Uncle Pedro returned from his usual work and sat under infront of his house in Candolim. There were children playing around whose attention caught the sight of Pedro Uncle singing loudly. With deep thoughts, sober and sad, Pedro Uncle was never like this before, said the children to each other in amusement and listened to him quietely. Pedro went on….…………
Who killed Cock Robin?
I said the sparrow, With my little arrow, I killed Cock…
The children intervened and said - “Stop Uncle. We’ve heard that one before. Tell us something new.”
Uncle Pedro thought for a while and started………
Who killed Candolim? Digambar. Typical of my slumber, he killed Candolim.
Who saw her die? Agnelo, Despite what I know, I saw her die
Who caught her blood? Dr. Willy, although it seems silly, he caught her blood
Who'll make the shroud? Rane. It seems a little funny, he'll make the shroud.
Who'll dig her grave? Churchill, soon after the kill, he'll dig her grave.
Who'll be the parson? Joaquim, face looking grim, he'll be the parson.
Who'll be the clerk? Anil, If she left a will, he'll be the clerk.
Who'll carry the link? Filipe, will weep, he'll carry the link.
Who'll be chief mourner? Azgaonkar, Though it sounds bizarre, he'll be chief mourner.
Who'll carry the coffin? Mauvin, Through thick and thin, he'll carry the coffin.
Who'll bear the pall? Victoria, in a burst of euphoria, she'll bear the pall.
Who'll sing a psalm? Ravi Naik, as loud as you like, he'll sing a psalm.
Who'll toll the bell? Pandurang, he'll see it is rung, he'll toll the bell.
All the people of Goa,
Fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
When they heard the bell toll, for poor Candolim
As he stopped singing the above verses, the children were amused and, too innocent to understand the politics, Pedro caught the kids in his eye and said:
“Gather around me children. Let me tell you the actual story about how Candolim Beach died. Have you heard the story of the Princess and the Frog?
“Yes Uncle!”
Briefly now, a reluctant Princess kisses a frog who turns out to be a trapped Prince.”
“Yes Uncle!”
But this is not that story. Have you children heard the story of the Frog Princess?
“Yes Uncle!”
Pedro continued, the youngest of three Princes wanted to marry a frog he
befriended. The king sets the frog various tasks that she accomplishes
using magic and then transforms herself into a Princess.”
“Yes Uncle!”
But that is not the story I am telling you today. This is the story of The River Princess and the Frogs.
“Yes Uncle!”
Pedro then started his real story related to his song that he sung for the children.
Once upon a time in a land not so far away was a beautiful beach named Candolim. People came from far and wide to enjoy her sands. They swam in the sea and tanned themselves on the beach. They purchased overpriced trinkets and received amateur massages from migrant vendors. They sipped on beer and cocktails in the beach shacks and ordered continental cuisine. Everyone was happy in the beautiful land of Candolim.
Then one dark and stormy night it happened.
“What happened Uncle?”
“It was a dark and stormy night.”
“You said that already Uncle!”
Ok! Ok! From the pitch dark of the sea a River Princess appeared.
“River Princess? You mean a mermaid”
No! No! A River Princess.
“What was a River Princess doing in the sea?”
Good question. Better still what was a River Princess doing on Candolim beach? Anyway, this River Princess was huge and ugly.
“How can that be Uncle? All princesses are beautiful.
What do I know. This Princess was huge and ugly and threatened to destroy the beautiful Candolim beach.
“How Uncle? By huffing and puffing and blowing like the Fox?”
Pedro said…that is a different story. This Princess threatened to destroy the beach by just sitting there and refusing to move.
“Wow! But Uncle you’re telling us about the Princess only. What about the frogs?”
I’m getting there. Now the then Ruling Frog told Mining Frog, who was  responsible, ‘Take your ugly River Princess off from our beautiful Candolim beach!’ Unfortunately Mining Frog was very stubborn. He refused to remove the River Princess from the beach and instead contested and won an election some years later. Anyway ruling frogs came and ruling frogs went, calling each other communal and calling each other corrupt, but the River Princess refused to budge. And the beautiful Candolim beach started dying thanks to the spineless ruling frogs. Slowly dying.
One Opposition Frog even started this fantastic rumour that the River
Princess was selling drugs.
A Texan Frog was hired to remove the River Princess but failed. A Crosschem Frog was hired to remove the River Princess but failed. A Jaisu Frog was hired to remove the River Princess but failed. Some Aldonkars who had once helped shift the Moira Church were hired but the Moidekars objected. Ten years down the line when Candolim beach was almost dead a Titan Frog was hired to remove the River Princess but a Goan Salvage Frog objected.
“Why Uncle?”
Understand children that the River Princess is a very prized possession for frogs. ‘If I don’t have it nobody else will’, is the driving objective. But now by a strange twist in the story Mining Frog came forward very eager to remove the River Princess, and that too for free.
And the Ruling Frogs want to let him move it. And even Salvage Frog wants the Ruling Frogs to allow Mining Frog to move it.
“What? But Uncle does Mining Frog know anything about moving River Princesses?”
No he doesn’t. But Salvage Frog does, so go figure. Anyway Ruling Frogs are now going to allow Mining Frog to remove the River Princess.
“But Uncle isn’t Mining Frog the one who created all this trouble in the first place by being irresponsible and then stubborn? How can he be trusted?”
You are correct children but then Ruling Frogs are not too bothered about the fact that Candolim beach is dying and almost dead. They just want to get back to their politics and moneymaking and hope the River Princess will just disappear – as if by magic.
“Will it disappear, Uncle?”
We shall see children, we shall see. But when you grow up don’t forget who killed our once beautiful Candolim beach.
NIZ GOENKAR ADDS: This is the sad part of Candolim and soon it is bound to happen to all our beaches one way or the other.  Here it is the river Princess, tomorrow it could be the casinos or anything. But destruction is on its way systematically.  Thank the Goan Politicians for all that.


