V M Salgaocar’s desk calendar this year titled “Living in the Wild” 2022…. features a stunning collection of wildlife in the national parks of Africa. Worth looking up for inspiration to live in our covid-19 pandemic stressed out times!

IT’S FUNNY or not funny how one government is indecisive while others anxiously waiting in the wings to take over are so decisive! As I write this up on New Year’s eve I tell myself I’m in working condition – my hand and legs move, I see, I hear, I speak, I understand, I can smile and laugh and cry over old follies repeated over and over again stupidly, emotionally… and I still have some money in my bank account. What’s there not to be grateful about in these difficult times?
There’s enough to be grateful for even if the last two years of a wretched viral scare (biological warfare they call it) have brought many down on their knees, courtesy all these not so obvious establishments on top of the pyramid of life whom we have no time to pin down and punish and eliminate. For most of us the last two years have taken its toll and many of us have become jobless and poorer and I myself am looking for accommodation all over again where I may live in peace for at least the next five…may it happen soon in the new year!
In Goa itself we are seeing an unfamiliar violence creeping in, instigated by the continuous migration into a small state where primary infrastructure is still below par (see the soak pits overflowing here and there!) – Goa has become more expensive to live in than the big metros but it has become a runaway escape haven for tourists and businessmen and settlers of all kinds seeking a reprieve from the big polluted metros of India. Now they want a piece of Goa by hook or by crook.
Law and order is collapsing if I may say with the government engaged in protecting itself over the people. Undoubtedly more nightmares are on the way judging by the current unholy political twist and turns on the assembly elections coming up in the state in February. I hope Goans vote for the conservation and preservation of Goa’s environment first! As far as I can see only the Congress is serious about it and I will give them a final chance to deliver on its promises — although we may remember that all the present spate of promises and guarantees, really started with the country’s honourable prime minister promising all Indians Rs15lakh in their bank accounts.
Later on he said that was a joke or at least his home minister quipped more or less that if the people took the promise seriously, they’re fools. Maybe life is a joke for our politicians but not for the people who vote for them every time so faithfully.
I no longer take promises seriously and I wouldn’t if I were you! But in a moment of pause to re-evaluate my life which is more or less at life’s end – I take inspiration from this year’s “Living in the Wild” 2022 VM Salgaocar calendar. As usual it features animals of the wild and especially the big cats in the wildlife parks of OMC and Naboisho, Mara, Namiri, Serengeti…it cheers me up beyond measure! Especially take a look at the October photograph reproduced here somewhere, and take heart from just the look in the eyes of these terribly vulnerable four leopard cubs as they wonder what’s in store for them in a world of human beings going bonkers. If I may say so this picture has become my all-time favourite Dattaraj V Raj Salgaocar photograph!

Chandreshwar Bhoothnath temple… one of Goa’s venerable temples located high on a hilltop in Quepem taluka, 2,222 years old?

