Well come to Aldona, Ingo!
By Cecil Pinto
On the night of Saturday, 19th November 2005, a top-secret meeting was held at a bar in Aldona. The select invitees were important local businessmen and functionaries from the Aldona Panchayat, Communidade, Institute and other local institutions. I was not invited. I am not that important. This meeting had been called to broker a peaceful settlement between the warring factions - all of whom had invited Ingo to run his Saturday Market in Aldona. Fortunately one of my friends had his ear to the ground. He was sleeping comatose in the next room, having imbibed a bit too much in the afternoon. The voice-record button on his mobile was on. These are some of the snippets I was able to decipher.
"The Corjuem Fort? How can you have a Market there? It's much too far away."
"But they can see our wonderful cable-stayed bridge on their way".
"The Quitula Grounds are much more accessible."
"And we have uncultivated fields around that can be used for parking."
"I don't see what's wrong with the Tercena ground in front of the Aldona Institute. It's in the centre of the village. And there's a Sodium Vapour bulb."
"Yes. And a nice freshly painted Children's Park at the side."
"What did Ingo say?"
"Ingo preferred the Communidade land near the Health Centre. It's closer to the beach belt."
"And there's the Police Station nearby if there's any law and order problem."
"But the environmentalists might protest. Ingo will have to cut some trees."
"What trees? There's nothing but shrubs, weeds and rocks there!"
"But if he has the Market on the Communidade land then Nachinola and Olaulim villages will also benefit."
"So let them! As long as those mad Moidekars don't jump in. Their idea of traffic management involves just putting speedbreakers on main roads instead of feeder roads"
Let me interject at this point to explain a bit about how Aldona thinks.
Being an Aldonkar I am qualified to comment - even though they didn't invite me to the top secret meeting. We are open-minded and progressive. We Aldonkars don't detest the outsider. We welcome him with open arms. We go out of our way to make him comfortable. We don't care about the colour of his money, much less the colour of his skin. Meter for square meter more non-Aldonkars, non-Goans and foreigners have purchased land and property in Aldona than in any non-tourist village in Goa.
"How dare that columnist call the Pope a German Shepherd? He is indeed a shepherd to his flock and can't deny his nationality."
"He was referring to Ingo!"
"We can tell Ingo that he needn't worry about providing employment to locals."
"Yes. Ingo can bring in his own people. There is no employment problem in Aldona. And we don't want any stalls either. We don't want to sell stuff, we want to buy stuff. There are enough vacant shops in every new building in Aldona for our people wanting to sell. Plus there's the Friday Market at
Mapusa for our local vendors."
"And our tourist taxi operators are a peaceful lot and don't demand giraik like those South Goan taxi drivers. There is a time for work and a time for play."
Another interjection from me for you to make sense of these secretly recorded and deciphered transcripts. As further proof that Aldonkars so like the outsider, chew on this. Not once has the Aldona Constituency elected an MLA from Aldona. Always from outside the village. We not only welcome and celebrate the outsider, we elect him - or her!
"Tell Ingo we don't want any local entertainment either. We get enough of that from television."
"Most of the younger generation Aldonkars are moving to the West anyway.
They need lots of exposure to the Western culture."
"I heard there's lots of exposure at the Market."
"You're a voyeur and a pervert!"
"What's a voyeur?"
"What about drugs?"
"Well a tola of good Manali hash will cost you about nine hundred...."
"No! No! I mean I heard that drugs are sold at the market."
"You think Ingo has time to sell drugs? He has to go around seeing that the market is humming well. You think someone wanting to buy or sell drugs has to come to a Saturday Market? Get real. This is the age of home delivery!"
"What about alcohol? Can we ask Ingo to give Aldonkars some discount on drinks?"
"Who don't need discounts? Aldonkars are rich. We have six nationalised banks all overflowing with fixed deposits. We could even finance the market if Ingo needs some help."
"Besides he was successful in Arpora. Like Aldona that also starts and ends with an 'a'"
"What we need is to get some nightlife here in Aldona."
"What we need is to get a life. Period.
The humour column above appeared in Gomantak Times
on November 24th 2005.
Pictures added by www.goa-world.com from NET RESOURCES.