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A Baker from Goa Long Questions and Answers
By– Lucia Rodrigues
1. Why was it absolutely essential to have a “baker’s furnace” in a Goan village?
Ans. The Portuguese and their famous loaves of bread had made a permanent impact on Goan soil. The eaters of those loaves might have vanished but the makers of the loaves — the bakers still have an important place in the society. The Goan village still has the mixers, moulders and those who bake the loaves. There are also the age-old time-tested furnaces which exist till date. The bakers are still important in the village. The lady of the house must Prepare sandwiches on the occasion of her daughter’s engagement. Cakes and bolinhas are a must for Christmas as well as other festivals. Thus, the presence of the baker’s furnace in the village is still essential.
2. Give a pen-portrait of a baker in Goa.
Ans. A baker had an important place in the village life of Goa. Marriage gifts were meaningless without bol or sweet bread, cakes and bolinhas at Christmas and other festivals. In old days the bakers used to wear a peculiar dress — kabai – a single piece long frock reaching down the knees. Later they started wearing a shirt and trousers which were longer than the shorts and shorter than the full-length pants. They used to be prosperous. They, their family and servants never starved. Their plump physique was a testimony of their prosperity and good income. The baker used to be a good friend, companion and guide for the author. He would come twice a day and then, the children of the house would crowd around his basket to choose the bread-bangles. Even today, baking and bakers are famous in Goa. They still use the traditional furnaces to bake bread and cakes. These bakers are known as paders in Goa.
3. Describe the childhood memories of the author’s life in Goa and his fondness for bread and cakes.
Ans. The author’s childhood memories are full of fun. He remembers them and gets nostalgic. The pader or baker was an important person in the Goan village as well as in the author’s life. He used to mix, mould and bake the loaves of bread in age-old, tested furnaces. He used to come twice a day, once in the morning to sell the bread and then while returning after emptying his basket. He made his musical entry with the `jhang, jhang’ sound of his bamboo staff. The author with other children used to run to meet him in order to take the bread-bangles or sometimes the sweet bread of special make. He chatted and gossipped with him.
4. How is the effect of the traditional bread bakers can still be seen in Goa of today? [H.B.SE.March,2017(Set-B)]
Ans. The author remembers his old days in Goa when the village baker occupied an important place in life. Bread eating was very common in those days. Apart from eating bread daily, bread held an important place at the time of Christmas, marriages and other functions. Although, with the passage of time, people do not eat so much bread today, yet the village bakers are still there. The Portuguese were famous for earns the loaves of bread. They left Goa long ago. But the traditional work of the bakers can still be seen in Goa. The furnaces in which the bread was baked still exist there. The sound of the traditional bakers’ bamboo can still be heard. These bakers are known as Pader in Goa even today.
5. What was the importance of the baker in the village? What kind of dress did be wear?
Ans. The village baker was especially important for all occasions. The villagers were much fond of the sweet bread known as ‘Bor. Marriage gifts were meaningless without these sweetbreads. Sandwiches, cakes and bolinhas were a must for Christmas as well as other festivals. These were made with the bread. Thus the presence of a baker’s furnace was very essential in each village. The baker or the bread-seller wore a special, peculiar dress. It was known as the ‘kabai‘. It was a single-piece long frock. It reached -down to his knees. During narrator’s childhood bakers wore trousers which were shorter than full-length and longer than half pants. Even today if someone wears a half pant, he is said to be dressed like a pader.
6. Give a pen-portrait of a Goan Village baker.
Ans. A Goan village baker used to sell all kinds of bread loaves. He used to come in the morning with a basket of bread loaves on his head. He made a musical entry on the scene with the jhang–jhang‘ of his bamboo stick. He used to wear a peculiar dress known as the ‘kabai‘. It was a single-piece long frock reaching down to the knees. The baker usually collected his bills at the end of the month. Baking was indeed a profitable profession in the old days. The baker always looked happy and prosperous. He had a plump physique.
Q7. What do our elders are often heard reminiscing nostalgically about in Goa? Did the old profession of making the famous loaves of bread end with the Portuguese?
Ans. Our elders in Goa are often heard reminiscing nostalgically about the good old Portuguese days. They are often heard saying nostalgically about their famous loaves of bread. Many eaters of loaves might have vanished but the makers are still alive. The profession of baking loaves of bread has not died with ending of the Portuguese rule. Goa still has the mixers, the moulders and the bakers of those loaves. The furnaces still bake those unique loaves of bread. Even today one can hear the thud and jingle of the traditional baker’s bamboo in the morning. Marriages, feasts, Christmas and other festivals are meaningless without the sweet bread known as the bol. The baker’s presence in even Goan village is absolutely essential. Baking was indeed a profitable profession in good old days. However, the tradition hasn’t died completely yet.
Q8. Describe the author’s experience during his childhood in Goa? Why was the baker or the pader the guide of children in Goa?
Ans. The author remembers fondly his childhood days in Goa. He recalls how the baker used to be the friend, companion and guide of the children. The thud and jingle of the traditional baker’s bamboo woke them from their sleep. It heralded the arrival of the baker or the pader in the morning. He used to come at least twice a day. Once, he used to set out in the morning on his selling round. Then he returned after emptying his huge basket. The children ran to meet and greet him. It was not for the love of the loaf. They longed for the bread-bangles. Sometimes it was sweet bread of special make. The children especially liked the musical entry on the scene with the `jhang, jhang’ sound of his specially made bamboo staff. He would greet the lady of the house with good morning but put the children with a mild rebuke. The children would not give up. They would climb a bench and peep into the basket. The author still recalls the fragrance of those loaves. The children would become crazy at the sight of the pader. They would forget even to brush their teeth.
Q9. Baking was a profitable profession in the old days in Goa. Prove it by giving examples from the text.
Ans. Baking was indeed a profitable profession in the old days in Goa. The people of Goa were used to the refreshing fragrance of the loaves of bread. On all occasions .and ceremonies, they needed them. Marriage gifts were meaningless without the sweet bread or the bol. No party was complete if bread was not served in it. The lady of the house must prepare sandwiches on the engagement ceremony of her daughter. Christmas and other festivals must have bolinhas during their celebrations. The presence of the baker’s furnace Was absolutely necessary for every, GNP village. The baker usually collected his bills at the end of the month. The baker and his family never starved. They always looked happy and prosperous. Their plump physique was an open testimony to their happiness and prosperity.
Q10. Give a pen-portrait of the baker or the pader highlighting the changes that came in his fortune and dress with the passage of the time.
Ans. The baker or the pader used to be an essential part of the Goans’ life. The baker or bread seller had a peculiar dress during the Portuguese days. It was known as the kabai. It was a single piece long frock reaching down the knees. With the passage of time, he started wearing a shirt and trousers which were just longer than the short pants. The baker and his family always looked happy and prosperous in the good old days. Their plumpy physique was an open testimony of their happiness and prosperity. However, as the time changed, the bakers continued their profession but with their reduced fortune and importance. The thud and jingle of the traditional bamboo of the baker are still heard in the streets of Goa even now. Sweet bread or the boys are still the part of feasts, marriages and Christmas in Goa. However, the old charm and craze have become rather dim in recent days.