Feasts, Feni and Firecrackers: Life of a Village Schoolboy in Portuguese Goa


Author: Mel D’Souza

9788193283767 | Paperback | pp. 168| 2014 | Goa 1556

Combining images and texts, Mel D’Souza, an expat, ex-Africander (as Goans who were settled in Africa then were called) and an artist based in Canada, documents the Goa of the mid-20th century. His book is made up of short and light essays, each depicting the Goa as it was then.

Ships in 2-4 days

Out of stock

Spread the love


This rather slim book (of 168 pages) is divided into six sections. One deals with the author’s roots, both as a “village boy” and centred around his home.

The largest section of 15 brief word-sketches deals with “Saligao in them days”. Saligao is typical of most Goan villages of those times. It had its own village family nicknames, its forms of “village transportation”, its bicycles, village doctors and beggars. Mel D’Souza’s keen eye doesn’t overlook the “village oddballs” and its craftsmen.

From there he moves on to the lore pertaining to “worship, weddings and witchcraft”.

Goa, in those times, wasn’t as much connected with “fun”. But Mel D’Souza sees enough of this to create a section titled ‘Fun, Frolic and Frivolity’. Of course, this is a locally defined reality, not touristic. It deals with ks the festival of Sao Joao (involving jumping into wells for a swim and swig at the start of the monsoons), village games, tropical trees, the locals’ relationship with the beach in those times (largely referring to Calangute, in North Goa), Goan theatre, football and “fighting bulls”.

Some of his essays which give his take on Goa then look at Customs and Quirks, and Memorable Moments. Each of the book’s six sections have half-a-dozen to over a dozen short essays. Each essay focuses on one topic which caught D’Souza’s fancy.

Additional information


Mel D'Souza




Goa 1556





Year of Publication:






Country of Origin:


About the Author

Victor Rangel-Ribeiro is an Indian writer, the award-winning author whose debut novel, Tivolem (1998), was named one of the twenty notable first novels to be published in America in 1998, was born in Goa, India, in 1925, when it was still a Portuguese colony; so he counts Portuguese, along with Konkani and English, as one of his three mother tongues.

His short stories were first published in Bombay in the 1940s and 50s; more recently they have been featured in three top American literary magazines – the North American, Iowa, and Literary Reviews. Other pieces, including much humor, appeared in The Indian-American, the now defunct cultural magazine that for some years was published in New York. HarperCollins, India, published a collection of his short fiction, Loving Ayesha and Other Stories, in 2003, with illustrations by the celebrated Mario Miranda; it promptly made the bestseller lists in that country.


This book will be shipped in 2-4 working days’ time. The time taken for you to receive the book after it is shipped will depend upon the mode you choose, while completing your purchase. The rates applicable for each mode are different.

You will be informed after the order is shipped.

Shipping costs depend on the mode chosen, the weight of the item, and the distance it will travel to reach its destination. Shipping costs will be charged depending on the weight of the entire purchase (if more than one book is purchased). The same shipping mode will apply to all products in such a case.

You may also like…

Join Waitlist We will inform you when the product arrives in stock. Please leave your valid email address below.