TO move on to another subject and since I like history and geography, I was quite taken up by this summing up of Goa’s pre-Portuguese history. We know so much of Portuguese time colonial history and so little of its pre-Portuguese history — as if Goa didn’t exist before Vasco da Gama came along to exploit and take advantage of local hostilities.
Shriniwas Khalap offers an enagaging read and I reproduce here in full (courtesy a Facebook posting). I’m told some of the timelines can do with some crosschecking though…whatever, I told Shriniwas that if Raja Bhoj came from Gujarat to rule Goa then it may well mean that depending on whom Goans vote for this forthcoming assembly elections …Goa may once again be ruled by the Gujarati businessman Gautam Adani! So think carefully before you vote if you’re a true blue niz Goenkar…
Anyway, says Shriniwas Khalap:
“At the stroke of midnight, two days after today, year 2022 will start. With it the Chandreshwar Bhootnath Temple at Quepem, Goa, will become 2,222 years old. Along with it our state of Goa founded by the King Devraj Bhoj of Chandrapur (Chandor) will become 2,222 years old.
Goa may be a very small place on the map of the country. But it has very deep roots. Some three kilometres from Kunkolim there is a prehistoric cave of early human settlements which are some 50,000 years old. The stone carvings of the prehistoric people that are found in Goa are estimated to be some 15-12,000 years old.
People have been staying in Goa for that long. Historians of the past have connected Goa to Gomant mountain mentioned in the Mahabharat, though I respectfully disagree as Goa is not a mountain but is a land at the seashore.
What we do know is that Lord Hanuman was born on Anjediv Island off Karnataka coast, as per the Ramayan. Since the island belongs to Goa technically, by law, he is a Goan.
Now these are stuff of legends and not proven facts. What we do know is that Goa was part of the Maurya empire and it is said that one Konkan Maurya prince was settled in the island of Diwar in Goa.
However, for certain, as a well-established fact, what we do know is that the state called Konkan 1000 , that is a state made of a 1,000 villages of Konkan, came into existence when a man by name Devraj Bhoj came to Goa from Dwarka in Gujarat with a claim that he belongs to the family of Pandavas’ Mother Kunti and he formed this state with its capital city called Chandrapur (City of the Moon). Lord Chandareshwar was his family deity and the temple established there still stands.
Below is the “cross with a moon on its top” symbol of Satvahana Empire of Deccan with which the Bhojas of Goa were in an alliance. It’s not a Christian cross though the Satvahana ruled during the period of birth of Christ. Satvahana (seven vehicles – horse chariots, that is the Sun) were Buddhists. Both the state of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra claim Satvahana as their own. What we do know is that they had state capitals, Paithan in Maharashtra and Amrawati in Andhra Pradesh. Also they had two official languages which are parent languages of both Marathi and Telugu of today. The Satvahana calendar which we call Shalivahan Shak is our Indian national calendar.
I don’t know what the royal symbol of the Bhojas of Goa was. What we do know is that the state of Goa established by them continued to prosper from Chandor under several dynasties till the Kadambas defeated Shilaharas of Goa and took over Chandor.
The Kadambas ruled Goa for some 400 years. They were the one who created a new capital city of Goa (Puri) Old Goa and hence our state got its present name.
The name Goa stands for the name of the city of Goa which is in turn named after Kaddamba King Guhala Deva. His name in turn in old Kannada means “Gopal” that is Krishna. Hence, Goa means City of Krishna.
Also, another fun fact. His grandfather Shasht Deva was the first Kadamba king of Goa. His name is God Number 6. That is Parshuram. He is the original Parshuram who created the land of Goa with his arrow by defeating Shilaharas at Chandor.
Kadambas period was the golden age of Goa wherein once upon a time Goa ruled the entire Indian West Coast from Kerala to Gujarat. It was the Kadambas of Goa who rebuild the Somnath temple destroyed by Mohammad of Ghazni. We associate ourselves with the Lion symbol of the Kadambas.
Chandor has been associated with Goa for so long that when Arab traveller Ibn Batuta came to Goa as ambassador of Tughlak Sultan of Delhi on the way to China, he landed in Old Goa but calls the place Sindabur (Chandrapur).
Nevertheless, it was this Goa City that was captured by Bahamanis from Kadambas, from them to Vijaynagar empire, passed on to Yusuf Adilshah.
It was this island of Goa that was captured by Portugal in 1510 from where they slowly extended to the present boundaries of Goa till 1961.
What did not change in the 2,222 years that the basic core of this state is village democracies that were founded some 12,000 years ago. Only the rulers and their policies in the capital city of Chandor or Old Goa or Panaji changed. Goans remained Goans within their villages.
As 2021 ends we will be completing 60 years of independence of Goa. On May 30, 1987 Goa became a full state within the Indian federation. From here where we will be going only “samay” (time) will tell.
2,222 years is a very long time. After 60 years will we finally understand the meaning of our own independence and take responsibility of our own governance? Or will be voting in favour of becoming a colony of a Gujarati company called the Unintelligent Company (Adani)?
The choice is ours. Do we want to remain independent or become slaves again? Whatever the outcome, the Goa assembly election of 2022 is going to be truly historic!”
ON that note it’s avjo, poiteverem, avjo, au revoir, arrivedecci and vachun yetta here for now till next year is here to challenge us anew with false promises and new hopes.

— Mme Butterfly

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