Editor's Note
Goan Spirit has been a dream of mine for a few years.  To keep the spirit of Goa alive and kicking at a time when this tiny state of ours has changed irrevocably.  Twenty years ago, to find an ‘outsider’ was like finding a needle in a haystack.  Today the demography has changed so much that finding a Goan in this land of ours is becoming rare. Don’t get me wrong, there are “outsiders” who have adopted Goa, its culture and revel in being Goan.  By the same token, there are Goans who have sold out Goa.

Goan Spirit is also about telling it like it is.  How Goa’s politicians are the biggest culprits in selling off Goa.  How they have destroyed Goa – allowed unfettered mining, construction so much so that the pure environment this small state of ours had is lost forever as have the hills and paddy fields, the USP of this once Portuguese colony.  Garbage is piling up in villages, on roads and highways and no politician has bothered to find a solution.  All those plastic bags would not have been fluttering in the wind, if politicians spent some of the time, which they do in thinking up ways to make money, in something that the people want.  An example: why not ban plastic manufacture, instead of the offending bag only?

In some ways Goa has not changed. Politically, it’s not even a blip on the horizon. Which is why it had 13 chief ministers in a decade and nothing was done to stem its spiral downwards as its citizens got forgotten and its dynasties carved out fiefdoms.  But the good news is that culturally and socially it was buzzing and became an ‘it’destination.

This website is for all those who want to preserve Goan spirit, and not get bracketed under stereotypes like ‘sussegado’, drinkers and merry makers.  Some of the old spirit, like being accommodating has given way to boorishness.  Look at the way vehicle-owners behave on the road and you will know what I mean. There’s no noblesse oblige anymore. But Goa is part of a changing world with changing mores.  But the spirit does not have to change.


Lionel Messias
In 30 plus-years of a journalistic career, you can say “I’ve been there, done that”. From small provincial papers to national dailies, from small places to metros, from mainstream dailies to the pink papers, observing and covering events.  It’s been quite a ride that ended 11 years ago in Goa, the land that I love.
I began my career with the Goa Today, went onto Newslink (the paper funded by the Tarun Bharat group) and wrote for Bombay’s Marine Times and also Shipping and Transport News.  I was a regular writer at the Sunday Free Press Journal, The Telegraph and was Goa’s correspondent for Maharashtra Herald and Amrita Bazar Patrika before becoming Chief Reporter of the Gomantak Times, which played the biggest role then in getting Speaker Dayanand Narvekar to resign over a molestation charge.  When the Indian Post launched in Bombay, I was their man in Goa.

My big break was as Special Correspondent for Mid-day in Goa before I moved on to Bangalore to join the Indian Express and later the Pioneer.  My next pit stop was Madras with the Economic Times and later Hyderabad with the same paper. My Hyderabad spell included launching a new daily called AP Times, which I started in a rented apartment  of all places in 1996.  I then joined Newstime as Business editor before getting back to mainstream journalism with the Dubai- based Gulf News for several years.

Hyderabad was where Lion Roars was born.  It was in the Deccan Chronicle and was a critique about what is not needed for Hyderabad. When I came back to Goa in 2002, I wrote a column in the Gomantak Times called Eye Spy.  I moved my column to the Herald and Lion Roars kicked ass, this time filing RTI’s and telling shell-shocked Goans like it is.  I also wrote for Business India in the interim.  I joined the Heraldo as Associate Editor in charge of the Business and Entertainment pages in July 2008 and quit later the next year because I realized that the rat race was not for me and that I would rather fly solo.

Pushpa Iyengar
During this long journey I have been a reporter, editor, rewrite person at different times. Starting out with the Free Press Journal, the best training ground then for any journalist, I joined the Times of India three years later. Right from the crime beat, the education beat, the medical beat ending up with High Court reporting, the rich tapestry provided me with experience of various kinds. Still with TOI, I came to Goa as correspondent before being sent to Madras and three years after that to Hyderabad.

After eight years as the state’s correspondent my 20 year run with the TOI ended and I joined the Deccan Chronicle as Deputy Editor heading features. That was quite a challenge, heading a team, editing and rewriting copy where entire sections whether on schools/ teens/ the city/ the glitterati and chatterati/ and the Sunday magazine were all my babies, ideated, put together and delivered. From there it seemed like child’s play when I came back to Goa as correspondent of the DNA, a new paper that was born in Bombay. Two years later, Outlook news magazine beckoned and I was back in Chennai for five years. Last December, I decided to imbibe Goan Spirit and came back here.