It is nearly 5 pm when we (my friend and I) decide to call it a day at Old Goa or Velha Goa. We have spent a wonderful day in this culturally and historically significant part of Goa by exploring some of its monuments and also a museum.
As we walk out of the last of the monuments we have visited, I switch on my cell phone to call DJ, the driver of the car we have hired for the day to come and pick us up. (I had switched it off earlier in the day when we were dropped outside the first of the monuments we were to visit that day). My phone pings notifications furiously and to my surprise, I see notifications for 16 missed calls and 12 text messages — all from DJ.
When I call him up, DJ almost faints with relief. “Oh Madam, I thought something had happened to you.”
“What made you think so?” I ask him, surprised. “I did say that we would call you once we were done for the day.”
When DJ picks us up, he repeats how relieved he was to see us and asks if we saw all the monuments in Old Goa.
“Of course not ! It’s impossible to see all of them. We visited 6 monuments and 1 museum.”
DJ actually stops the car and turns around to stare at us. ‘You spent 8 hours and saw only 6? I have brought people here who have done all the monuments in less than 2 hours and then headed to the beach.”
I just shrug. As we drive off, I can sense DJ’s puzzled gaze at us. A gaze that seems to ask just what we did we do the whole day in Old Goa?
Are you also curious about my day in Old Goa and what I did there? Well then, read on… 🙂
In a quiet bylane of Old Goa is The Museum of Christian Art. Perhaps the only one of its kind in Asia, the Museum showcases Indo-Portuguese art from the 16th to the 20th century.The Museum’s collection includes furniture, sculptures, ivory and metal artefacts, textiles, paintings and books from the 16th to the 20th century. On a visit to Goa last month, an afternoon spent at the Museum turned out to be the highlight of my entire trip.
The Museum’s collection is extremely well curated and presented. While it is difficult to choose a favourite among the ones I saw at the Museum, I had no hesitation in choosing one for today’s post on Christmas Eve.
“The Holy Family”, a 20th century set of ivory figurines mounted on wood, was donated to the Museum by the Albuquerques from Anjuna in Goa.
While the 3 figures in the centre are very clearly Joseph, Mary and the child Jesus, I’m not sure who the two figures on the extreme right and left are. Maybe St. Anne and St. Joachim, Mary’s parents? I loved the delicate details of the figurines: the expression on both the women’s faces and drape of the robes, the look of wonder on Jesus’ face.
As always, whenever I see such exquisite works of art, I wonder who the artist was and what went through his/her mind while creating “The Holy Family”?
Dear reader, did you like these figurines as much as I did?
Wish you a very Happy Christmas 🙂
The Museum Treasure Series is all about artifacts found in museums with an interesting history and story attached to them. You can read more from this serieshere.