Dalia said...

Very well written Lancaster, good work. Hope everyone will read the article fully. True to it's core. It will be included in the history books of Goa without a mention that it was due to the lust of the greedy politicians of Goa including Parrikar who is missing in the story.

Robert said...

How beautifully put,hope the Goan politicians read the story of Pedor and the River Princess.

diogofichardo said...

Greatly composed Lancaster, only wish our ministers would read if the can. I will paste it on the notice board of my office so everyone can read it. Especially those that come to Goa as tourists.All our politicians do is try to fool the honest Goans. While some fall for them and bring them back to power.

Anonymous said...

Very well said. I will relate it to my grandkids but, I have none at this time.

Travellers, the world over acknowledged Goa for it's famed Sun, Sand and the beautiful Beaches but, not anymore.

The memories of those once acclaimed, warmhearted, free sprited roaming hippies (as were known then to the Goan household) mysteriously disappeared and forgotton in time. The tarballs, the floating lumber, the strewn garbage thrown overboard by some rogue vessels in the high seas and the oil and junk spilling or protruding out of these submerged ships have threatened our beautiful beaches.

Goa's present Information and Tourism representatives are lost for words and will never be able to repeat the past with their sinister notion. The tarballs have covered their faces and Goa and it's beaches is loosing attraction to the foreign traveller.

Saturnino said...

A good one from Uncle Lanky through Uncle Pedro, a sad song indeed. Can the Goan politicians read and understand the story? They won't.

franco said...

The culprits have been well paraded by Lancaster. Kudos to you for bringing such a lovely poem. One requires a sense of humour to grapes this story line. How will the corrupt politicians understand this when they do not know the basic of English language. Where is the serenity that prevailed in the past? I was just listening to Lorna’s song on Calangute where she portrait it so beautifully. Days have gone bye where we used to enjoy the Simla beat shows being organized over there in the month of Mays.

Trevor said...

A brilliant piece of melancholic folklore....sadly very true...we watched her die...the home of my fathers village. Our church still stands tall between the coconut trees and paddy fields....so beautiful and so I keep hope alive for now. Tourism I say also is the culprit....Our people need to open their eyes and do what is good for all of Goa. All the foreigners have come and litter our village, once so clean. Tourism I say, not no one listens....and so my village suffers a slow death.

dlp said...

Superb article Lancaster, brilliantly written. I was totally engrossed till the end and then read it all over again. Saturnino.... Do you think the Goan politicians are that much educated that they can read and understand the true meaning? They might only understand the meaning of frogs, because they keep croaking all the while without making any sense.

Anonymous said...

Sorry folks whoever Lancaster Fernandes is - he hasn't written this article but CECIL PINTO who is a columnist. Cecil's article was published in Gomantak Times.

Lancaster this is plagiarising someone else's work. Please own up and admit it.

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