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More than Beaches in Goa

Lt. Nawang’s grandmother

On Sunday, 11 November, 2005, students from the Shri Mallikarjun College of Arts and Commerce, Canacona, gathered at Sheldem, Goa. They’d come for the Lt. Nawang Memorial Lecture, organized by Mrs. Mangala Wagle, to introduce them to life in the defence forces. Mrs. Wagle is Nawang’s maternal grandmother, she hails from Cancona in Goa. Cancona is a typically Goan village surrounded by lush coconut plantations and miles of serene beaches. Lt. Nawang has spend many exciting vacations in Goa. Sheldem, about five kilometers from Quepem, Goa, is not far from Jamboulim. One has to bypass Margao to go there. The little hills, the opulent jungle shrubbery, the scattered population, the birds and animals, and in November the variety of flowers on trees, make it pretty. The road is good and from Panaji it takes just over an hour to reach. The students were on a National Service Scheme (NSS) camp. They were staying at the local Government High School. The officers who spoke were Lt. Col. Sylvester D’Souza (Retd.) of Sangolda, who went all the way in spite of recuperating from a heart ailment (that’s the spirit of a soldier, a recent angioplasty didn’t deter him!!!). There was Commander Kesari who is still serving the Indian Navy, posted at Vasco. And Wg. Cdr. Jaywant (Retd.) who represented the flying arm of the Services. Like all young Indians, the students sat silently through the speeches and were hesitant in raising their hands to ask questions. Until the tea was served. Then the voices rose, the questions poured in. It was a small, neat function, certainly one which these rural youth will think of and discuss in the months to come