2005-09-26 16:15:28 UTC
thereabouts. I can't recall if I have posted it here before but Borg Costa
did recently query about the legend of Dona Paula.
Gather around me children, and hear this story of long ago times. The
tragic legend of Dona Paula.
About 300 years ago, in Portuguese-Goa, there lived in the sleepy fishing
village of Caranzalem (Konkani for "happened in the car"), in a small hut
overlooking the sea, a carpenter named Donath Figueiredo. Now Donath was
no ordinary carpenter. He was a master craftsman. Portuguese nobility from
far and wide used to come to him for his exquisite creations. He would make
Double Beds with Storage and TV Cabinets of unimaginable splendour.
Donath's skills were highly in demand and many are the Sofa-cum-Beds that
were smuggled to Lisbon and Macau all the way from tiny Caranzalem
Incidentally, around the same time, the Macau craftsmen developed the
hideous Macau Chests, samples of which still remain unsold in antique
One Saturday night, as Donath was relaxing with his third peg of Caju Feni
and waiting for the late night movie to start on Zee MGM, his mobile rang.
Donald said "Hello?" A rich baritone voice came through "Donath! It's me!"
Donath was immediately rigid. It was Dom Paulo da Cunha e South Manure, the
landlord's son. "Dom Paulo, what can I do for you?". "Well for starters you
can open the bloody door. I'm standing outside your house and your doorbell
is not working."
Donath rushed to the door and opened it. There in all his nobility stood
Dom Paulo. Handsome, elegant, charming. Dom Paulo entered Donath's humble
quarters. Donath closed the door. And then they embraced each other
passionately. "Donna my love!" sighed Paulo. "Paula my sweetheart!" sighed
Donath. And they held each other tight and kissed for a long, long time.
Much longer than Madonna and Brittney Spears. They were happy. They were
gay. They were lovers.
Such a beautiful picture it made. A white skinned nobleman kissing a brown
skinned commoner. But this picture of happiness was temporary. Donath's
mobile rang again with the tune of Koi Mil Gaya. "Hello!" he said. "Hello
Donath! Ganpat here. Are we meeting tomorrow at the Campal Children's
Park?". "Naaah!", said Donath "Those security guards give me the creeps.
They seem to know, just by looking at us, what we are up to. And you know
how I hate being questioned about these things Ganpat dear. Ouch!!".
Donath bit his own tongue and switched off his mobile, but it was too late.
Dom Paulo had heard every word. "So you're seeing Ganpat again!! You lying
scheming low caste. I should have known!", wailed Dom Paulo loudly. "Don't
do that, my Paula! You know I have eyes only for you", Donath pleaded. But
there was no stopping Dom Paulo who kept on wailing and tearing his hair.
Suddenly Dom Paulo chanced upon a half-finished full size closet lying
nearby. He ran into it, closed the doors shut from inside, and continued
Donath did not know what to do. "Please come out Paula", he pleaded,
"Please come out of the closet!". From inside the closet came Dom Paulo's
muffled voice "No Donna! I cannot come out of the closet. What will people
say? That a fine nobleman like me was rejected for that half-caste
Ganpat!". Donath thought fast. Here was a chance to really show his
remorse. "Paula. I promise I will never talk to Ganpat again. Ever! In fact
I'm throwing out my mobile right now." Saying that Donath picked up a small
piece of wood and threw it into the sea." Hearing the plopping sound Dom
Paulo came out of the closet. "Are you out of your mind," Dom Paulo
exclaimed, "That's a GSM handset and does not belong to you until all
instalments have been paid. Since I'm paying your instalments anyway
they're going to come after me." Saying this Dom Paulo heroically jumped
into the sea to rescue the cellphone.
Unfortunately Dom Paulo hit his head on a rock and died. Seeing his dead
body, Donath went berserk and took a nearby chisel, slit his writs, and
bled to death in the closet. The Portuguese consulate immediately gave then
Portuguese Passports post-mortem, named the area Dona Paula and asked a
German sculptor to install two statues in their memory. The German sculptor
used himself and his wife as models, not realising that Dona and Paula were
both males. Neither did the Goa Tourism Department which recently unleashed
a advertising campaign that claimed 'Dona' was a noblewoman and 'Paul' was
local man. How far they were from the truth.