I'm a Goan woman, working in Mumbai as the founder of a studio called Totem Creative. I try to make the world happier, safer and more meaningful. I believe education, knowledge and awareness, art, writing and creating Social Impact are my means to achieve that end.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


24th dec 2010

At my bedside lies the significant signs of a sick person. A ceramic coaster with a green mug filled with haldi milk, made from the warmth of the best father in the world. Tossex, the addictive pink cough syrup that turns green phlegm into transparent sputum, and a book lent from a close friend - 'Tuesdays with Morrie'. My tableside lamp is yellow, and my rug is thick, and I realise I'm still in one of the greatest places to be in the world. A place called home.

When I woke up today, I woke up with one thought. That I could do whatever I pleased, and that I was free as ever. I could sleep the day off for all I cared! But I did my homework, sorted out some stuff on my planner, watched some great Vimeo videos and hoped to purchase a Canon 7D someday. Next thing I know I'm out pajama shopping with mum, and on the way I meet my uncle and later mum's student, who is a professional photographer. Assavari's her name. As we chatted about her work she talked of her poor 30D camera crashing on her. I felt sorry. Wonder what it's like to break a camera that's been faithful to you for 5 years. But then she gave me news of how she recently bought her....7D!!!!!!!! Daaayyym.. I thought. Lucky pig. I hit the market, bought my urgently-required slippers (a bright yellow sole with aqua straps), and a blue T shirt. Clicked a few photos after an amazing fishy-sizzler dinner and headed to my cosy yellow room.

My sister, Raina, will be home tomorrow morning. Generally it's her, sleeping with the thought of my arrival the next morning, waking her up from her sound sleep, but this time it's the other way round. It's Christmas eve, 11:45pm. Around 12 the sounds of fireworks come from across the river from my balcony, and I forget that I'm in Goa.
For me, this is not a tourist destination. For me, this is home.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Vacations.

[Wooow... under-surfing the social network a.k.a: Facebook made me recently discover the Quasar 5 page! Had no idea there were just 38 days to go! Wonder how cultural evening's gonna happen; haven't noticed any auditions around.]

Home is so blissful. Of-course I am welcomed by Flu, a Chest full of sputum and of-course Mr.wretch of a wisdom tooth that is currently tearing through my gums, making it's place in the world of...my jaw. It's IMPOSSIBLE to talk, chew, or indulge in any of the long-awaited food cravings. As Ravi would say it, "Nice...very nice." Argh. I wish I could extract it RIGHT now (but it's not even out yet).

Well, happy vacations to all, and hope you guys have a fun new year and an overdose of rest.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Whiteboard of Quotes


"People always go from your life to come back again." it said. The good quotes in the canteen seemed to know the inside story of everyones lives. From the time I read one of the first - "Faith is the bird that sings even when the dawn is dark", I was curious to know who wrote these quotes. It wasn't some mysetery that I had to solve. Even if it was, it wasn't hard. All I had to do was ask Manoj Bhaiyya who wrote them everyday.

But somehow I didn't want to know anymore, who they came from, where they were read from, and who made them up. Somethings are best left unknown, and maybe that's why I keep the curiosity up and high, awaiting the next line that would appear on that whiteboard in the canteen. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

To the newbies in MIT

They have already planned your grade, they have already graded you in college courses - and you're just another student whose work they want to show to the externals.
You are told since the beginning of sem one that juries are taken for the purpose of knowing you, your growth in the duration of 6 months, and a constructive feedback that helps you move forward; But sometimes, in this 'expected-to-be' formal presentation, when it's all about them respecting your work, you panel will eat in front of you, laugh at some of your work sarcastically and sometimes call your work kachrapatti. Talk of juries being 'professional'.

After spending much time you see - juries are just a formality. So to all you guys who really want a good jury, present it with an open mind, expecting the worst and giving your best.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Distracted Brain.

