Goa Carnival comes to DI
It was a riot of fun and frolic, food and drink at the Goan Carnival on the lawns on March 5th 2017. Read on ...
Fun, food and feni were the key words on Sunday evening at the DI Goan Carnival, though the feni was replaced by homemade “cocktails” that intended to keep the spirits high. Belated it might have been, being held after Lent had set in, but the basic festive ingredients were there, much to the enjoyment of young and old alike.
Goan folk songs already had many on the lawn swaying in their seats when, at 7.30, King Momo and Queen Mimi – their golden crowns and shining costumes adding grandeur – led a group of garlanded DI toddlers down the badminton court and through the gathering. The King and Queen, at their jovial best, waved their hands and scepters, even as the children, blowing their “trumpets” and smiling ear to ear, followed in tow. After parading through the audience, they climbed the stage, where the rulers conveyed their message. “We’ve come all the way from Brazil and Goa for this, and we decree that there will be no studies for the children this evening, only dancing and playing. The adults can find, follow, flirt and floor their companions, as we declare the carnival ope
That set the mood for the next hour or so, as people of all ages came onto the floor, lured by masks, bugles and more garlands distributed by the organizers. The promise of a welcome drink mustered more merrymakers, and the dancers moved in unison to songs like ‘Simple Simon says’, followed by popular Goan songs, ‘Ya ya Maya ya’ and ‘Maria Pitache’ among them. The tunes and the moves had definitely picked up, and so had the crowd, with several members of the Goan Association showing the way.
The DI communications team caught a family of Bohra Muslims clapping and humming to the catchy songs. “We are enjoying every moment of it. It’s an evening full of fun,” said DI member Taher Faizullabhoy. “We should have similar evenings of cultures from all over India,” he shouted over the music. A Sikh family a row behind was swaying to the music too. But the prize for the most appropriately dressed couple went to Mr and Mrs Raju Jagtiani, who went up to the floor to collect their bottle of wine dressed in floral T-shirt and top that had Goa written all over.
With all the music and dancing, can appetites be far behind? Gastronomically gorgeous Goan grub, decking tables adjacent the dance floor, had many first exploring and then buying their choice of delicacy. And the fare was far-reaching! From chicken Vindaloo and sausages to Xacuti, Racheado, Cafreal and Sorpotel – all culinary creations cooked with fish, meat and prawn. There were veggie varieties too.
But not all was smooth-sailing, as several members complained about delay or even total absence of service at the tables. As usual, the cat brigade outnumbered the band of bearers on the lawn. Members at one table said they waited 45 minutes for a liveried lad to show up before they were forced to complain to a council member. One area that cries for improvement!
As the evening’s festivities drew to a close, the music, mood and morsels having contributed to an enjoyable evening, the organizers had a comment: “The arrangements were low-key this year – we were asked to organize the carnival just a few days ago,” said Peter Remedios who, along with wife Paula, was the main creator of the event. “There’s always a next time,” he hoped, content with the sale of food items, including delicious bakery items from Saldanhas.