Personal Tributes
to Pascoal

Family Trees

About the Author



Set amidst tall shady trees and green foliage, Anjuna had its few great mansions of the rich and powerful, several villas and a few cottages. But these belonged to the priveleged few. There also existed some arid spaces and wild open tracts. The workers who cultivated the soil for others but owned no land were permitted to settle here.

One of these clearings came to be known in time as de Mello vaddo. On a slight elevation, it lay ensconsed between the chapel of lovely Prias de S. Antonio and what is today known as Anjuna Beach.

The Abreo family of Soranto was one of the big "barcars" of Anjuna. It is reputed that this family brought in, from another area, a large number of people - probably comprising one entire de Mello clan. They might have been in some other part of the village where the going was not so good for them. Perhaps there existed some threat: of pestilence, drought or famine, that set off such a mass migration. The straggling group was installed in this reserve and soon turned it into a colony of crude makeshift shelters in return for which they laboured on the lands of the Abreo family.

Incidentally, it has been a cause for pride that, in Goa right until 1961 every Goan, however, humble his condition, was assured of a roof over his head. No one needed to sleep under the stars - unless he chose to.

The inhabitants of de Mello vaddo were poor; they worked with their hands: some in the fields, others doing odd jobs for the "barcar", some were fishermen. Luis de Mello was one of this clan. He married a girl from neighbouring Pedem, another ward of Anjuna. She was Natalina De Souza Gorvel, daughter of Francisco de Souza and Anna Severina de Souza. Luis and his wife Natalina struggled to eke out an existence, but they made it as good a life as they could, for on the whole it was quite peaceful.

Luis was respected on his home-ground. He did masonry work for the "barcar", but his first love was the sea. He loved to fish. In fact, there is a big sharp rock on Anjuna beach - only acessible at low-tide - which old-timers still refer to as "Luis De Mellacho ghoono"; named after him because it used to be the perch from where he tossed his line or net to catch the fish in the deep blue waves that lashed below him.

What were the fish that he ensnared and, maybe, took home to eat?

The waters of the bay have made Anjuna famous for its wealth of sea-food, particularly "shinanios" - in their big dark-green shells. Did he sometimes collect these, or crabs, oysters and smaller mussels, and other shell-fish that clung to the rocky surface?

The great prize was always the "addo", a particular type of rock fish - extremely tasty! It was to be found on moonlit nights. Among the smaller rock fish were the more frequently netted "cumani" - a colourful green fish with red stripes, and the "congo" - a flatter species, silver flecked with black vertical stripes. There was ,of course, a variety of fish abounding in the water - "bhangra"/mackarel, "tharle"/sardine, "pilo"/small shark, "lepo"/ electric fish and a host of smaller fry.

 Back to Contents Go Top