2nd Dec 2010

Why is it that I get distracted the most only during jury time? I wrote the time on the table. More than what I was writing I watched the lines that were being drawn, the lead grazing on the texture of the table. I wrote the time.7:29 pm. I would start working right....NOW. But I got distracted by the doodle on the table. I spent 5 minutes shortening her hair in 3 layers, something that changed her personality drastically. Random thoughts flowed in my brain after I was done decorating her. She looked like she could be a character in corpsebride. I looked around. Monica Vicky and Alok were working, and here I was talking to myself. Monica's lightdisc was in her hands, and I thought - hey, you can animate anywhere. All you need is a pegbar. You don't need a light disc, or a capturing table. I thought of making many films. I thought of writing this down. And I think now, as I write this down, hey, I could make a movie out of this. Infact, if there was someone shooting the sequence of events right now, shooting me typing this, shot by shot shooting my actions, I could make a movie out of it. Screw planning. Screw all that knowledge and research thats done so monotously before making something - even for the fun of it. All you need is the desire to have fun. I look back at the time. It's 7:44 now. Shit....

That could be a 17 minute movie.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The arabs


A young Arab asks his father:

What is this weird hat that we are wearing ?

It's a "chechia" because in the desert it protects our heads from the sun !

And what is this type of clothing that we are wearing ?

It's a "djbellah" because in the desert it is very hot and it protects your body !

And what are these ugly shoes that we have on our feet ?

These are "babouches", which keep us from burning our feet when in the desert !

Tell me, papa...

Yes, my son ?

... Why are we living in Vancouver and still wearing all this shit ?

The alchoholic wine-taster

In an alcohol factory the regular taster died and the director started looking for a new one to hire.

A drunkard with ragged, dirty look came to apply for the position.

The director of the factory wondered how to send him away.

They tested him.

They gave him a glass with a drink. He tried it and said,
"It’s red wine, a muscat, three years old, grown on a north slope, matured in steel containers."
"That’s correct", said the boss.

Another glass.
"It’s red wine , cabernet, eight years old, a southwestern slope, oak barrels."

The director was astonished.
He winked at his secretary to suggest something.

She brought in a glass of urine. The alcoholic tried it.

"It’s a blonde, 26 years old, pregnant in the third month.
And if you don’t give me the job, I’ll tell who’s the father!"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Patience while claymating

It's the 9th day of claymation. Pressure from all sides. Backlog, jury, 2D project, portfolio, lack of assistance or support from faculty, and to top it all, lack of time to have a second go and a test that went wrong. It's not like I'm losing interest.. More like I'm losing patience. I dunno if I would really like to animate in claymation. But that's with everything I do. I don't like animating something unless it comes right. 2D seems SO much easier now that I've done claymation I realise I can undo in animation. I can trace the previous frame, hold it, change the lighting, sharpen a line, it's all so much easier. Phew. Claymation ki jai ho! Vaibhav, I bow down to your talents. Have no idea how claymation studios - esp. studios like Aardman do it. They must be really patient people. The camera man is boring, but you have to pay good attention to the minute details - cracks in the clay, armatures being seen, shadows cast or moved. Overall the team has to be strong, and put everything else aside and put the shoot at top priority. There are no undos here. No shortcuts, and no Ctrl Z. That's why it's so hard.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

An a-sexist society

I have always wondered why I've never come across any great disney female animators on their movie's credits. It always pissed me off that we, women, never made it up there. I had to find out why. After doing

some research and finding some treasure too, I found out that disney didn't even take women in their learning programs. When female animators asked why, disney didn't answer, but said instead, that women were

to do only the manual work (told to be done on a daily basis) of inking and cell-painting. Okay, those times were different, women weren't given previliges, blah blah. What about now? After more digging I

realized men have a goal and they run for it. For fame, for money, or to feed their families. Women, on the other hand, have goals, have dreams, and run for them - until their man provides them with kids, which

they solely take responsibility for over their professions. And why is this? Because they are lazy? Because they lack creativity or intelligence? No. They're expected to 'compromise'.

