WRITTEN WORK
TENSE ABOUT TENSE
- CASSANDRA C CARVALHO
Artist Bio
Cassandra C Carvalho is a final year journalism student at Christ University, Bangalore. As a passionate 20 year old, with her roots in Goa, she has a penchant for learning and creating all forms of art. Cassandra is an avid birwatch, nature-enthusiast and public speaker, with interests in ever-evolving topics from ecoprinting to hand-blown glass.


Photograph shared by the author
Photograph shared by the author
Photograph shared by the author
Photograph shared by the author

There is something ethereally appealing in montages, old memories warm with grain and light leaks. The aesthetic is appreciable, but it is the emotion that draws us to the beauty of nostalgia. Polaroids, journals, photo albums and film...even a faded bus ticket can take one for a trip down memory lane. Alas, for me, that trip has been a long one.
For the majority of my two decades I resided at the foot of a hill, by the sea. When describing this in conversation, this 'magical realm’ is unimaginable to others. It seems straight out of an Enid Blyton novel. My evenings were spent clambering over rocks hunting for porcupine quills and peacock feathers. Hours were wasted in the sweltering tropical weather, staring at some bird, pondering over some obscure plant species, fishing with bamboo rods and chasing butterflies. Seafood was plentiful and fruit were homegrown.

And then there was the rich culture of the land. The result of a former Portuguese colony under Indian rule, was the endearing phenomenon of a multi-religious community evolving its own tradition, a unique unity to witness. There'd be an annual feast of a quaint chapel on the edge of a lake in the middle of paddy fields. There'd be processions during the harvest season. An island nearby held a festival of flags. On June 23rd, the tradition was to eat jackfruit, munch on local delicacies and jump into a well. As absurd and fascinating as it may sound, all these celebrations stem from a deep cultural context.
Looking back, it feels like I was oblivious to the privilege I had, of living in such a bountiful and culturally heterogenous biosphere. No doubt, the slow lifestyle and the simplicity of life back home is irreplaceable. However, what I miss most is the opportunity to engage, protect and promote this rare confluence of civilization and climate.
Having to move away for higher education was what it took me to realise the sacred singularity of my homeland. And so comes the crux of this monologue.
One notices the use of 'was' in the paragraphs above, as if that 'magical realm' is a place that has ceased to exist. In my mind, it has. As my body is living the nine to five hustle in a metropolitan city (which undoubtedly has its own perks), my mind is stuck in this endless loop of regret, clinging onto the past, with the fear that the memories I am most attached to, are slipping away from my grasp. I wistfully scramble to make that memory a reality. Inevitably, I lose track of the present as I fumble around in an illusion of my past. 'Live in the moment' is the most cliche quote there is and yet, this simple instruction evades my conscience. As I have gradually become aware of this disposition, I’ve been on a quest to overcome this creeping tendency. Keeping thoughts to myself, was of course, of no benefit. Self-censorship really prohibits growth.  One evening Eureka struck, when I realised that doing what I do best was the simplest solution.
My work in progress is-

Aha. This long, sappy, philosophical thought-soup is my work in progress. After trial and error, I've reckoned that articulating and documenting is the best way to release my memories... remain memories. My regret for not being more involved with my community will always pester me but perhaps I can do justice by writing about it. This isn't a mere monologue about myself, but the beginning of documentations on reminiscences and heritage of my homeland.
Photograph shared by the author
Photograph shared by the author


Artist Note
As an adult, I have become exceedingly aware of my dependence on being home to supplement my happiness. Which isn't right. I've lived in Goa till I was 18 and moved to Bangalore for my graduation, and Mumbai for work. The cities (namely, Bangalore and Mumbai) I've lived in as an adult are enchanting and offer a different experience, which I often tend to overlook because I am too involved in my own thoughts of 'Oh this would be so much better back in Goa', or 'my friends in Goa are attending this right now', etc.
Nonetheless, when I'm home I realise there's a lot more to Goa that can be talked about, outside the tourist's definition of the holiday destination. And as an aspiring journalist, I believe it is my duty to talk about subcultures and the minor details. Thus, this article is my work in progress: a bridge between my attempt to make peace with my life away from home, as well as highlight the uniqueness of a place I am proud to call home. To avoid stereotyping or bias, I have refrained from using the word Goa in my article.




Email
Instagram
LinkedIn
MAP, Bengaluru

MAP’s mission is to democratise art, making it as fun and relatable to everyone as possible! We hope to change the perception of museums and art by making our museum a melting pot of ideas, stories and cultural exchange.
Pulse

Crafted as part of the MAP’s youth engagement initiatives, Pulse serves as a platform for young voices. An independent space for young adults to share their creative work and practice.