A weekend that was…

View from a Goan house. And a fractal tree.

It was a Sussegado Sunday afternoon friends and family event that I probably gatecrashed. The venue was a farmhouse of Rene and Maria in the quiet and charming village of velsao next to a quiet beach in south Goa. I heard that the beach was just a furlon off from the house, but afternoon sun kept us from exploring it. Instead we took refuge from the sun in the patio of the cool house. Amongst refreshing drinks, amazing fish rolls brought by one of the guests and warm Goan hospitability by this lovely goan couple made me feel quite at home. This was meant to be a potluck and I hadn’t carried anything with me, so I chipped in the kitchen helping Mrs Baretto with the Salad. Here we were. Ten people with two pots of food with us and no electricity to heat it.

Survival skill : how to create a wood fire. Three laterite stones were in place on the mud ground and became the cooking stove. Dry twigs were gathered as green stems would not catch fire. A beautiful fire was lit and soon the first pot of chicken was cooking. The next pot of rice required slow and steady fire. So burning wood coals were placed on the top. The results you can guess were delicious.

Enter Olavo Rodriguez. He is a musician. He carried his voice with him. For  the instruments, an empty pan magically transformed into a drum. With each genre he sang , the beat changed. He exhibited his versatility from Konkani songs composed by him to English numbers such as “Speedy Gonsalves” to Portuguese songs. It was difficult to resist dancing to this music.

But how did I manage to reach this lovely gathering itself is interesting.

Not much far away, was being held the annual fest at the lovely campus of BITS Pilani Goa , where today was held an event- TEDx.

Jonathan Wolfe “The FractalMan”surprised me with the transformation of mathematics into art through fractals. Mathematics and art has always been interesting. I feel Art begins where the mathematical expression finds difficulty or gets tedious . Fibonnaci sequence and the golden proportions we already apply in many design concepts. Here was another interesting tool-fractals. We explored the mathematics method of trying to solve the puzzle called “art’ and getting closer to creation.

Jhelum Paranjpayee, a dancer, took a further “step” by literally depicting the mathematical signs and symbols through dance steps. Did you know that one can even depict the Squareroot through dance? Well, she even managed to present an entire equation with Pythagoras theorem.

The next speaker was inspirational Kalyan Varma, who magically transformed and used the medium of photography as a conservation tool. Silence fell in the hall as he spoke about the power of visuals to create a change in the world.  The awestruck audience ultimately declared him the Star of the Show.

An early lunch break announcement prompted me to drive down to the nearby beachside village and that is how I managed to be part of the Sunday afternoon party which has been described above. Once I was there, BITS, Tedx and the larger gathering felt quite distant to get back to. And that I guess is the essence of a true Goan Sunday afternoon.

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