It wasn't until some serious thinking that I finally came up with this conclusion.. We still live in a male dominated society; and the worst part is, this doesn't just apply to the lower classes of women (who are quite

helpless with no education and no physical strength to work or defend themselves), but even in the small mindsets of the middle class communities. For some weird reason I've started to notice this fact more than

I would, normally. Maybe it's my ego (yes, incase you didn't know, women do have egos), or maybe it's actually getting worse.

As noticed, for the common man of today, masculinity is all about having muscles, women (for entertainment purposes and to take care of the children they bear them with), and a bunch of porn movies.

Sometimes, there is also a competitive strive to make more money and be more intelligent than another man. Of-course, I'm not talking about ALL the men in this country. I have met some extraordinary (not

really, but I would label them so because they're better than the rest) guys who don't give a damn about the common MAN's opinions on masculinity.

How many men actually read a novel after knowing the author is a woman? (forget a novel, I doubt men will even read this article unless it's got something about sex.) I actually overheard someone in crossword

once, saying "Oh, it's a female - must be a cheesy lovestory eventually." Some of my male friends find it stupid if another male friend cries over a movie. They think that all movies that have blood, dirty sex, or

intelligent plots are made for men, and the romantics are made for women. Cheesy lovestories are not for men, and violence is not for women. Why do we say son of a bitch? Is it only the woman who can be a

slut? Is it only a woman who makes babies? Today even cooking is a crime for a guy. Wow. It's disgusting. I find these men truly insecure about their social status, or so concious of what people think of them that

they would do anything to fit in the criterias - including making some of their own. I even saw this publication the other day - a series of biographies of great personalities. There were some 10 lists - leaders,

freedom fighters, philosophers, inventors, artists, etc. Among these 10 lists full of names of great men, there was only one seperate list for women. I don't want to go into the details of how capable we were in

history, or even present times, but I know nobody will know about us, because we wouldn't bother running after fame much. Let me be clear once again, I'm not attacking the male population. There are some

great men out there waiting to make a difference, but I'm talking about the majority of men. There're a bunch of bimbos on the womens side too to negate everything I've been talking about. (No doubt about that

- a lot of women around me worry about what they're wearing instead of what task they would want to do by the end of the day.)

Conclusion: Nothing more. This is the state of things and if any change is desired then there's not much women can do. It's still upto the men. After reading this, people might consider me a feminist. I probably

am, but I'm probably just one of those people who dreams of a a-sexist society.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How to identify different indians!


Scenario 1

Two guys are fighting and a third guy comes along, sees them and walks on.



Scenario 2

Two guys are fighting.
Both of them take time out and call their friends on their mobiles. Now 50 guys are fighting.

You are definitely in PUNJAB !!!


Scenario 3

Two guys are fighting and a third guy comes along and tries to make peace. The first two get together and beat him up.

That's DELHI


Scenario 4

Two guys are fighting. A crowd gathers to watch. A guy comes along and quietly opens a Chai-stall.



Scenario 5

Two guys are fighting and a third guy comes. He writes a software program to stop
the fight. But the fight doesn't stop because of a virus in the program.



Scenario 6

Two guys are fighting. A crowd gathers to watch. A guy comes along and quietly says that "AMMA" doesn't like all this nonsense. Peace settles in...



Scenario 7

Two guys are fighting and a third guy comes along, then a fourth and they start arguing about who's right.

You are in KOLKATA


Scenario 8

Two guys are fighting.
Third guy comes from nearby house and says, "don't fight in front of my place, go zumwhere yelse and kyeep fighting".

That's KERALA !


and the best one is ....

Scenario 9

Two guys are fighting. Third guy comes along with a carton of beer. All sit together drinking beer and abusing each other and then go home as friends.

You are in GOA !!!


The Indian student

Even I salute this internet joke.

It was the first day of a school in USA and a new Indian student named Chandrasekhar Subramanian entered the fourth grade.

The teacher said, "Let's begin by reviewing some American History. Who said 'Give me Liberty , or give me Death'?"

