By Fr Mervin Noronha SVD
Pics by George and Anaida
Bellevision Media Network

Nairobi, Kenya, 21 Jun 2012: June 17, 2012 will go down as a memorable day in the history of the small but vibrant Konkani Catholic community living in Nairobi.

The joyful tears and great piety on the faces of everyone gathered around the grotto was its testimony as the magnificent statue of Mother Mary, made at Simon & Co Mangalore, was unveiled at the shrine of Our Lady of Consolata, Nairobi. The 3000-plus congregation that gathered round the grotto burst into singing, dancing and ululation as the 9-foot-tall statue stood before their eyes with amazing grandeur.

When the Mangalorean and Karwar Catholic community floated the idea to donate a statue of our Lady Consolata to the newly proposed prayer garden and grotto, various options were discussed in sourcing the statue, prominent being Italy, Kenya and India.

But when the costs were compared, India became the obvious choice. Moreover, the members felt that it would help them to relate to the Mother more closely and inspire the future generations if the statue came from their motherland.

Basil Serrao, a Mangalorean entrepreneur and vice chairman of the Consolata parish council, followed up with the idea of getting the statue from Mangalore. It was available at half the cost of the Italian quotation and without compromising on quality. Meanwhile the Konkani Catholics took the lead to raise the entire sum and get the statue to Nairobi.

A dream come true, the statue is now standing tall, radiating beauty, grandeur and protection to all who visit the place and it is a great tribute to the tremendous love and devotion the Mangaloreans have for their heavenly Mother.

Mother Mary has already shown her miraculous power along her long and tedious journey from Mangalore to Nairobi. The first was the immediate clearance of the huge consignment by the customs authorities in Bangalore without any hassle.

In the context of increasing cases of smuggling out antiques of value in the name of religious articles, the Indian government of late is very strict on export shipments. But Mother’s statue was cleared without much scrutiny. Secondly, the company that did the packaging and forwarding condoned the entire cost of the job. Thirdly the customs in Nairobi let the statue in without any hitch and at a good discount.

Mangalorean women faithful who stood at the feet of the statue could not take their gaze away from her face and one could see even tears of joy welling up in many eyes. It was a vivid testimony of the deep love the faithful have for the Mother and a sense of deep satisfaction at the initiative they took as a community to give expression to their faith in concrete action.

As Michael, one of the members said, ‘The Mother is very dear to all of us and the hymns we sing in her honour nourish our faith.’ Spreading the devotion to Mary, the divine mother, is one way of making the community’s presence felt among the local people. And June 17 has done just that.

Bombay has no bombs and is a harbour, not a bay. Churchgate has neither a church nor a gate,
It is a railway station.
There is no darkness in Andheri.
Lalbaag is neither red nor a garden.
No king ever stayed at Kings Circle.
Nor did Queen Victoria stay at Victoria Terminus.
Nor is there any princess at Princess Street.
Lower Parel is at the same level as Parel.
There are no marines or sailors at Marine Lines.
The Mahalaxmi temple is at Haji Ali, not at Mahalaxmi.
There are no pigs traded at Dukkar bazaar.
Teen bati is a junction of 3 roads, not three lamps.
Trams used to terminate at Kings circle, not Dadar* Tram Terminus (Dadar T.T.).
Breach Candy is not a sweetmeat market, but there is a hospital.
Safed Pool has the dirtiest and blackest water.
You cannot buy coal at Kolsa street.
There are no Iron smiths at Lohar chawl.
There are no pot makers at Kumbhar wada.
Lokhandwala complex is not an Iron and steel market.
Null bazaar does not sell taps.
You will not find ladyfingers at Bheendi Bazaar.
Kalachowki does not have a black Police station.
Hanging Gardens are not suspended.
Mirchi Gully does not sell chillies.
Figs do not grow in Anjir Wadi.
Sitafals do not grow in Sitafal Wadi.
Jackfruits do not grow at Fanaswadi.
But it is true that you may get fleeced at Chor Bazaar!

