Wednesday, 15 January 2014


Somewhere between Christmas and the new year I took an early morning walk through the streets of Panjim - the old part of the city - just east of the creek. The previous day we had visited our friend Bhavana who now works at CCF and is currently putting final touches on a map of Panjim. Not any old map, but a beautifully documented detailed map that should soon be available to tourists. With heritage walking routes and lots of info. Bhavana walked us through some of the narrow winding streets herself and I noticed this Chapel on Rue De Natal near her office.
So the next morning I was there early sketching. I had my back to a smallish square which had a large well and a house looking out onto the square. At about 9 in the morning the front window of the house was thrown open and a middle-aged man stood at the window with a violin in his hand. He started playing the violin and never stopped. Not songs, not particularly melodious either... just a bunch of frenzied riffs. At length I finished my sketch, packed up and left. He was still playing away.

We walked a little more exploring the old parts of the city and found a street that was a series of steps. As we climbed higher and higher we could look back and see all the roof-tops of Panjim spread below us.
I tried doing a quick sketch but the street-dog territorial warfare and the sun started to get to me.

Retracing our steps we soon found ourselves back in the little square with the well. The violin music continued. It was almost noon. Old ladies passed by with baskets on their heads laden with fresh vegetables - greens, brinjals, radishes. They knocked on front doors that opened directly onto the narrow streets.

I couldn't help but sigh at the romanticism of old-city-Panjim life. Imagine daily door delivery of vegetables in a quiet heritage neighbourhood, with violin music in the background! Sigh. 


  1. Your description of life even in present day Panjim sounds idyllic! The sketch of the Chapel on Rue de Natal is very nice.

  2. Thanks Balaji. Maybe it isn't idyllic but it sure looked that way to me :)
    Mina - thanks so much!

  3. Great sketches Kalpana! Nice read too.

  4. Jeeva, thanks so much for visiting and commenting!