Pork-Barrel Politics

Goa News, Goa Politics, Goa, Gasper Crasto

:::A humor story by Gasper Crasto / Kuwait...15.04.2017:::

How was the day?” this is the first thing my wife will ask when I get back home from work.

“I bumped into some Goan friends..” I said the other day.

“Who..?” she asked.

“Oh, you don’t know them..” 

I knew her next question, a stereotype homily.

“What took you so long..?” she asked as if I could read her mind.

“We sat for tea, and got talking..”

“What talks?..” 

“Goan politics, what else..” I laughed, “that’s the hottest topic these days..” 

“Why waste time talking nonsense wherever you go?” her usual allegation.

“I must say you are being very ignorant these days – how can you just snub the news ‘Breaking’ every hour. You know very well it’s my nature to discuss .. ...”

“..nonsense!” she poked.

“Of course not,
” I argued,  I like to ‘debate’ current affairs and all those stories popping out on the spider-web...” 

I thought I was talking to myself but her ears were primed.

“Debates!!!” she exclaimed, “WhatsApp messages, Facebook comments, and twits, just to gain attention. It's all trash. Total nonsense..”

“Well, you have to chip in when everyone talks and messages.. 

“What a waste you guys are! Criticizing is not my cup of tea!” she stated.

“Oh yeah, your tea is different. You make the best tea that I know of, can you please make one right away. Nice girl.” 

“Tea? It’s so hot, I’d rather not go into the kitchen, today..” she muttered, “Go, make your own stuff..!”


What the kitchen had to do with it being hot outside was way beyond my payscale. 

There was a brief moment when I almost asked her what she meant by that statement. 

I usually make it a practice to stay far away from the kitchen as possible, especially when she is in the house. There is something eerie about the kitchen that makes me rather nervous to the point of dropping her favorite cup and having it break all over the place. 

I stand out of the kitchen when she is around -- heat or no heat. 

“Don't you know it is summer?” I said after a careful magical thought, “And it is supposed to be hot in summers?”

She looked at me, eyes sharp.

“If I remember correctly,” I continued, “a few months ago you were complaining how cold it was.”


“Either it is too hot or too cold,” I said, “you have to make up your mind...” 

I glanced in her direction as cautiously as I could and noticed she was staring at me, just daring me to say another word. 

Well, I knew there was a time to say something and a time to be ‘mute’.

“Can I have the tea?..” I said with my handsomest voice.

She heaved a sigh and snailed into the kitchen, muttering, “Shh.. really can’t believe the heat.” 

“I believe everybody has the right to protest but grumbling about the weather is not acceptable ma’am,” I voiced, raising my neck.


“Why? You grumble about everything, forever..” she rattled a few utensils in the kitchen.

“Yes, about traffic, and politics – especially Goan politics,” I replied, “You know what that does to my blood-pressure..”

“Criticizing politics? It is all fake...” she said, “Can’t stand that. I would rather complain about the weather than curse others...”

“Discussing politics gets one’s blood boiling, I said, which has the effect of cleansing the blood. I guess it’s the only ‘health plan’ that actually works for us Goans.” 

She stuck her head out, “My Mumbai colleague often says प्रत्येक गोष्टीला अंत आहे म्हणूनच आम्ही शांत आहे (protiek goshthila anth ahe mhonnunuch ami shant ahe)... She is so calm, you know? You must know what that means - staying calm..”

“Thankfully, we are not Mumbai Indians, I replied, And even if we were, I don’t think there would be anything exciting to talk about than vada pav, IPL, films and train timings. I bet, there’s nothing more interesting and ‘dramatic’ than Goan politics.”

She pouched out again, “If you think you can do better, why don’t you join politics and improve things yourself. Don’t blame others.. It makes you ‘judge’ which is morally wrong..”

“And cursing the weather. I feel it is blasphemy!” I looked at her.

“I don’t think so,” she said, “you can always say something nice, like, ‘How about this weather we’re having today?’ It can trigger a delightful conversation. It is not cursing…?”

“Oh.. ha... ha.. ” I cackled.

She continued, “Like, when it keeps raining, we say, ‘It’s been raining since morning..’  or ‘When is this rain ever gonna stop?’ And those around will start debating on it.” 

“Debate on rains!!!.. Ha ha.. For whose welfare?.. What benefit?” I asked.

“....Well, the discussion can centre on the weather alone. No gossip, no curses there.” she concluded.


“I believe weather is nature, and nature is holy, I said. My grandfather once told me, when you are in public, never talk about religion or sex... I stick to that..”

“Hmm???” she sighed.

“Those are the areas that can get you into trouble,  I said, “the wrath of gods, rage of nature.. whether the weather is warm, whether the weather is hot, you have to put up with the weather, whether you like it or not..”

“Am at ease with what I speak as long as I am not cursing anyone,..” she said.
“But why would you only complain about the weather?” What’s good in that?” I asked.

“Well, it won’t hurt your conscience,” she declared. “Everyone has a right to complain about the weather – rich, poor, celebrities, ‘bhikaris’; husband and wife are on equal footing too..”

“I don’t agree..” I turned on her.

“Who cares what you agree and what you don’t. I know your friends, they will condemn – anything and everything.”

“How do you say that?” I asked.

“They are like...If they don’t find a reason to criticize roses for the thorns, they will criticize they are red.... they are that type...”

“Hmmm.” I eyed her.

She showed up with popped eyes, “If I had not left you ‘fasting’ in our early marriage days, you would still be criticizing my cooking -- for eternity..”

“Oh-h.. ha ha..” I laughed it off.


“Criticizing others should be avoided – simply by saying nothing. Don’t be a part.” she said, “give me one reason why you guys sit and criticize Goan politics, and the pitiful politicians.”

“Why......?” I was lost for words.

WHY-Y-Y? A flashback on all the Goan issues -- a worry of every concerned citizen, played at the back of my mind.

Goan politics had virtually robbed away everyone's peace and ‘suseg’ in recent times. The term ‘sucegad’, synonymous with so many Goans, no more lived up to its meaning. 

“How could one remain ‘susegad’ when we were all affected by the pork-barrel politics -- corruption in public life, crime and theft, high inflation rate, unwelcomed airport, double-tracking, import of coal, casinos and gambling, drugs, unsolved garbage issues, land grabs, increasing unemployment, rattled roads, changing traditions, and a host of so many other issues which had practically led to an exodus of Goans away from home -- to UK, US, Canada, or other destinations ‘down under’  not forgetting the thousands forced to work in the Middle-East Gulf.

The thoughts ran in my mind like a slideshow in audio-visuals:

“Goa’s colonial ancestors Portugal were influential in changing lives of many Goans settled in Europe. Despite the fears of Brexit, racism, hard work and bitter cold, many had found their ‘Shangrila’ in places they lived.” 

“Yes Mr. Patrao, why?” my wife halted the ‘reeling’ flashback in my mind; she was naïve as ever. “Why do you guys criticize our beloved politicians? What does that benefit you and your friends? Or our State???”

“It has a prized effect. It keeps us from criticizing our wives,” I was over-excited.

“What... ” her eyebrows twitched.

“After all, when you have said everything you have to say about politics, there is nothing left to vent our rage on our own wives. You should thank me for that..”


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