Thursday, June 16, 2005

Goa, versus the rest...

Revisiting this debate again (being discussed on Goanet currently), I don't quite agree with the Goa-is-best argument (or, subtle suggestion). If this were true, the general perception of the Goan Catholic (particularly) wouldn't see such a yawning gap between what we proclaim and what we practice. We wouldn't have had so many people migrating all over the globe, and so many back home just waiting to go abroad -- whether by way of a Portuguese passport or whatever. Migration offers greener pastures. It depends on how one defines 'greener' though. On the other hand, I also accept that migration comes with a heavy price. As a returned-migrant at the age oftwo, one understood early the double-alienation of a migration. The first time when one is trying to cope in an alien and distant setting; and the second time round when one returns 'home' and realises the reality of the place one dreamt of as 'home' doesn't tally with the imagined picture. Of course, there are other aspects to this debate. Where you live and what you do also depends on your priorities in life. For a materially superior lifestyle, and the possibility to accomplish more, clearly there is currently only one option in the current global scenario at least: go West. But then, others might have different priorities. For me, staying on in Goa works (at this point of time at least). Being in a context one understands and feels some affinity to, also enables you to feel you're doing relevant work. It's a trade-off, but might work. For instance, I have spent days or weeks in big cities (Berlin, Stockholm, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur) and it's a bit scary to live as a digit, whose existance (or lack of it) hardly means anything to anyone else out there. Maybe staying on changes the situation; but it's not easy for all either. We should stop believing that the grass is greener on the other side; and instead make the most of wherever we're based. In today's world, it could be argued that the 'brain drain' of the past doesn't have as serious affects as it once did. You could contribute to Goa from wherever you are; the world is smaller. Like Alwyn and Lisa in Chorao, VM de Malar and others, you might actually decide to return back to Goa early. And everyone could be richer for your experience. Who knows what life has in store? Incidentally, isn't the title of this topic misleading? If we adopt a Goa-is-best approach, then shouldn't the title line read 'Home is where our ancestors roots are'? We need to acknowledge that our links with Goa are just the result of a series of historical (or genetic) accidents. If our ancestors had adopted a differing migration path (from Africa or wherever) would we still have been calling ourselves proud Goans? In any case, as one has argued here earlier, Goa is a melting pot of various peoples and genetic groups ... let's accept the differences, try to understand each other, and live in peace and tolerance for a positive tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Link to Goa maps

Cecil Pinto pointed out this link to useful Goan maps. A number of places are covered. From Aguada to Vasco da Gama.