She saw a sea of blank faces, except for Chandrasekhar, who had his hand up:?'Patrick Henry, 1775'he said.

'Very good! Who said 'Government of the People, by the People, for the People, shall not perish from the Earth?''

Again, no response except from Chandrasekhar. 'Abraham Lincoln, 1863' said Chandrasekhar.

The teacher snapped at the class, 'Class, you should be ashamed. Chandrasekhar, who is new to our country, knows more about our history than you do.'

She heard a loud whisper: 'F___ the Indians,'
'Who said that?' she demanded. Chandrasekhar put his hand up. 'General Custer, 1862.'

At that point, a student in the back said, 'I'm gonna puke.'
The teacher glares around and asks 'All right! Now, who said that?' Again, Chandrasekhar says, 'George Bush to the Japanese Prime Minister, 1991.'

Now furious, another student yells, 'Oh yeah? Suck this!'

Chandrasekhar jumps out of his chair waving his hand and shouts to the teacher, 'Bill Clinton, to Monica Lewinsky,1997'

Now with almost mob hysteria someone said 'You little shit. If you say anything else, I'll kill you.' Chandrasekhar frantically yells at the top of his voice, 'Michael Jackson to the child witnesses testifying against him, 2004.'

The teacher fainted. And as the class gathered around the teacher on the floor, someone said, 'Oh shit, we're screwed!' And Chandrasekhar said quietly, 'I think it was Lehmann Brothers, November 4th, 2008'.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ride on

Step off the curb and jump on the bike
Are we going for a ride or going for a hike?
The breeze is good, and the sun is warm
Let us embrace till the winter comes.

My 20 year old vehicle, needs a kick start
Jump on the seat, I'm up for a ride.
Here we go,
the cows block the road,
a car honks from behind my back,
I ride on,
I ride on, I ride on.

Flicks of hair brush my face, the wind blows
a hurricane of particles in my eyes,
it blocks my sight, but I ride on.
He paints his walls and measures how tall
the plants grew in that old goan backyard

Touristswalk in semi-nude fabrics,
I swallow in a visually colourful sighting
of bags and shorts hanging on racks
Non-localites selling stacks.
I ride on, this summer is sweet.

I halt, she talks to me in local tongue
Talkative me, I suddenly see.
Did I miss the Konkani,
Did English serve sufficiantly?

I sing this song, I'm on the bike
The vehicle rattles on potholes deep
The greedy greedy government's greed,
But I ride on, ride on, I ride on.

Smiles, smile to me.
Windows open pleasantly,
I turn back now, I hope to see
All the memories flash back to me.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Home Sweet Home

So many questions left unanswered. What is Italy’s drainage system like? And how come they hardly have any street dogs?
It was pouring outside. India decided to welcome me with the thing I liked most about it, the thing that was void in most other countries – monsoons. The fresh smell of wet mud and moist humid breeze; a dark gray cloudy sky and droplets of rain on my face, nothing could beat it.

I smiled at the airhostess as she said ‘thank-you’. It would be nice to receive a smile from a perfect stranger, a genuine one. I always thought air hostesses had one of the most boring dull lives one could ever have. I was home, I had lots of plans, and one focus. I knew where I had to reach.

I stuck my head outside the window as we got into my car. My old dusty car seemed a hundred times better than that sick grimy vomit inducing Fiat Panda that we rented in Italy. Old cars smelled (ANY DAY) better than new ones. The wind almost pushed me back into the car, and I could almost stick my tongue out like a dog. It was awesome. Nothing feels better than home when you’ve been away for very long. Thoughts cluttered my head of the millions of choices I had when I’d get home. Delicious home food, meeting relatives, meeting friends, photography, gesture drawing at the marketplace, hitting the beach, eating bhel, but more than anything at that moment my body was crying for rest. So I decided to hit the bed before anything else, allowing myself to forget how filthy I was.
*Sigh* I have a good life.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Waiting for people

