Day 59 100words100days a DIY project I would love to try

140 words

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I would like to build a house.

I know that I already have one- or, to be more precise, my parents do, and it stands on ancestral land, which means I have at least a share of it.

The house I would like to build would not be quite like the one that my parents have built, or like the room my grandparents extended. It would be more like the one that my great-grandfolks lived in- thick walls made of mud and jaggery (I think), coconut beams and rafters covered with earthen tiles. And a beaten mud floor.

It wouldn’t be very large, of course. Just big enough for a few people. One window, and one door, of whatever hardy wood I can scavenge.

Electricity courtesy a solar-powered generator.

The Goan Tiny House.

Yes, I would like that very much.

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Day 60: Put together a list-article

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Day 55 100words100days The view from a bridge over troubled waters

200 words! Yay!

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The Zuari is one of the bigger rivers that pass through Goa. Two bridges arch over it, one for trains, the other for motor vehicles. Cross them, and you are officially in the south of the state (or the north, depending on which direction you are heading in). The motor vehicular bridge, which curves in seeming imitation of a gentle bay, is in need of repairs, and has been in need of them for close to a decade.

The river itself could do with some maintenance, as could all the waterways in the littlest state in India. And yet, in spite of the flowers, bottles, thermocol pieces, and other natural and unnatural debris floating in it, the murky water still contributes to a fairly picturesque setting. For now there are still trees and islands and splendid sunsets and brushstroke clouds. Right about now, the gulmohar trees are bursting into brilliant red, the laburnums are dripping yellow, and the river is just starting to feel the call of the changing seasons. Soon, with the onset of the monsoons, its waves will be a muddy red. For now they are a a dark enough blue to obscure the depths of the Mosquito.

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For the sake of clarity- in Konkani, Zuari= mosquito.

Day 56: Natural remedies from my culture

Day 32 100words100days Famous people (real/fictional characters) you didn’t know were (partly/fully) from your country or state.

It goes without saying that I have written about people of Goan descent.

I would have liked to have been able to write about the accomplishments of a female of Goan origin, but I couldn’t find one that met the following criterion: she must not be known widely as a Goan. This is why I couldn’t write specifically about amazing women like Lata Mangeshkar and Anjanibai Malpekar.

152 words

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Tony Fernandes- alright, with a surname like that and his obviously South Asian ancestry, it isn’t hard to believe he is partly Goan. Still, there might be some people who weren’t aware that the CEO of Air Asia is of Goan origin. He is. He says so (kind of).

Goa has also given the world several amazing musicians and singers. I don’t think I need to name them: they are that well-known. There are also a whole bunch of actors and actresses (is it PC to use that word?), models and politicians in whose veins a little bit of Goa flows.

I love the fact that the current mayor of Lisbon is of Goan origin, and that the Abbe Faria in The Count of Monte Cristo is based on a Goan priest who was a hypnosis pioneer (you will follow this blog, you will follow this blog, you will follow this blog).

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Happy Easter!

Day 33: Why I would like to visit ________ (fill in the blank with the name of a place)

Day15 100words100days Describe the nicest meal you’ve ever had (fiction/non-fiction)

I’ve had some wonderful meals with people I love, meals that they have cooked for me, or I’ve cooked with them. Memories of grandparents and houses in different parts of the world where I am a younger one, loved and well-fed, compete with days spent honing culinary prowess in kitchens (or on terraces) across the state of Goa with my peers.

I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) choose just one wonderful meal, or praise just one amazing chef (I’m diplomatic that way). So I chose the best bits and tossed up an ideal-meal salad. 280-something calories, with a side of senti. Kindly note that the ambience does indeed matter.

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I’m eating with my family and friends. Perhaps it is a celebration of some achievement; perhaps all it is is a fellowship meal (we’ve already thrown the Ring into the fires of Mordor). We are relaxed, in a place where we are comfortable and safe, probably outdoors under a shamiana. Those who can are seated on mats on the ground, and there are chairs for those who can’t. Our food is on jackfruit-leaf plates, our cups are reusable (and will be reused or I’ll have something to say about it).

It is not too warm. We are near water; we hear it lapping at the shore or banks (sea or river, I wouldn’t mind either one). Later, once the half-hour our elders tell us to wait is over, we will go down to the water and splash about. Maybe I will “accidentally” fall in. On second thought, I now have to be more careful about what I’m teaching the young ones, so maybe I won’t fall in.

The food itself is simple fare, not because I don’t like things like sorpotel and chourico and cafreal and palak paneer (I ❤ them, especially the last one), but because those are not the best things to eat on a t-shirts-and-shorts kind of day. It will have to be finger food; that won’t require any cutlery. And everyone knows food tastes better when you eat with your fingers

Perhaps falafels and hummus, cutlets- both vegetarian and non-veg (i.e. meat and fish)- with pao if people want it, samosas, shredded cabbage, carrot and cucumber sticks (you can’t eat fried food only), and fruit for dessert- something locally, organically grown (if I were in Goa now, I’d be feasting on watermelon from Parra).

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Thank you to all my aunts and uncles, especially on Mum’s side, for all the food and fondness, and to my friends who have fostered me, and to my own parents for whom food is both a basic biological need and a simple expression of deep love. You have, as a collective, inspired the sentiment behind this post.

Day 16:  A short essay on etymology

Day 11 100Words100days Write a counterfactual piece around some historical event

232 words this time. As it turns out, writing counterfactual history is much harder than I anticipated. It requires a fair amount of research that I just didn’t have time to do. Today’s trouble wasn’t a question of what do I write, but where in history I begin. There are so many factors, circumstances and personalities that contribute to making a historic or historical event. If you change just one, does the whole equation change too?

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It was early on the morning of the 19th of December 1961, in a sleepy little village in the north of Goa, Estado da India. The papers had just been set down in front of the newspaper shop, the headlines in Portuguese somberly declaring that Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India, had agreed to sit down with General Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, Prime Minister of Portugal, to discuss the fate of the Portuguese territories in India.

The international community had been surprised by the sudden cordiality between the two belligerent parties. They were unaware that the Governor-General of Portuguese India, Manuel Antonio Vassalo e Silva, had secretly negotiated with the Indians for months to set up the conference.

The meeting between the two leaders took place about a year later. In what would later be regarded as a landmark moment for in the movement for decolonization, Nehru suggested a gradual phasing out of Portuguese rule and the ceding of territory to India, to take place over 30 years. Salazar, after a great deal of thought, accepted the proposal. Both Nehru and Salazar grew in the estimation of the international community, because of the mature way they handled the complex problem of what to do with a few small parcels of land. Salazar did not follow this policy with the remaining Portuguese colonies because they were considerably larger.

In 1993, Goa became a part of India.

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If for some reason you find this post does not conform to your personal version of patriotism, I think you are reading the wrong blog. No apologies for being Goan first.

Trailer for Day 12: Write an article about women in stand-up comdey