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Football and Coconuts

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In less than 24 hours of returning to Goa, I was itching to get back on the streets and create images. ‘Let’s go to Panjim and roam around’, I asked biwi. She agreed. Panjim is about ten minutes drive from our house (half an hour of running; when I run). We had driven for just 2 minutes when I saw a lot of spectators in a church ground. I wanted to know what they were watching. What festival was on? Irrespective of what they were watching, I wanted to get down and create images.

I asked biwi to stop the car. A local competition was going on. Not a game of football but just the kicking the ball in the net part of it (penalty shot). It was a cloudy evening. It could rain. It rained. The spectators ran to take shelter in the church. And under a broken building on the other side of the road. The players kept playing. The rain stopped soon. I saw something that I had never seen before.

The spectators.

We had driven for just 2 minutes when I saw a lot of spectators in a church ground. I wanted to know what they were watching. What festival was on? Irrespective of what they were watching, I wanted to get down and create images.

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Taeligaon Church, Goa

The teddy bear is sad because it can’t get to watch the game! 🙁

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A group of kids were having a coconut breaking competition. The game goes something like this: two kids participate at a time; one squats a bit and holds a coconut firmly with both hands keeping one hemisphere exposed; the other kid has another coconut that he swings with one hand and with all the force that he can gather, hits the stationary coconut held by his competitor; almost like a hammer hitting a nail, just that both the hammer and the nail are coconuts.

They toss a coin to decide who gets to hold a coconut stationary and who gets to hit first. And then they alternate till one of the coconut breaks. I guess the kid who gets to break the coconut first, wins. ‘Do you have a coin?’ a kid asked me. They wanted to have a toss. I looked for a coin in my bag. I found one. I passed it to the kid. And then I became part of the gang having fun playing this side game. Goans love football. But they love coconuts too.

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