15th June 2010

Another thing that I completely despise, is waiting for somebody for many minutes (Yes, I do get turned off by multiple things). Waiting for someone to put on their lipstick, or switch off the lights, or lock the doors before leaving, and especially look around to check if everything in the house looks kept; and the award for the most to-be-waited-for-person goes to...............MOM. To top it all she suffers from psycho-disorders like ADD and OCD. She keeps fidgeting around at everything and has to straighten a slightly tilted painting on the wall, even if it’s not her house. And all of this comes to her head when I am WAITING.....
Chi, I don’t know how you do it, every single morning. For all those awesome friends who waited for me, for even more than less than 6 minutes, I am extremely sorry for such pathetic behaviour, and I vow not to do it to you, again. :(

Motion-sickness for the lady

14th June 2010

We spent all morning driving 50 km and back. That’s a 100 km; just to see a lake, called the Bry lake (no I won’t forget the name of this one); and why? Because, it’s the second among the only two things a tourist can do here!!
I HATE cars. I HATE the smell of them, especially a new one! They smell like dusty fake material and diesel and heat and all of that put together it smells worse than lizard shit; and mind you! I have smelled lizard shit. Accidently, while it was dropped all over my layout sheets in class while I was cleaning one day. I was stuck there in the backseat sleeping, trying to drive my sickness away, and the roads were twisted, and so was I, in that horrible backseat. I could feel excess of bile juice being secreted by my liver and all little bits of egg I’d had in the morning was about to be thrown up from my oesophagus. Ugh.

You know what is the worst thing when you’ve got motion sickness? Vomit. Mr. Vomit wants to come out of you and it just doesn’t, leaving you nauseous and puky. I was being rolled and pushed around in the backseat, and I was letting myself being rolled and pushed, because I had no energy in me to stay in one place. And worst of it ALL, were those SICK flesh-digging red-bruising things – those seat belt thingies, that pressed into my skin so that those 100km seemed like 500km. I HATE cars. Did I mention that? I HATE long-distance drives, and this is exactly WHY.

Magic Recipe

15th June 2010

Everyone seems to have this special thing; this magic recipe for any kind of mood swing, grumpiness, depression or stress. Music, silence, talking with friends, cooking, getting a massage, cleaning, or going for an awesome bike-ride (Tanu, I think this will work for every bike rider, not just yourself).

But honestly, the day the earth is gonna be submerged in water, and earthquakes would kill us all, I’m going to spend my last few moments eating and feeding others ice-cream. All the delicious flavours of the most cold refreshing creamy bit of ice-cream. You can never have enough of ice-cream; especially Gelato, here in Italy. It is the most wonderful sweet sour tangy creamy thing you can ever have. To those who’ve never had a real Gelato – you’ve really missed something.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Zoos - questioning my ethics

It is something I've been wondering about. This selfish purpose of providing entertainment to humans(and very rarely education or purposeful study) at the cost of the freedom of another living organism is not justified. Isn't there anything we can do about it? Here's a small write-up by Eric Steinman.

For more, read this.


The Los Angeles Zoo, while well regarded and an exemplary urban zoo at that, has a dark history (as most long-standing zoos do) that lurks barely under the surface. A mile or so down the road from the existing Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park, are the remnants of the first Los Angeles Zoo built in 1913. Without much effort, you could visit these archeological ruins (as that is what they resemble) and gather an idea of how cramped, unnatural, and inhumane the captivity was for these animals. These were not enclosures, or pseudo-natural environments, but cages carved into the rock, and no larger than a small trailer. These were the places where captive lions, gorillas, and bears were relegated to live out their strange existence under the watchful eye of the throngs of zoo goers that flooded the zoo each day.

As I said, The Los Angeles Zoo of today is a much different, more enlightened animal (forgive the pun) than its old shadow self, but still the issues around keeping captive populations of animals in non-native, unnatural environments remain. Many argue that the act of maintaining a responsible zoo is helping to preserve diversity as well as protect endangered animal populations that would otherwise dwindle or perish in the wild. Still, as any parent knows, bringing a child to the zoo is both a thrilling experience, as well as an experience that is fraught with many thorny ethical issues concerning the very existence of zoos.

