Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Colva Street Show

The Colva Street Show

By Augusto Pinto


I love theatrical productions, so I’m hugely pleased by what the
people of Colva did recently. I’m referring to the show they put up
in response to a CD produced by their tiatrist panch.
I have not had the pleasure of watching the CD, as it is now banned. But I’d love to; I’m ready to pay four times the cover price for it. From what I’m told, the people were excited because the CD took the Mickey out of the Colva parish priest.
But after that the whole show was a super hit Sex! Politics! Religion! Bigamy! Adultery! Violence! It had everything. What fun!
The Colva-ites who turned this explosive plot into a street play did a fantastic job. It was a come-one-come-all affair; everyone could play a part; anyone could say anything. There was no need for elaborate dialogue; no need to sing songs. If there was nothing else to do, one could gherao some cops; or simply fling a stone or two… or three. And it was all free!
I appreciate the Colva-ites for not consulting a lawyer regarding the CD. He would have told them to file a defamation case against the panch, instead of putting up a show. Sensible people know that this sort of case would have taken about a million years to resolve, if at all, by which time everyone would be dead. Thank God they did not resort to the law courts.
Also, it is a good thing Colva-ites are very elite and do not watch Bollywood movies like ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’. Nobody has heard of Gandhigiri in Colva. Gandhigiri makes one sentimental when one is angry. And it makes one do good to someone that is bad. It would have been a very poor show indeed if, like Munnabhai, the Colva-ites protested by flooding this apparently erring panch with bouquets of roses.
Apart from the fact that stones are much more economical than roses, the Colva-ites would have lost the pleasure of messing up the panch tiatrist’s house. One day, I also hope I get a chance to smash up the house of someone I hate, just like the Colva-ites.
I’d suggest that the Colva-ites continue their campaign by reviving the celebration of ‘Janeiro’ ‘Janeiro’, which involves parading in fancy dress in front of people’s houses to usher in the new year. The Colva-ites can use this ruse to disguise themselves, and safely stone more politicians’ houses with no one recognising them. This is all pure, traditional, good-natured Goan fun, of course.
I’d also like to congratulate the priest, the politicians and the police for not being so stupid as to go and try to stop the violence, as well as the disruption in the lives of those who were not in any way concerned with what was going on.
After all, it is human on the part of any wounded individual – no matter that he is a politician, or for that matter, a priest who is supposed to turn the other cheek when the first is slapped – to occasionally enjoy a little tit-for-tat; especially when a particularly pesky parishioner is taught a lesson.
One must also congratulate the Church for not intervening in the show and letting everyone enjoy themselves. Of course, some people may say that by keeping silent while the trouble went on, they conveyed to the public that they are not in control of the Colva street players. Others may even say that they instigated it. Let these fools say what they want. As everyone knows, it is a good thing that religious leaders do not interfere in worldly matters in secular India.
Besides, it is intensely boring when they start giving sermons to people and quote passages from the Bible like: “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Finally the Magistrate who banned the CD must be praised. It’s common knowledge that once a work of art is banned, everyone then wants to see it. Tiatrists can now sing songs in praise of this Magistrate for making tiatr as an art form even more popular.



Villagers vow to continue battle
Villagers vow to continue battle Demand resignation of Calvert from p’yat

Villagers of Colva on Tuesday have vowed to continue the ongoing battle through peaceful means and would undertake nine-day fasting and prayers near the Church premises from Wednesday.
The villagers have also resolved to demand the resignation of the producer of the controversial CD, Calvert Gonsalves from the membership of the Colva Panchayat and to boycott him in the village.
A public meeting held near the Colva Church on Tuesday evening have resolved to continue the ongoing battle peacefully and warned that the people would not keep quite if any attempts are made to insult the Catholic religion.
In his address, the Moderator of the Colva parish Council, Jason Andrade called upon the people to continue the battle in a peaceful manner. Explaining the people the outcome of the meeting with the Archbishop, Filipe Neri Ferrao on Monday, Andrade said the Bishop has called for a peaceful approach to the problem.
He appealed to the parishioners not to get disturbed or violent, saying the time has come to think on the issue peacefully.
Explaining the villagers on the outcome of the meeting with the District Magistrate on Tuesday, Andrade said the Magistrate has been told that the villagers would continue with the battle peacefully for the cause of religion. “Today, this has happened in Colva and will happen somewhere else. There should be a law prohibiting anyone from targeting any religion”, he added.
Saying that the ongoing battle is a battle to protect the religion, Andrade appealed to the people not to bring personal matters into the agitation and united fight the battle.
In his address, Tiatrist Menino-de-Bandar said the tiatrist or singers have no right to target any Priest or religion. “We Tiatrist have been questioned everywhere because of the CD. I will never take the singers in the CD in my shows”, he asserted.
Ethel Lobo warned that the people will not tolerate if anyone tries to fool around with their religious sentiments.
Saying that a Panch member is expected to know the responsibilities and duties, Lobo said the villagers would submit a memorandum to the Panchayat Minister and the Director of Pancahayts to press Calvert’s resignation.
Colva Sarpanch Angela Soares expressed her support to the agitation and called for unity amongst the villagers.
In his address, Elvis Gomes came down heavily on the police for the failure to arrest Calvert and demanded a probe into the benami transactions of Police officers who have served at the Colva police station. “Matka gambling, massage parlours are openly operating in Colva, but the Colva police have turned a blind eye”, he added.
Gomes unveiled the agitational program before the meeting, beginning with fasting and prayers from Wednesday.
Others who spoke on the occasion were Camilson Fernandes, Tiatrist Agostinho, Terezinha.

