Meanwhile in Goa conditions were getting really bad.
Bureaucracy was in a shambles. Except for agriculture and liquor
distillation, no industry existed! What then were the job
opportunities? Caste created its own barriers. The future held scant
hope - particularly for those less-privileged, enslaved in bonded
labour, weighed down by so many controls, and sadly denied any
chance for education or betterment.
Fortunately, greener pastures beckoned from beyond. Soon
Luis' son, Caetano Maria, an ambitious youth, was infected by the
fever of emigration that was attaining its pitch at the close of the
century. But this time it was not just a move to another section of
the village as his forebears had made. It meant crossing the
barriers of his own native Goa.
severe economic decline that had gripped this Portuguese enclave,
the gradual trickle of earlier decades had at the latter part of the
past century begun to assume the flood burst momentum of a general
exodus. Outside Goa manifold opportunities for earning a livelihood
awaited those who took up the challenge.
British Rule in India was already established, and this was
the period of consolidation. New railways, telegraphs, steamship
companies, government administration and business firms - all
Patimar (Sailing Boat)
were for the asking, and Goans, particularly the Christians, with
their wide exposure to the west, were seldom denied work under the
British. Dhobie Talao and Cavel in Bombay were teeming with migrant
Goans: a few well educated, several lacking formal learning - but
all eager to advance. It was the same all over British
had to take the plunge and avail oneself of more recent
conveniences. The once exhausting climb over the ghats, or the
hazardous crossing over coastal waters in country-made "pattimars"
or sailing ships, were now a thing of the past. Rail and steam-ship
communication at this phase had greatly facilitated and expedited
transport even at the height of the heavy monsoon.
Moreover, by now the route was a well beaten track traversed
by the more adventurous in the village. And to good and obvious
advantage! Besides, leaving home would not be such a wrench - thanks
to the innovative spirit of the Goan pioneers who had set in motion
a most remarkable scheme of "kuds". Wherever the Goan went, his
allegiance to his own far-away little village never faltered; and so
he welcomed his country cousins to share his room, his acquired
experience, and his guidance for their advancement. This fellowship
was to mutual advantage, creating an atmosphere of home - so
conducive to the aliens!
Later-comers penetrated the Persian Gulf and East Africa
where the British held sway, and which were in the process of
development. Construction of the Kenya Uganda Railway towards the
close of the 19th century greatly accelerated the influx of Goans
into East Africa. They were not deterred by the hazards posed by an
unfamiliar and inhospitable terrain, the fearful prospect of
encounter with ferocious wild beasts, and passage through arid
desert tracts. These intrepid pioneers paved the way for later
generations for whom conditions were vastly improved. Moreover, by
their industry, intelligence and integrity the Goans came to be
favourably regarded by the British authorities.
turn of the century quite a number of Anjuncares, including some
from de Mello vaddo, were already seeking their fortunes in East
Caetano Maria chose to go to Karachi, which at that time was
included in the Bombay Presidency. He was certainly not the first
Goan to get there. From an insignificant trading outpost Karachi had
undergone development under the British and turned into a major
commercial port. This attracted Goans who were seeking employment;
they also kept coming in drawn there by the formation of the Indus
Flotilla in 1850, the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, the
construction of the Lloyd Barage, and the creation of a separate
province of Sind with its capital at Karachi in 1936. In fact, as
far back as 1886, Goans were in so large a number there, that with a
view to promote their unique culture and achieve mutual support,
they set up the Goan Portuguese Association - later designated
Karachi Goan Association.
unlettered, Caetano Maria's choices were rather limited; but he was
fortunate to find work with which he could cope. He ultimately found
service in the household of an Englishman, (later Sir) Montgague
Webb, General Manager of Forbes, Campbell & Co. And after some
years, with his earnings, Caetano Maria was able to return home to
his native Goa, and even to get married.
selected as his bride a girl from Soranto, very close to his own
home in the village. Christalina De Souza was the daughter of
Francisco De Souza and Severina Menezes. Unfortunately, in the
circumstances, Caetano could not dream of taking his bride to
Karachi with him. So she remained with his parents at home, in de
Mello vaddo. In time Christalina and Caetano were blessed with three
children : two daughters, and an only son -