This week’s post is written by one of my closest friends, Tagore Almeida. An amazingly gifted writer and film maker, here is a man passionate for Jesus. Tagore resides in Singapore with his beautiful better half Alia Almeida and their daughter, Tania. You can read Tagore’s blog here.
There’s nothing like sitting here on the shores of a Goan beach. While so many here are just lazing around, some honeymooning and some just trying to get-away-from-it-all (poor them!), I instead come here to pray. Well, no, I do not just pray here on the beach. I pray anywhere and everywhere, but the beach holds a special place in me. I grew up on a beach, like so many others. However while so many have been engulfed by what man has made the beaches to be, I was fortunate to have found a divine presence here to hang out with. Besides it’s great to sit here and see the scriptures come alive. Really!! Mainly from what the scriptures speaks of being sins of the world, there are also those beautiful teachings that one can witness here, if you look close enough.
My grandparents, Duming Manuel Carvalho and his wife, Martha Magdalinia Carvalho moved to Calangute, Goa after they had to leave Africa. This became home for these two and they had 7 children (I think it was seven – I should recount the Christmas presents I get from my mother’s side of the family). All of these kids have been married happily (or so they portray at family gatherings) and all of them, except one, are now grandparents themselves. So it is safe to say that the institution of marriage seems to have survived within this household, like many of their neighbours too. In fact, I do not know of anyone who divorced in that sleepy village by the shores. There was respect, honour and between the secret four walls of their houses, the women ruled! Yeah I think that’s what made it work.
What I saw was that the women were submissive to their husbands. Now, now, don’t yell at me, or accuse me of being a male chauvinist you-know-what. Hear me out. In public, women came across as being that way. For instance, my God-parents (grin, isn’t it great having them?) Caitan spoke to people and if his wife Maan-Monica didn’t agree she’d just clear her throat and depending on how loud that clearing of the throat was, Caitan knew how much trouble he’d be in when he got home. We’d all picked on that. So you see Maan Monica respected her man, and many a times even when Caitan was wrong in what he said, he was still given the respect of his colleague just by the conduct of his wife.
I always looked up to Maan-Monica at those times. I knew she didn’t agree with Caitan, but she was so amazing at how she would honour her man. She was extremely attractive, I recall, but it was not her style and looks as much as it was her beautiful heart and spirit that made her stand out. You see, she is the ultimate nag queen, but she is that to her husband, her kids, her loved ones and that very fortunately includes me. I love that about her. Likewise, Caitan knew his wife so well, that when she cleared her throat he changed topics or went milder, not because he was wrong, but he did it to respect her. He respected her because he saw them both as one; she was an extension of him as he was of hers.
Caitan used to love playing the violin and he’d play it so much at family functions that we’d all get a headache after the end of the second song. After the eighth or ninth song, Maan Monica would just grab the bow and walk with it straight into the kitchen. For the occasional times that Caitan has dared to follow her to the kitchen to get back his bow, he has returned a defeated man declaring to us that he was tired and just wanted to sit down. Like we didn’t know better. At other times, he just smiled as she walked away with the bow. Sometimes to annoy her he’d strum the violin like a guitar only to get a look from her. That was it, he’d stop and put the violin in its case and lock it.
I love when couples are like this. They don’t need to agree with each other, they don’t need to think the same way on many things, but they need to respect each other, to honour each other and to be an extension of each other. There’s cuteness in this, there’s a reference of this back to the scriptures about women honouring their husbands and men loving their wives.
To end I’d like to say that when this kind of honour and respect is mutual between a man and woman, the children see that as a way of life. When kids see that as a way of life, they will take that to their community, the community to society and society to the world. Then comes the question about how or who was it that thought about such a noble thought. Not Caitan, not Monica, then who? The scriptures, did you say? I wonder what that is all about.
As times passes in reading and understanding the scriptures, all of sudden one tends to discover the greatest love story of all, the one who deserves ALL the honour and a new take on this very life. As I said, on these shores, I see a lot more of the scriptures that I read than you can imagine, but I also see how sin lets us abuse our relationships, give in to the flesh all in the name of taking-a-break, having a good-time. Depends on what you want – but I see wrong only because I’ve seen Caitan and Maan-Monica bring alive a message from the scriptures. A small verse which shows me not just its positive message but also what is on the opposite side.
Goa does have mysterious and beautiful beaches! Mog Asundi (That is Konkani for let there always be love amongst us)
Ending with a big hug, prayer and love to Pastor Subi and Pastor Beena, for besides opening up their church, their hearts and their home to me always, they’ve let me write on this platform. God bless them, Khayla and Zephan.