São João is celebrated in Goa on 24th of June every year. It is the day when St. John the baptist (called São João in Portugese), while still inside his mother’s womb, jumped with joy when Mary came to visit his mother. Mary who? Arrey, the one who would later give birth to Jesus re baba! :)
Time flies by so fast. Last year, same time, two of my best friends from IIT were in Goa. We had gone to a São João pool party in Dona Paula and our pictures came in the ToI supplement a few days afterwards. Back then, I really did not know the significance of São João. Or how it was celebrated by the local Goans other than partying in pool.
A few weeks ago, an old acquaintance of mine on Facebook tagged me in a comment to a post. It was a post by someone looking for someone in Goa who could use his GoPro during the upcoming São João. I said, sure why not, I can do it. I am in Goa and I have a GoPro. That someone told me that he worked for a PR firm and Goa Tourism was one of their clients. The tourism department could make use of an individual’s video-documentation of the festival to promote it. And that’s what this video is about.
So on 24th of June, I drove down to Siolim. It’s about 30 Kms from where I live, up north. I went there because I had found out that a lot of people gather around Siloim Church to see some sort of a boat exhibition. I reached by 3 pm. That’s when the boats were supposed to come out. And they came out shortly. A small stage had been erected on the bank of the Siolim river (might not be a river, but was a creek for sure – but let me just call it river for now). The river water was brown and I was sure I did not want to go inside. But I did shoot a lot from outside.
Boats would come in one by one – some with mermaid mannequins sitting in them, others carrying huge toads.
I flew my quad-copter all over the place and more than anyone else, those on the boats loved it. They would wave hands and scream Sao Joao every time the quadcopter would fly pass them. Lara Dutta showed up for a short while on the stage. She has a house in Siolim, she told. I also ran into few acquaintances. Sometimes, only when we go out to festivals like these, we realize that there is a real social network as well. Where people see you and say hi. And you say hi back! :)
Sometimes, only when we go out to festivals like these, we realize that there is a real social network as well. Where people see you and say hi. And you say hi back! :)
The one hour ride to the venue and another hour back, plus the few hours I spent was time well spent. Even if I sweat a lot. The editing took me almost two full days and I hope you like this short documentary that I have been able to bring out finally! Comments are most welcome. And if you liked it, do share! Below is a picture of me at work during the shoot.
Picture Courtesy: Denzil Gomes
Keywords: São João Goa