Whenever I travel from Saligao to Siolim via Parra, Assagao..Anjuna I see those hidden “dovornne”, I always get fascinated by their sight, very often they remind me of my Avoy, my grandmother who took load of sweet potatoes and vegetables to sell at Siolim weekly market Igorje laguim. Saligao to Siolim was a long way, my granny and her two best friends Filsu vohni n Filsule would rest their load on those “dovornne”. All three were young widows supporting their big families. Sitting next to those “dovornne” they would discuss their family matters, day to day problem.
On one of those hot May trips the discussion was about selecting bride for my dad.. my granny had planned to visit her cousin at Siolim vaddi. Her brother from Oxel had spoken about his sixteen years old niece Indira.
That trio was spell bound when they saw that sixteen year old cute, shy girl. Till the day of their wedding my mum n dad had not seen each other. My father respected his mother’s choice, I am not sure if brides had any option to rebel against their parental choices. I am sure both must have been shocked at their first glance. My father was lean and dark, my mother had look of Marathi film actress of those days. They fell madly in love…a man of that era never exhibited their love, but my dad was an exception. Sometimes I heard my old granny making fun of him.
Beginning years my father was a truck driver.. Margao.. Usgao.. Sonshi.. Pale. Wherever he went he took my mum. Early sixties he became a bus driver… when Goa to Bombay route started he was one of the senior most driver. He was highly respected among his fraternity. Coming back from his Bombay trip he would park his bus at Mapuca… rush home… if mum was busy in the field, he would change into his shorts and run to the field… if mum was sweeping, he would grab the broom and start sweeping (my mum had a weak back) neighboring ladies would giggle and run away looking at my dad sweeping the courtyard. He would love to clean up the fish (maybe it was an excuse to help mum).
My mum had the largest tikka on her forehead and my dad loved it the most. Till his late seventies, dad would take her everywhere on his bike and twice they fell down, but that didn’t stop their romance on the wheels. When we lost our brother in law, dad was shocked. Suddenly he aged, stopped dying his hair and stopped going to the bazaar. Dad and mum became closer than ever they would hold their hands and sit for hours. My last trip that tough man hugged me and cried for the first time in his life, I couldn’t control myself too.
7th August at 6 pm, my sister called me up to tell dad was unwell. I called up mum she said nothing serious, just some minor difficulty in breathing. At 10pm, I was eating and my phone rang. It was my sister sobbing uncontrollably on the phone. I got the message before she uttered a single word. My three thoughts that moment were.. When one love bird dies how will other survive? How my mother will look without that large tikka on her forehead. In a month’s time they would have completed half a century for their love affair. Why God was in such hurry? Without warning that 1956 love story had suddenly come to an end.
– Written By Ramesh Ghadi, a true Goan at heart,
Fitness & Nutritionist (ICS USA)
Proprietor, Ghadi Fitness, Saligao