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The Lowdown

It’s carnival time in Goa and we decided not to do your standard isn’t-it-a-wonderful-thing story. Instead, health we wanted to cut to the essence of what’s on a lot of people’s, order especially Goans’, price mind when they think about Carnival. Essentially, that it’s gone from being a deeply moving folk festival to a commercialized exercise in Big Business. Don’t get us wrong, however. We’re telling, not judging – and there’s arguments to be made that this might not be such a terrible thing for Goa after all. Be sure to read our cover story in this issue on the “business of Carnival.”

We’d also like to point out an extraordinary piece on an effort by a group of Goans to halt the onslaught of unbridled development by growing organic vegetables. Incredibly, broccoli and French beans are turning out to be a tough match for the bulldozers. In this issue, we also delve into a topic that affects many thousands of people in Goa but seldom makes it into the public discourse – the issue of being married to a mentally ill person.

A lot has been said about the four-month-old mining ban and the effect it’s had on employment and the economy. But few have spoken about the other side of the coin. That for some people, there IS life after mining. Read in these pages about some of the alternative paths folks are pursuing in the wake of the ban.

In Portuguese, the word “saudade” (pronounced sau-dah-jee) doesn’t have a proper English translation. Its meaning lies somewhere in between “longing” and “nostalgia” and was once described as “the love that remains” after someone is gone. Saudade is the word that comes to mind when we think about the old-world cafes in Panjim described in this edition, even though they, unlike love in the above definition, are still very much around (after as much as 100 years!)

On these pages we also tell you what an economic slowdown is doing to the Goan art market, and take you through some good ideas on how to combat the menace of plastic. We also show you how some extremely creative people in Goa are inventing new instruments that fuse Indian sounds with the best of the West (log onto to see and hear them!).

Lastly, be sure to check out our Valentine’s Day Love Story Contest on Tell us your own love story and vote for the best entry. Winning stories fetch prizes and will be published in the next edition of Goa Streets!