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The first rains in Saligao

by Fr Nascimento Mascarenhas

As I wrote in an earlier essay, when I was a young lad growing up in Saligao, the children always waited eagerly for the onset of the monsoons in Goa. The pitter-patter of the first rains on the tiled roofs was cue enough for us kids to run under the gógó of our house for an impromptu bath-acid rain would be something that future generations would have to contend with! Friends from the neighbourhood such as Mohan, Naran and Surya joined me in singing their version of the rain song in Marathi: “Êrê êrê pausa, tula detô paisa, paisa zala khota, paus zala motta. Ega ega sari, mhajê moddkê bari, sar allê dhauvun, moddke gele vavun.” The magic of the first rains also inspired Oslando de Souza from Arrarim to compose his immortal song, “Poilo Paus“.

Saligao in the rains. Photo by Frederick Noronha. Contact: fred at bytesforall dot org

Saligao in the rains. Photo by Frederick Noronha.

 

If my memory serves me right, it was in 1948 that the monsoons got delayed, and the elders attributed it to the sins of the people. They asked the young to pray for rains, saying that the prayers of the children are always answered by God. There was a picturesque procession of little children carrying stones on their head, invoking blessings from God in the form of copious rain, in verse, as they climbed the hill along with elders and went from cross to cross built by our ancestors on the hills of Saligao. They commenced their petition by accusing themselves of human frailty and pleaded for mercy. Mother Mary, St. Anthony, St Peter and other popular saints were addressed in song which consisted of 11 verses with an invocation pleading for compassion This is what we sang in Konkani.

1. Madavelea seva

Pausu ghal ga Deva.

2. Khodpa toucha vinchu

Pausu ghal ga Jezu.

3. Voile, voile, kaimgini

Pausu ghal ge Saibinni.

4. Sant Anton altarar

Pausu ghal sounsarar.

5. Sant Anton firngeagelo

Pausu ghal Devagelo.

6. Sant Anton manchea bettan

Paus ghal soglea xetan.

7. Sant Anton virgo

Iskolacho bhurgo.

8. Kalli kombi tantiamchi

Saibinn Mai motiamchi.

9. Sant Isabel Rani

Dimbi bhor panni.

10. Sam Pedr Sam Paul chavi kadd..

Devache Maie, paus ghall.

11. Sam Miguel bodvo

Pausu ghall todvo.

Ending: Chuklenv Somia, Kakut kor amchi somestanchi.

 

Photo by Frederick Noronha. Contact: fred at bytesforall dot org

Photo by Frederick Noronha

Ode For Rain

Boil ailo levun gelo

Kiteak re boila levon geloi?

Bhatkarnin maka vaddlo nam

Kiteak ge bhatkan’ni vadlo naim?

Pik maka piklenam

Kiteak go pika piklenaim?

Paus maka podlonam.

Kiteak re pausa poddlonaim?

Manko maka roddlonam

Kiteak re mankea rodlo naim?

Menk… menk… menk…menk…

Reference:

PEREIRA, Angelo; Goa Remembered, Vignettes of Fading Traditions; Bombay, 1995, p. 47

2 comments on The first rains in Saligao

  • A couple of times I wrote in praise of my classmate, Fr.Nascimento Mascarenhas, called Nasco by us, and now living by the side of my room, in Holy Spirit Church, Margao. He is really engrossed in history and has the penchant of describing past events in a colourful language. I just read about Sashikant, a snake-catcher, who was bitten by a Naja snake in Saligao Seminary, when I was a seminarian.
    I do wish him well in this field!

    • valsouza

      Fr Nascimento wishes to convey his thanks and gratitude to Fr Ivo for his several comments and appreciation on the essays written in Saligao Serenade.

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