Creative Thoughts

Creative Thoughts

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


Hello everybody,

Thank you for all the wonderful comments on the last post.  Glad to know some "Anonymous" readers found it informative.  The following post has long been due.  Meant to do this much earlier but have been somewhat restricted by the sudden and very painful onset of osteo-arthritis in my right knee. 

Joe and I visited north Goa early December last year.  He visits Divar Island at least thrice a year.  It was my first time.   

This is Karmali station.  On the left lay paddy fields and cows browsing with egrets in attendance. 

We took the night train from Mumbai and arrived Karmali Station, Goa, at around 10.30 am the next day.
We took a taxi to the Old Goa jetty to take the ferry.  There’s one every 10 mns. and its free for passengers.  Vehicles are charged Rs. 10 one way.  The crossing takes about 5 minutes

Languidly beautiful Divar is situated across the Mandovi River.  This island is linked to Old Goa on its south eastern side and Ribandar on its south western side by ferry.  Ribandar is where Joe was born and the hospital itself faces the Mandovi River.

Now, this photo was taken to show the endearing "dress code" (behind me) which appears not to have changed since I was ten years old.

Local buses ply inland.  If the driver sees an approaching ferry, he waits.   Otherwise you may have to wait a long time to take the next one.  

We stayed in the picturesque village of Piedade which spreads at the bottom of a small wooded hillock. There is nothing here but paddy fields, stately homes and peace and quiet.  

A wide track leads to the top of the hill where the 16th century Church of Our Lady of Compassion stands.  Joe had gone up the hill that morning and he was so impatient for me to see the church even though it was dusk.   It took huffing puffing me about 10 minutes to reach the top.  It’s not steep and also motorable.  The sacristan who lived in a lodge nearby was kind enough to unlock and open the doors for us so we could take pictures.  The interiors of the church are fabulous. He even switched on all the lights and here are the photos we took.

We were told this spot once offered great views of the Old Goa churches. Now, due to growing vegetation, we were unable to take in a panoramic sight. 

Then there's the beautiful temple complex right next to the church.  So typical of Goa.  Churches and temples existing harmoniously side by side.  Here too the young priest was very enthusiastic.  He urged us to go in and take pictures. Normally he said, the temples would have been shut.  That particular night was new moon night and they were having an “aarti” ceremony.  We also met two smiling, young, Hindu women who had come to pray.  They gave us a brief history of the place. During the time of the Kadamba dynasty, on this site there existed an ancient Ganesh Temple. The Church is situated at the site of an ancient Hindu temple which is known to have been destroyed in the late 15th century by the Muslims.  To one side is a small, walled cemetery which is known to have been converted from the former Hindu shrine, a Ganesh Temple, which was razed by the Portuguese.  The deity was later shifted to its present site at Candola.  

                                                            The Ganesh Temple

 and going a level lower to ......

....the white Hanuman Temple.  

The people of Divar are very friendly and helpful as long as you've come there for a quiet holiday.  They are opposed to anything that will spoil the landscape.  May it always stay that way. 

the local chapel

the entrance to the chapel

We were rather intrigued by this sleeping figure of Christ the Redeemer that lies within the chapel.  Isn't the casket gorgeous ? 
Sr. Jisha of the Brigettine Sisters with some of the Divar kids at the convent's day care.

For the entire week of our stay in Divar I had steamed rice and fish curry at every meal.  There are only two bar cum restaurants there, Rock Inn and Mayur, both delightfully rustic.  They are run by family and the food is absolutely fresh and delicious.  For just Rs. 60 one can eat a "thali" of rice served with shrimp curry, vegetable, a small salad and 2 small pieces of fried fish.  The "special" of the day is the large slices of fish you see above or clams, squid or mussels as the day's catch may be.  Rock Inn lies in a cool hollow and Mayur reminded me of my grandmother's home in our Goan village.

There's also a bakery which has a delectable collection of cakes, pastries and Goan sweets which are made at home by the local ladies and sold in this shop.

 murals in a local pub
Three things that make up a typical Goan.  (Feni is the local brew)

The popular Bonderam festival is celebrated in Divar on every 4th Saturday in the month of August during the monsoon, with great fanfare. The festival is attended by both locals and tourists.

 No prizes for guessing who is a regular.

 Bonderam (Festival of flags).  Portuguese flag included !

Catholic procession to the paddy fields.  The priest symbolically cuts the first sheaf of grain.  It's harvest time. 

The Potekar festival is also held 3 days before the beginning of Ash Wednesday. This is when the local youth wear costumes, masks and cow bells.  They roam around the village demanding drinks and snacks from the locals.

There is also a resort on the island - tucked away in a corner.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Innovation - at the Maha Kumbh Mela

Hi everyone I wanted to share this amazing article with you !

Ogilvy Action tied up with over 100 dhaba owners (tiffin carriers) in the vicinity of Kumbh Mela and handed out more than 2.5 million chapattis stamped with the Lifebuoy message.

'Did you wash your hands with Lifebuoy?' That was the message, in Hindi, stamped on over 2.5 million chapattis at the Maha Kumbh Mela, the largest congregation of human beings on the planet.  The unusual advertising medium certainly had pilgrims taking notice.

The campaign enabled Unilever, the company that makes the soap, to reach a large audience in a low-cost but effective manner.

Rotis with a message

Unilever has the advertising agency Ogilvy Action to thank for the brilliant advertising idea. 

Vipul Salvi, the 34-year-old National Creative Director of Ogilvy Action, is the one of the people behind the campaign. He says the idea needed to be big and innovative. "The obvious options were to put up stalls and play games around health and hygiene, but that would have been too gimmicky," remarks Salvi.

Those ideas were rejected since the Maha Kumbh is a spiritual affair. The mandate, therefore, was to look at other ways of getting the consumer in touch with the brand.

The ad agency deliberated over the campaign for close to eight months and came up with over 200 ideas before zeroing in on the roti campaign.

 Rotis being stamped with the message

A heat stamp was specially made to make an impression on the chapattis.
The agency tied up with over 100 dhaba owners in the vicinity and handed out more than 2.5 million chapattis stamped with the Lifebuoy message.

 The heat stamps used to make an impression on the chapattis

Lifebuoy achieved its aim of increasing awareness and getting people in touch with the brand.
And many of the millions at the Maha Kumbh Mela ate with cleaner hands.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Carnival 2013

Hi everyone,

We are already into Ash Wednesday and I am a bit late with this post but I could not let the day go by without sharing these pictures with you.

My husband, Joe had been to the state of Goa for the Carnival celebrations.  For me, the blaring music and standing in the hot sun for hours at a stretch would be an invitation to a migraine - so I did not go.

These were taken in the capital city of Panaji or Panjim.

A tribute to Mario Miranda - Goa's famous cartoonist who passed away last year..

 Patiently waiting for the floats to arrive.
Let the parade begin !

Well, if you insist on poisoning yourself.....
King Momo !

the native fisherfolk

bullocks carts are still used by farmers
the Goan fisherfolk dance
those are coconut halves.  We use a lot of coconut in our food preparations.

crab anyone ?

Hope you enjoyed looking at them.

Bye for now !