PANJIM: The setting for the civil society reception for Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa couldn’t have been better. It was the central hall of the Palace of the Adil Shah on the banks of the River Mandovi that for a long time was the Assembly hall where the treasury and opposition benches debated legislation, and before that the Portuguese seat of power in Goa.
On Tuesday, the hall sported the flags of India and Portugal, as Costa accepted as a gift, the English translation of his father, Orlando da Costa’s, play Sem flores, nem coroas. Accepting the book, Costa who has his ancestral house in Margao, said he was proud to visit the land of his father and the house where his father lived. “I am deeply moved by this reception and the translations of two of my father’s books, ‘The sign of wrath’, which was first published in 1961 and ‘No flowers, no wreaths’. Referring to a character in the book who, says that wherever he goes he will still remain in his homeland, Costa went on to say, “My father went to Lisbon but never left Goa, because Goa never left him. All the novels he wrote, from the sign of wrath to Ultimo Olhar de Manu Miranda, Goa was always present in his works.”
He drew some smiles when he said that the only two Konkani words he knows are ‘Babush’ and ‘Babulo’, which is what his father called him and his brother, but that he remembers also the scent of the vidis that his father smoked and taste of sorpotel.