We shall overcome
Beyond T-shirts, celebrating real-life heroes
By Cecil Pinto
My friend Michael D'Costa continues showing me around his T-shirt
printing unit. We move from the warehouse section to the Chintop
Department where the creative ideas are generated, and designs drawn
up using sophisticated graphic software.
"After the Moira T-shirts became so popular we decided to have village
and town specific images and slogans. I have hired Alister Miranda and
Joel D'Souza to generate these. Let's see what we have here. 'In
Aldona they do it with chillies!' Hmmm. Rather risqué, Alister. Retain
the chillies but tone it down. What's this? 'Tuzoch Tambdo!' with a
fat chilly in the background. Well done Joel! Try 'Tuzoch Moto' also!
And speed up that foxy series for Saligao. Try and integrate some
watermelon graphics so we can sell it to the Parra people too. 'Thank
God it's Sunkrar!' for Mapusa. Nice! Put a cup measure holding some
baked grams in the background."
"Here's Anil Rodrigues, a man of many talents whose forte is bilingual
wordplay. What do you have for us Anil? 'Paicho Fath!' Brilliant!
Reduce the font size to very small and promote it to be worn under a
suit jacket. Aha! 'Akhano voir!' Cool! And that thumbs up graphic is
just the trick. Use a red, blue and white combination."
"Tell me Michael, how come you have ignored some major artistes in
your entertainment section?"
"Well Remo and Lorna for example."
"Remo has his own line of branded T-shirts so we decided it would not
be ethical on our part. As for Lorna we have an entire section devoted
to her. Check this out. 'Bebdo', 'Pisso', 'Heaven in Your Eyes?', 'Why
you making fuss?"
"Sorg Tujea Dolleanim and Kiteak Kortai Nokre!"
"Hold on Micheal. Kiteak Kortai Nokre was in the film Bhuyarantlo
Munis and definitely not sung by Lorna!"
"Oops! Anyway Cecil, we've also started this T-Ornato section
celebrating the new generation of Goans who are working for heritage
and environment with a passion. Look here we have Prajal Sakhardande,
Jason Fernandes, Clinton Vaz, Praveen Sabnis, Nirmal Kulkarni, Jolene
"Well done Michael. These young people will keep the Goan flag flying high."
"Well Goa doesn't have a flag but we do have these series of T-shirts
with the Goa State Animal, the gaur, and the State Bird, the ruby
throated yellow bulbul. Unfortunately most Goans don't know that the
State Tree is the asna, or terminalia elliptica, and so T-shirts with
coconut trees are more popular."
"Here's where we experiment with basic background colours and patterns
for our T-shirts. We tried the classic kashti checks in red and white.
Total flop. As was this striped brown material we named 'bebinca'.
This yellow and black celebrating Goa's unique motorcycle pilots sells
well, as does the indigo blue associated with whitewash borders. Goan
red mud is also popular as a background colour. Surprisingly when we
printed 'Tambdi Matti' on them they did not sell. Wonder why?"
"Micheal, I'm Louvta Jomnir Hasun."
"I'm Rolling on the Floor with Laughter. But let it be…"
"This commercial section translates popular slogans of famous brands.
Fortunato Pinto from Aldona heads this section. For example here we
have the swoosh logo and 'Beshtemch kor!'"
"Ok - Just do it! Let me see how many more I can identify. It's too
easy with the logo. Just read out each slogan to me."
"Dubav koslo naka, Haig zai mhaka"
"Don't be vague, ask for Haig?"
"The mint with the hole?"
"Borench pois ailaim, Bai!"
"You've Come a Long Way, Baby?"
"Shezariachem dukh, dhonyachem sukh'
"Neighbour's envy, owner's pride?"
"Aiz khuim vochia?"
"No I can't get that."
"Where do you want to go today? It's Microsoft's slogan."
"Oh! The old one."
"This piece here is targeted at the non-Goan settled in Goa who can
laugh at himself. It has 'Voilo' and 'Sokoilo' printed with one arrow
pointing up and another pointing down. Then here we have 'Fuloi!
Fuloi!', 'Sheboy!' etc. Just generic exclamations and..."
"Hold on Micheal. My phone is ringing. It's my wife, Beatrice. Hello?
Yes darling. Here, in Moira. Michael's showing me his T-shirt designs.
What am I doing regarding the attack on Aires and Prajal? What you
want me to do? We went for the candle light vigil in Taleigao no?
Isn't that enough? Sure! I will go for any meetings and morchas that
are organised. What more can I do? But? What you mean I'm not a man?
Sure I agree that Prajal and Aires are very brave men. Darpok? Did you
just call me a darpok? You watch it Bitu! Enough is enough. So? What
you want me to do? Make a noise? How? Ok! Ok! I will send out SMS
when I get home, and e-mails too. Now what? Write about it in my
column? Tell people to come at 4 p.m. at Azad Maidan for the 'We
Shall Overcome!' rally organised by concerned NGOs on 16th. Ok! I will
do just that. What? Show Aires and Prajal they are not alone. Sure!
Their pain was not in vain? Sure! They have our support? Sure! We are
not afraid. Sure! Anything else? Bring friends? Sure! Families?
Children? Are you sure Beatrice? Sure we will take our children, but
some people might not want to. Heroes? Sure Aires and Prajal are true
heroes. So? Mmmm? Yes, you have a point. True. Yes! We have to show
our children that we celebrate our heroes. That we stand by our
heroes. Yes indeed. Our children should know who are heroes, and who
are the cowards, and who are the crooks. Sure! What? Tell Michael to
what? Hold on I will ask him. Michael…"
"Hold on Cecil, I'm on the phone with my wife. Yes.Yes, dear. I
understand. What?! You want me to close my workshop half-day and tell
my employees to go to Panjim today for the rally? Are you out of your
mind sweetie? You know how much money I will lose in half a day's
production? Miser? Me? You are calling me a miser? Bamto? What? Take
the kids for the rally? Why on earth? Heroes? Sure, but they got
tuitions and music classes no? I know they won't die without one day
of tuitions and music but… Sure honey! Aha! Now that's a good
incentive. Oooohhh!! Yes, just the way I like it. Tonight? Oooh! I'm
excited already. Done! We're all going for the rally today! We shall
overcuuuuuuuuum! We shall overcuuuuuuuuuum!"
The column above appeared in Gomantak Times dated 16th October 2008