Monthly Archives: March 2011

Shigmo Saturday

Shigmo (Shigmotsav/Shimga) is often called the Goa’s version of Holi (Rang Panchami). The annual Shigmo parade held on Panaji’s 18th June Road is the culmination of Shigmo celebrations. The parade is a kaleidoscope of Goa’s Hindu roots through folk dances in resplendent traditional costumes and larger than life floats depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.

Shigmo Goa - the stage

There are three categories on display: fugdi, romtamel and tableaux

The procession is led by a series of such Kunbi dances (a folk dance performed by village tribal women, dressed up in colourful sarees).

Shigmo Goa - Fugdi

The Romtamel included various village groups clad in their festive colors, their pulsating drums and blowing flutes accompanied with multicolored cloths, torans, flags and column-like red spotted Dwajas

Shigmo Goa - RomtamelShigmo Goa - Romtamel

and this is the amazing goff (the ‘ribbon dance’, through co-ordinated dance moves the dancers intertwine numerous ribbons into a braid)

Shigmo Goa - Goff

These were interspersed with lots of individual fancy dress entrants…

Shigmo Goa - Individual entrantsShigmo Goa - Individual entrants

And finally came the sights that I was waiting for the whole evening… chitrarath… the shigmo floats!

It began with Laxmi bestowing blessings on everyone

Shigmo Goa - Laxmi

and a series of other floats depicting scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata

Shigmo Goa - The ExileShigmo GoaShigmo GoaShigmo GoaShigmo GoaShigmo GoaShigmo GoaShigmo GoaShigmo GoaShigmo Goa

The waking of Kumbakarana, complete with a two-truck long float and the evil laugh hehe hahaha (which left me in splits!) was a sure shot prize winner!

Shigmo Goa - Waking Kumbakarana

And three others that were strong contenders were:

Shigmo Goa - Heaven on a float

The heavenly abode

Shigmo Goa - Abduction of Sita

The Abduction of Sita (Sita Haran) with Rama in close pursuit

Shigmo Goa and The Dance of Shiva

Shigmo stands in stark contrast with the commercialisation of Carnival. It is truly a celebration of community, culture and creativity.

In a different light

Light has the power to facilitate activity. The power to rejuvenate.

Lights in Goa - Kala Academy Promenade

This is the theme of LIGHTS IN GOA, an International Architectural Lighting Workshop and seminar for “Activating public spaces”. This is a collaborative effort of the Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IID-Goa) and the Professional Lighting Designers’ Association (PLDA, Germany)

Lights in Goa - indi designs

Lighting designers embarked on transforming urban spaces using professional designed lighting and make them pockets of social activity! Here is the one that I happened to chance upon–Kala Academy.Lights in Goa - PRAKASH

It took me a while to figure out the writing in light… but then I did have some help from an Hindi expert 😉 The symbols read prakash (which is light in hindi)

Lights in Goa - indi designs 2… somre more Indian Rangoli in light

Lights in Goa - Blue bamboos

Lighting the tree-lined Kala Academy promenade that was the work of light designer Martin Lupton from UK and his team of students. The latter fashioned waste materials like empty cartons and soft drink cans into lanterns and lighting artefacts.

Lights in Goa - Lighting of wasteLights in Goa - Lights from waste

The science of lighting is enlightening indeed! 😉

If you are interested in knowing more, here is the official brochure of Lights in Goa

Supermoon Saturday

The moon on the night of March 19, 2011 was different because it was 356577 km from the earth, one of the closest approaches in the past 18 years… and it gets the label… Supermoon (or scientifically speaking, a lunar perigree)! Going with all the hype created by the media I had to witness this first hand!

supermoon saturday - Dona Paula

The most convenient location that came to mind was the Dona Paula jetty. Good thing I went out here, because at “moon rise”, the moon actually took on a reddish hue…

Supermoon saturday Red Moon

I could not resist taking this night panorama (click on it for a better view)

supermoon saturday pano

But then as it goes with every spectacular “breaking news” everything went back to normal, there were no high tides in the sea, no other celestial phenomenon and the biggest news discussed next was how India crushed West Indies to enter the World cup semi final!

Carnival Time

It’s difficult to separate the word Goa from the concept of Carnival.  Any tourist brochure, travel package or billboard describing Goa will have at least one snapshot of the vibrance and joie de vivre seen at a Carnival parade in Goa.

CARNIVAL 2011 King Momo Entourage

This year may have not been a very colorful parade, but the spirit was there!

CARNIVAL 2011 - Traditional Goan Sweets "Kusvar"
Spectators stamped on toes, broke barricade restraints and stretched their necks as hard as they could to watch the floats going by (at least that is what I had to do to get a few clear shots :))

CARNIVAL 2011 - Live MusicCARNIVAL 2011 - If its Goa it has to be Fish!

Here is a snapshot of the many snapshots that I managed to take that day… which I call, the Faces of the Carnival.

CARNIVAL 2011 - MaskCARNIVAL 2011 - "Real" estateCARNIVAL 2011 - My rideCARNIVAL 2011 - One Man bandCARNIVAL 2011 - Titos! Where else?CARNIVAL 2011 - The Horror of InflationCARNIVAL 2011 - Wild BouncerCARNIVAL 2011 - Pirate de River PrincessCARNIVAL 2011 - Those Demon EyesCARNIVAL 2011 - The Old and the Beautiful

CARNIVAL 2011 - Government Servant?Can’t wait for the carnival next year!!!

CARNIVAL 2011 - Waiting