Basically, zoos are more or less fantastic entertainment for visitors with an underlying educational component for those willing to do the work. The more reputable zoos out there provide rigorous programming to enlighten visitors (young and old) about the nature and existence of the animals on display, as well as teach about conservation. And without a doubt, children love, love, love zoos. But still, as I have always regarded them, they are seemingly necessary evils of human civilization.

To witness the marvel of the animal kingdom (in the comfort of our own cities and towns) we are required to remove these animals from their natural environment, remove them from the vitality and volatility of the wild, and place them in controlled manmade environments to live out the remainder of their existence as living gene bags. OK, this is a little harsh, but anyone who has really observed a wild animal in captivity could plainly see they are lacking that joie de vivre that has been unwittingly traded for safety from predators, free medical care, and a steady diet of grub.

That said, the very best zoos out there are true civic resources as well as exceedingly valuable public spaces. Zoo directors have been credited with creating more naturalistic enclosures and designs to keep animals active, as well as more comfortable. However, I know I am not alone in feeling that ethical conflict, when trotting my toddler from one artificial savannah to a simulated rain forest, that we, as patrons, are both entertained as well as implicated.

How do we present this thorny issue to our children without ruining the fun? Does the mere act of having a sort of cursory contact with these animals bolster our humanity and make us more aware and sympathetic to there cause? Can zoos, no matter how enlightened and progressive, ever escape the limitations of their construct?

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, N.Y. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon App├ętit among other publications.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

As designers

He said he needed to discuss something with us animators. We hadn't called him, even though we should have. I don't know what stopped us. Maybe we were just lazy, but had he not come to us today, we would have really missed out on something.

I'm talking about Prasanjeet Sir. It's embarrassing that after seeing him around so much as a visiting faculty, and admiring him so much that I almost worship his ideals, I still don't know his last name. I don't know where he's from, and I hardly know what kind of animator he really is. All I know, is that whatever he does, must sure be awesome. I am gonna get a huge list of all his work and the wonderful people he's worked with, and watch everything I can like it's eye-candy.

He told us to enjoy life. He told us to change what we disapproved of. We did disapprove of a lot of things, but nothing ever happened about them. This institute had only one thing missing. Spirit.

I'm going to share a story with you.
This man notices a lot of things, like some of us. He notices that the product designers in this college have an entire course on recycling. He notices that we use 500 cups a day in the canteen. That's an extremely large sheet of plastic. Yet there's nobody who's given it another thought.
I disagreed. I knew there were loads of people who've thought about it. But thoughts don't generate change, do they? Actions do. As designers we have countless means of communicating or making change happen no matter what kind of design we're pursuing.
I'm not going to get into all of that. Once a while it feels good to be pumped with adrenaline to do something.

All I want, is us to ask ourselves, whether we're worthy of being designers.
Luckily it is a field where we exhaust our abilities and apply what we learn to overcome problems, big or small. Be stubborn to get what you want. The world is waiting.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Me: So we're going to Emeralds right?

Ap: ?? Am I loud?

The Mental Convict

23rd Dec 09

The Mental Convict

So there I was, next to Azaad maidan, with Supro. We were experimenting on my cam. It was a sunny evening, and I was telling her of the aperture value, when suddenly, out of nowhere comes this man!

