He stood there by the road after three long decades overlooking the land which he once called his evergreen village of Goa. Then, it was a haven of peace, now, only a hub for commercialization and a fast moving life. A village which was once covered with a never ending evergreen canopy and vast stretches of lush green fields now stood there naked with a concrete jungle of buildings and structures and barren fields. A tear rolled down Padres Bernadine’s old wrinkled scarred cheek seeing the fate of his village. He couldn’t console of something so dear that he had lost.
He started walking the winding road down the hill, towards his village, taking one agonizing step at a time. The padre could still vividly hear the shouts and cries of laughter of his childhood days that he spent with his friends playing and plucking fruits and all the adventurous exploits they enjoyed doing on this very hill and the distant church bell chimes, reminding the village folk the time for prayer and the children as well, so as to be back home before the “ angelus” or else get “ Mai’s tapovnni” ( grandma’s shouting) or if worse “ mittacher dimmim” ( kneeling on salt).
The hill now deserted and the church bell not to be heard with all the hype and bizarre traffic noise. He stopped abruptly on his trail, not wanting to journey further to the place which he dreaded the most now. Already maimed and not wanting to be more, he diverted and mapped his way onto the hillside, off the road to a special spot where he spent much of his quality time as a youth.
It overlooked the entire village, the church, the fields, a perfect panaromic view that would soothe a tense mind and soul. He sat there by himself on a rock, which was a tablet on which were the faint inscriptions of the past, the names of his peers and his, now worn out over the years.