THE DON VADDO WALK
This is a walk through the tiny ward of Don in
the village of Saligao. The walk takes you through
the village ward and o the top of the hillock
for a panoramic view of the whole village. There
is nothing unusual about the walk except that
you take it one of Saligao’s most illustrious
residents, Jean Kalgutkar.
Begin this walk at the chapel dedicated to St.
Anne on CHOGM Road on the way to the popular beachfront.
Get off the bus you have come in and take the
narrow lane that takes you to Jean Kalgutkar’s
house on your right. Consumer activist and choral
singer Jean Kalgutkar is a fund of knowledge on
the village she lives in and say she “could
take this walk up to fifteen times in a day”.
To make life a little easy, however, it might
be a good idea to call her on 0832-2278006 and
ask her to accompany you if she has not yet completed
her walking quota for the day.
If you are on your own, nose-dive into the lane
across the street from the chapel. Pass Fieldside
Bar on your left as you make a nodding acquaintance
with two fabulous-looking silk cotton trees on
your lift and model Goan houses in front of you.
Paddy fields both divide and unite all the various
elements in this pastoral scene. The silk cotton
flowers in the month of February before the trees
bear fruit. Summer breezes then fill both the
air and Goan homes with fluff from the pods of
silk cotton. A nuisance for some and soft pillows
The paddy fields are devoid of paddy at this time
of the year. Instead, corn, tambdi bhaji (red
spinach) and Goan chillies splash the brown with
spurts of red and green. Jean says she takes this
walk every evening for the exercise but one suspects
it is more for the opportunity to say “’hello!”
to half the village. Beware of being stopped in
the middle of the land of her ancestors in 1995
and hasn’t looked back since. “I’ve
learned something new about Goa every day since
I first came,” she says.
Look for the exposed stone house on the right.
It is a palatial house but bereft of a family
to fill it with the sights and sounds of laughter.
Listen to the calves complain as evening falls
and they are tethered to their poles for the night.
Dodge children on their bicycles on this little
village street. Now look at the house with the
columns and railings printed in green. The house
was in shambles until a family bought it in 1990
and restored it to its present state. Villa Valer
Ida, on the other hand was built from scratch
in 1967. Goan house names can sometimes invite
a degree of curiosity. In this name we have a
combination of the names of a husband, Valerio,
and wife Ida, Almost every available space on
the front façade has been engraved with
their initials in the most endearing fashion.
You can either take the little bye-lane on the
left and walk through an extended pastoral scene
or you can take your walk a little more seriously
and literally, head for the hills. Jean walks
up the hilly terrain at breakneck speed! Slow
her down a bit and pause a minute to take in the
fragrance of the flowers. The cashew is in bloom
in February its heady scent will have you begging
for more. Listen to the roar of traffic from way
below on the other side of the hill and try and
reach the top through a maze of trees. Jean reaches
choral singing at Goa’s prestigious Goa
Kala Academy. “The children here are so
musically inclined and the place so beautiful,”
she says, “now I don’t want to die!”
Look at the largish house on the little chapel
in the vaddo as you go down the same way that
you went up. It belongs to Camilo Colaco of the
Saligao Civil and Consumer Cell, Goa’s first
consumer rights group which is Fighting for cooking
gas connections, regular power supply the question
of potable water.