A City where everything is possible, especially the impossible .


Where telephone bills make a person ill.
Where a person cannot sleep without a pill.
Where carbon-dioxide is more than oxygen.
Where the road is considered to be a dustbin.
Where college canteens are full and classes empty.
Where Adam teasing is also making an entry.
Where a cycle reaches faster than a car.
Where everyone thinks himself to be a star.
Where sky scrapers overlook the slum.
Where houses collapse as the monsoon comes.
Where people first act and then think.Where there is more water in the pen than ink. Where the roads see-saw in monsoon.
Where the beggars become rich soon.
Where the roads are leveled.
When the minister arrives.
Where college admission means hard cash.
Where cement is frequently mixed with ash.
This is Mumbai my dear.
But don’t fear.
Just cheer.
Come to Mumbai every year!

1. You say ‘town ‘ and expect everyone to know that this means south of Churchgate.

2. You speak in a dialect of Hindi called ‘Bambaiya Hindi’ which only Bombayites understand.

3. Your door has more than three locks.

4. Rs. 500 worth of groceries fit in one paper bag.

5. Train timings (9.27, 10.49, etc.) are really important events of life.

6. You spend more time each month traveling, than you spend at home.

7. You call an 8′ x 10′ clustered room a Hall.

8. You’re paying Rs 10,000 for a one room flat,
the size of walk-in closet, and you think it’s a ‘steal.’

9. You have the following sets of friend: school friends, college friends, neighborhood friends, office friends and yes, train friends, a species unique only to Bombay. (REALLY TRUE)

10. Cabbies and bus conductors think you are from Mars,
if you call the roads by their Indian name.
They are more familiar with Warden Road, Peddar Ã. Road, Altamount Road.

11. Stock market quotes are the only other thing* besides cricket which you follow passionately.

12. The first thing that you read in the Times of India is the ‘Bombay Times’ supplement.

13. You take fashion seriously. You’re suspicious of strangers, who are actually nice to you.

14. Beggars and the homeless are invisible.

15. You compare Bombay to New York’s Manhattan instead of any other cities of India.

16. The most frequently used part of your car is the horn.

17. You insist on calling CST as VT,
and Sahar and Santacruz airports instead of
Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

18. You consider eye contact an act of overt aggression.

19. Your idea of personal space is
no one actually standing on your toes.

20. Being truly alone makes you nervous.

21. You love wading through knee deep mucky water
in the monsoons, and actually call it ”romantic”.

22. Only in Bombay, would you get Chinese Dosa and Jain Chicken.

Salaam Bombay

by: Linda Parri
From: The Sunday Times
June 23, 2012 6:00PM

LESS than a month before Lloyd Rayney is due to stand trial on charges of wilful murder of his wife, the barrister has raised eyebrows at a Northbridge pub.

According to witnesses, Mr Rayney looked as if he hadn’t a care in the world as he enjoyed drinks with two young women at the Elephant and Wheelbarrow on Lake St last weekend.

Wearing a suit, he arrived alone by taxi at about 6.45 pm, with a Sunday session in full swing.

After 90 minutes, their gathering was cut short when one of the women, who was wearing a beanie, vomited under the table, just centimetres from Mr Rayney’s feet.

The trio made a casual exit, leaving staff to clean up the mess.

One woman lost her balance on steps outside, where she sat down to regain her composure.

“She looked like she was about to fall but then she grabbed the railing and sat down on the steps,” a witness said. Another witness said the group consumed wine.

“The girl that vomited had her head face down on the table for a while,” the witness said.

“Nobody knew she was actually throwing up until after she left and they found the mess.

“Most people in the pub were too busy pointing and saying ‘That’s Lloyd Rayney’ under their breath to notice what she was doing.”

Mr Rayney’s lawyer Laura Timpano, told The Sunday Times her client had gone to the pub to “wind down” after working all Saturday and Sunday.

