was awed as usual with the architecture, Angel found the creepy crawlies, the sprouting leaves and the climbers interesting. After  the walk, we were famished and a sweet quaint bakery in the market was the next stop.

Evening came. And so did rain. With limited options and umbrellas, we drove down to a nearby fort. As usual the journey was inspiring. But how many pictures can I upload! We explored the internal road from Porvorim to the Fort. Betim creek and a fishing point looked more picturesque than ever before. Bebinca, a local Goan sweet, helped me end the day.

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Polymer Clay Beads

We sometimes need colour in our lives and a string of coloured beads in different textures and shapes strung together can provide that zing to a plain dress. The beads used here are polymer clay, they are heavier than normal beads and don’t run colour like the dyed wooden beads, while providing amazing textures . Featured here is a handcrafted piece by Anita Mulay, which I picked from my last visit to Mumbai and it is perfect for the monsoon weather in Goa. If you need any custom designed beads or jewellery in polymer clay, you can contact her here.

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Of Jewellery Tradition,Fashion Peace and other little things

The thing I miss the most today, is my Nikon FG complete with the collection of the lens which was the first camera I ever bought. No travel trip can be complete without a camera and as a designer, its the most essential tool for documentation. After my Nikon was lost (thats another story), I picked an automatic canon which lasted me till last years carnival and its somewhere buried in the sands of Baga Beach.(two am and 5 inebriated people couldn’t help me locate it). Right now, I’m making do with an even simpler version of canon, so I’m hoping that is  excuse enough for the picture quality on my website. I missed my nikon yesterday, when I saw some amazing jewellery worn by the local ladies here in Goa. Its surprising how diverse is the mix of population here in Panjim.

Coral Jewellery worn traditionally

Did you know that coral is considered as a stone that can keep the temperament cool? This is what I learnt from some married ladies who were wearing thier mangalsutra( wedding pendant) with a couple of beads of coral. Coral also features in men’s jewellery, especially rings. That was in the morning.

In the afternoon, I had an amazing experience at Design Space, which is the retail store by Wendell Rodricks . Had been two years and I had only seen it from outside. So when the rain stopped yesterday, I took the liberty of driving down to the store which is in Campal, Panjim. A flight of stairs led me to the pristine ambiance. He does some amazing things with weaves and dyes.

The day ended with a lazy trip to caranzalem and miramar beach. At caranzalem, we had to stop short from the beach at the caranzalem park as the path to the beach was flooded.  The park itself is a lovely piece of green and for those who have kids, its a must stop at point in Panjim.

And as I said earlier, I missed my camera.

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