He had short cropped hair – looked like he got an electrical shock. (Maybe he did land up in a rehab after all, right Supri?) Anyway.
Here I was, taking the pic, and “Are you a professional photographer?” Supri thought he was here to ask the price of the cam, which was his next question.
“No, actually, I’m just trying to learn my new cam.” I said, confused.
“Oh! It must be expensive. How much is it?” he asked. “I’m a dentist you see! I practiced it in Panjim, but now I’m doing cosmetic surgery, in Nainital. I’m studying in Panchgani also. Dentistry is like an art you see,” he said, flapping his hand over an invisible canvas that might’ve been someone’s teeth. Supri imagined him painting teeth with a flat brush.
He continued, “Do you study here? Are you a lawyer?”
“Um, no, I’m studying Design.” I said.
“Where? Fine-art College over here?”
“No, Pune, actually. I stay here.”
“Oh! My full family consists of doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, dentists and all. But I like photography! I like painting also!” said he, excited. Supri and I exchanged the ‘he’s nuts’ look. She wondered if he’d ever stop talking.

“Do you know I’m related to Mario Miranda – the cartoonist? He’s my cousin! I know his whole family.”
Supri must’ve really lost hope in him now. She didn’t believe a word of what he said, and was considering reporting him. I, on the hand believed every word.
“Really? Wow.” I said. “I know Pablo, his nephew. His nephew, right Supri?”
Supri nodded – “He met with an accident a few years ago.”
“Lucious’ son right? Was Pablo his first wife’s son, or his second wife’s son? Oh yeah, Pablo no his name is? He was so small! Must’ve become big now no? And? Whose daughter are you?”
Before I could open my mouth to answer, he turned to Supro.
“And you look just like your mother!” he exclaimed.
I was beginning to doubt his sanity now. Supri looked taken aback.
“My mother?” she whispered. “She works in a bank..”
“Yeah! A bank! Or your father, one of the two. My father started the first bank here.”
He mentioned the name of the bank. “He was the first catholic amongst the Brahmins. I know Portuguese, I’m Portuguese. That’s why I don’t know English so well.”
His English seemed fine to us.
“I’m coming to Goa after 10 years. I did 33 years of dentistry you know.” he said.
“Oh, why did you come?” asked Supri.
“Actually I divorced my first wife. I married my first love then. She died in a car-accident...”
“Oh I’m so sorry…” said Supro, apologetically. She was wearing her mournful puppy-face, the one I always fell for. But the ‘man’ just brushed away her condolences (according to her) and rattled on about his other relationships.
“Then I married my first girlfriend. I used to play myujeek you know,” he gestured, now wagging his hand over the strings of an invisible guitar, and bobbing his head to a make-believe tune.
Supri chucked. Her image of him was confirmed. She was sure he was an escaped mental convict from the lunatic asylum.
He continued, “I learned from the Academy of Myujeek you know? And Kala Academy.”
“Isn’t that in Altinho now?” I asked.
“What, Kala Academy?”
“No, the music Academy.”
He mumbled something to cover up his ignorance about the issue, and rambled on. “My wife and kids are out to kill me -” he said incoherently, slitting his hand over his throat.
Supri and I exchanged another one of those looks. Now it was getting freaky. Supri thought she was talking to some sort of murderer.
“I treated Pablo’s dad – Lucious you know! And his first wife, and his second wife. You know Souza towers? My family and I own that place. Those stupid Brahmins!”
Supri and I felt ourselves turning red and giving the ‘pissed Dory’ glances. He didn’t seem to notice.
“They intermarried into our family. The niece married the uncle twice.”
Twice? Supri thought. I didn’t know why she was using her brains with this guy. It was futile.
“The first generation always die. Some genetic disorder.”
Okay, so now he was a religious racist.
“They all die. Some genetic mutation happens and the always die. The second generation survives.”
’But, without the first generation, how would there be a second?’ thought Supri. Again, she was unnecessarily using her brains.
“They settled in London, America and all. Half my family is there.”
He seemed to be coming to some sort of conclusion, because he turned to walk back but turned back to finish off.
“How much is the camera?” he asked, randomly.
Supri’s mind was processing his family tree, but her brain activity came to an abrupt stop.
“Um, it’s 35 grand, I think.” I said, confused.
“Oh.” he said, and left.
“It was nice meeting you,” my voice was fading.
Supri and I turned, and burst out laughing. We even turned around to see if he was stalking us.
Funny man.