Check CDs before release

Check CDs before release

I hung my head in shame on reading about the horrible riots in Colva. Some of my Hindu friends laughed about the whole thing, saying that such religious matters could have been resolved within the church rather than reaching the streets. It was quite surprising to see that the Church or even the Bishop didn’t have any say in the matter. Where is our Christian teaching of forgiveness? Offenders deserve punishment, but isn’t there a civilised way rather than being violent, destroying things and setting them on fire? Is this our Christian congregation?
Are our Goan tiatrists and Konkani composers running short of topics? Why make a joke of entertainment by composing songs on horrible topics? Why is religion used in songs for entertainment? The Tiatr Academy should check the kind of albums singers intend to release.

Antone Almeida, Vasco

FOOTLOOSE: An ode to Colva

FOOTLOOSE: An ode to Colva

By Derek Almeida

The brand of Christianity practiced in Colva is not for the meek and the kind. It is for the tough and the ruthless. The chaps who can throw stones and torch gaddas and then go for confession and wipe the slate clean.

So I decided to compose a poem in honour of the Colva Parish Council who recently celebrated Christmas by pelting stones on the residence of their neighbour.

If you happen to be the type
who beats his chest at night and says,
‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do’
Colva is not the place for you.

Ever heard of the man called Jesus?
He said to turn the other cheek.

I love this law, I love this teaching,
But in Colva they prefer to do the slapping.
They are willing to cast the first stone.

They are willing to break the first bone
Just name the chap, point to his place.
And they’ll work wonders with his face.

We believe in forgiveness.
We know love is strong
But on that Monday afternoon
They did what was wrong.

PI Edwin, he is a great dude.
He never made a sound, he made them feel good.
And when it was time to stone the tiles.
Good Edwin was far, far away by miles.
Every morning for church they depart,
To receive His grace with humble heart.

And to God in heaven they firmly pray,
To please take Calvert Gonsalves away.
In high respect they hold Diogo father,
And believe not that he met a mother.

For him they will fight and set afire,
That he may enjoy to his heart’s desire.

And what can we say about our CM?
Who carefully ignored all this mayhem.
He knows how to close his eyes and avoid the sight,
of Colva parishioners having a fight.

Oh church leaders why do you not act?
Are we to believe that there is a pact.

To protect Fr Diogo and the council’s fair name,
And leave the rest of us to hide in shame.

For violence Jesus said, is not a game,
To play and play in his dear name.

Dear church leaders it is no sin
To curb the deadly rot within.

Someday when time has passed us by,
We will look back with cautious eye.

And then, let it not be said
That our dear church leaders,
our guiding light
Failed to stand by what was right.

And for Calvert we have something to say,
It would be better if you are kept at bay.

If you want to sing, dance and make merry
Take trip to Antarctica on a one-way ferry.

First published in the Gomantak Times (Weekender), Goa - January 3, 2010 adds:
Derek Almeida is the Executive Editor of Gomantak Times (GT)
A Sakaal Group of Publications.
Gomantak Private Ltd.
Gomantak Bhavan, St. Inez, Panaji, Goa 403 001, India
Tel: +91 832 2422701/04
Fax: +91 832 2422700
Mob: +91 98 50209604
with offices in Margao, Corlim, Ponda and Vasco.


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A big e-welcome to you. Tumcam Maie-mogacho ieukar. Enjoy Life - This is not a rehearsal! Konkani uloi, boroi, vach ani samball - sodankal. Hich Goenchi osmitai ani amchem khalxelponn. Goenchi amchi Konkani bhas! Ekvottachem saddon Goenkaranchem. This is Gaspar Almeida from Parra, Bardez, Goa, based in Kuwait and am connected with the website created by Ulysses Menezes, and as Moderator of the famous first of its kind Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter (since 1994) and The Goan Forum and several Goan and Indian associations and forums and e-forums in Goa, India, Kuwait, The Middle East and worldwide.