She said he had been due to meet his barrister and other legal staff there, but the barrister had to cancel. She said one of the staff and a friend did go.

She said the staff member had suffered a reaction to medication after having surgery a few days earlier.

“She was sick because of the medication, not because of booze,” Ms Timpano said. “She’s now on a different medication.

“Mr Rayney wasn’t there for very long and only consumed one light beer.”

Mr Rayney was arrested in 2010 for the murder of Corryn Rayney in August 2007, after her body was found in a shallow grave in Kings Park. His trial starts on July 16.

The Navind Times
Published on: June 24, 2012 – 02:12

By Lida João

The church of São João Baptista founded by the Jesuits in Colva in 1581 was transferred to Monte hill of Benaulim in 1596. Soon after, in 1596, a church was built in the ward and was called ‘Povoaçao’.
Another church founded in 1539, is situated at Carambolim in Tiswadi taluka. And a church built in 1658 exists in Pilerne, Bardez. The Saviour of the World Church at Salvador do Mundo founded in 1565 in Serula, the largest village in Bardez, comprising of three parishes Salvador de Mundo, Penha do Franca and Succorro and the St Anthony’s church in Siolim celebrate the feast of São João with the traditional sangod.
The uniqueness of this festival is that the youth wear the kopel made of the São João vale on their heads and go from door to door singing by banging the piddes in front of the houses in the compound ‘San Juanv, San Juanv Ghunvta Mure’. The traditional Goan sweets like patoleo, sannas are served and so are traditional Goan dishes.
The celebration of St John’s Eve or Midsummer’s Eve was, from ancient times, a festival of the summer solstice. It is celebrated in the night from the June 23 to June 24, and on June 24. Traditions include singing songs and dancing until the sun sets, telling tales, searching for the magic fern that blossom at midnight, jumping over bonfires, greeting the rising midsummer sun and washing the face with morning dew. Young girls float flower wreaths and collect several species of medicinal plants that they arrange in a bunch and hang over doorways or dip in a vessel with water. These are exposed to the night’s dew with which they cleanse their faces. Tradition holds it that the medicinal plants mentioned above are most effective when dipped in water and collected from seven different springs. Women who wanted to be fertile had to bathe in the sea until they were washed by nine waves.
On St John’s Eve, boys usually collect bones and other rubbish and burn them. The fires, it is believed, is to drive away dragons from poisoning springs and wells. The best-known midsummer ritual is the lighting of the bonfire and jumping over it. When it is relatively safe to jump over the bonfire, it is done three times for good luck at the cry of ‘witches off’! This is seen as a way of guaranteeing prosperity and avoiding bad luck. Avoidance of lighting of fire invites the destruction of your house by fire. The fire also frightens away mischievous spirits thus ensuring a good harvest. Bigger the fire, the more the mischievous spirits stay away.
Rural life is celebrated through typical clothing, food, and dance. Square dancing/ quadrilha features couple formations in a mock wedding where the bride and groom are the central attraction of the dancing. A wheel is also rolled downhill to signify that the sun then rises to the highest point of its circle and at once turns back.
In folk magic, midsummer’s night was a very potent night for many small rituals, mostly for young maidens seeking suitors. An old Swedish tradition says that unmarried girls should, before bedtime, on midsummer’s eve pick seven kinds of flowers and jump over seven round pole fences and then sleep with the flowers under the pillow. During the night they will dream about the boys they will get married to. It is a tradition too for people to become godfathers and blood brothers on this day, as St John is a symbol of character and rectitude.
This is a festive day, when people eat Caldo Verde (cabbage and potato soup), Sardinha Assada (grilled sardines), bread and drink red wine and água-pé (grape juice with a small percentage of alcohol) and revel. This festival stresses on the importance of medicinal plants, especially in relation to health, youth and beauty; the protective character of fire to ward men off evil spirits and witches and, finally, the purifying and miraculous effects of water.