ON the occasion of my 77 birthday I would like to express my deep sense of gratitude to my colleagues, my friends and well-wishers, over the last 40 years that I have lived and worked in Goa.

At the outset I would like to thank the late AC Fernandes, the publisher of the OHeraldo for the opportunity to transform the Portuguese OHeraldo into a full-fledged English daily. I would like to thank the original OHeraldo team comprising news editor N Vaidyanathan who guided my small teamer; my chief reporter Devika Sequeira, and scores of young people notably Anthony Fernandes, Norman D’Souza, Julio D’Silva and Vijay D’Souza among others for their support in successfully helping me to edit the OHeraldo for over 20 years from 1983 to 2003.

I would also like to thank Mr Pundalik Naik and all the other Konkani writers who were part of the movement to secure official language status for Konkani.

I would like to thank all those who came to my help when I decided to start the Goan Observer weekly in 1983. I must single out Dr Francisco Colaco, Leo D’mello, Aravind Bhatikar who were our first directors of Goan Observer Pvt Ltd. A special thanks to the late Frank Martin, a retired BSNL employee who over the years became the largest single shareholder of the Goan Observer which now mercifully survives only as online.

I would like to thank my start-up editorial team of Melanie Sequeira, Jonquil Sudhir, Shamir Diniz, Reginald Dias, Gauree Malkarneka for building the foundation of the Goan Observer. Melanie Sequeira of course offered to work free for the first six months. I would like to thank Deepak Chari who not only designed the Goan Observer but the publications published by our Desktop Division. I would like to place on record our gratitude to Ben Antao of Canada, Dr PG Kakodkar, former chairman of the State Bank of India, “King of Spirits” in Goa Mario Sequeira whose first book “Killing Me Softly” was published by us and it strengthened our division.

 I would like to thank Dattaraj Salgaocar for giving me an opportunity to write the history of the Opinion Poll in my book titled “The Triumph of Secularism.”  Also, thank-you to former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat for commissioning me to do a book on the Goa Liberation. I would like to thank Bindya Vaval, Karen Dias and Sanjeev Naik (our advertisement manager of many years, also Heena Nawar for standing by the Goan Observer during our most crucial times, and Jimmy, my electrician-driver friend who turns up to drive me around when I call him to go for my many medical appointments at the GMC and elsewhere. Thank you all my Facebook friends for your generosity. And above all thank you Tara Narayan, my companion for the last 24 years, who has seen me through in better times and ill-health times. Tara puts up with my 24×7 demands of a cantankerous old husband even though she is only 74 years old herself.  Thank you for all the best wishes which have been coming way and all the kindness and generosity of many people who me a little or a little more.  

I would like to thank all my doctor friends particularly Dr Shrikanta, the one time Bangalore endocrinologist of Mallya hospital who de-toxed me from the massive doses of steroids I was on after a deadly beating up by goons while I was editing the OHeraldo, the steroids were wreaking havoc with my health and threatening to shut me down forever prematurely. I acknowledge the caring concern of Dr VN Jindal, former dean of the Goa Medical College; Dr Guruprasad Naik and the late Dr Manjunath who took care of my heart during a close shave when I lost track of how many medications I was taking to stay alive; Dr Oscar Rebello has been my personal physician for four decades along with Dr Mariano Godinho.

I regret that I have not been receiving the best possible medical attention since I was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the spine two years ago. At first there was no evidence and there was only clinical evidence to go by which I rejected and nobody gave a damn, so it became worse, I am told I am my own worst enemy. The one enduring friend who has been confidant and advisor is Dr Ajay Netalkar of the Manipal Hospital. I also thank Dr Edwin Gomes of the Geriatrics Department ward no 115 for treating me for spine TB.

I would like to say lots of thanks to close friends, notably advocate Nigel Costa da Frias and senior TCS manager Vaidehee Naik whom I have known all through my  now more than 40 years in Goa. Thank you Auduth Timblo, Shrinivas Dempo, Nana Bandekar, Pascoal Menezes and his eldest son Cesar Menezes and his wife Mimi Menezes, Anil Khaunte of Alcons who helped me out with all my mega birthday parties of old at O’Coqueiro and was the chairman at my  60th birthday anniversary party. Special thanks to my present physiotherapist Dr Mrugna Prabhudesai who plays a major role in making me feel better when I am in pain with my badly eaten up bones courtesy the TB bugs, although I am told I am finally free from the bugs now and perhaps will be able to chuck the medications which also take a toll of my health.   

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