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A Baker from Goa — Lucio Rodrigues
This is a pen-portrait of a traditional Goan village baker who still has an important place in his society.
     OUR elders are often heard reminiscing nostalgically about those good old Portuguese days, the Portuguese and their famous loaves of bread. Those eaters of loaves might have vanished but the makers are still there. We still have amongst us the mixers, the moulders and those who bake the loaves. Those age-old, timetested furnaces still exist. The fire in the furnaces has not yet been extinguished. The thud and jingle of the traditional baker’s bamboo, heralding his arrival in the morning, can still be heard in some places. Maybe the father is not alive but the son still carries on the family profession. These bakers are, even today, known as pader in Goa.
The narrative discusses Goa's time under Portuguese rule. The narrator of the narrative begins by stating that he often heard his elders reflecting on "those good old Portuguese days" when renowned loaves of bread were made during the Portuguese rule over Goa. Here, the author refers to the 'good old Portuguese days' because he considers the past better than the present.
The Portuguese were bread lovers. Although the Portuguese had left Goa, there were still bakers of bread, if not the original ones, and after their deaths, their sons carried on the family business. Everything about baking is still the same, from the people who shape the bread loaves to the furnaces that have stood the test of time. And, Just like in the past, one can still hear the sound of their arrival and the thump of their bamboo stick. The term "Paders" is still used to describe bakers.
Bread loaves
Meaning of difficult words:
Reminiscing To think about your past with pleasure
Nostalgia Looking back or thinking about your past
Vanish To disappear suddenly
Loaf Refers to bread that is made as a single piece and can be sliced for eating
Furnace An enclosed surface on which heat is produced
Thud Refers to a heavy sound
Extinguish Put an end to
Herald Refers to a sign that something is going to happen
Pader In here, refers to a baker in Goa
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Glimpses of India - A Baker from Goa - Lucio Rodrigues (pp 85-89). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.