“You seem pre-occupied,” I said to Tia Querobina when I met her in the market.
“I am trying to find out where Senor Kamat and his advisers shop for their fruit and vegetables,” she said.
“I don’t think they do anything as mundane as shopping,” I said, “They probably order the goods to be sent to their residences.”
“No, the poor fellows are getting cheated blind,” she said.
“The Chief Minister?” I expostulated, “Never!”
Oh, he’s getting cheated all right. He pays more than Rs 14 for onions and wants to stabilize the prices at Rs 14, when you and I buy onions for Rs 6,” she said.
“Or maybe he is in cahoots with the Muslim dominated wholesale merchants of
“Oh I don’t think so, I think the vegetable vendors are cheating him because he is the Chief Minister and they think he has lots of bribe money at his disposal,” she said.
Then why has he ‘stabilized’ the price of carrots at Rs 25 when they are available at Rs 20 per kg? He cannot be so stupid; he must be helping them,” I said.
“I think maybe his wife is fighting with him and has not told him the correct rates,” she said.
He Goa’s George Bush; looks like they have the same IQ,” I said.
“No, there must be someone other reason, that he is doing this, I was reading the other day that he says he looks at the larger picture,” she said.
“I think, he just opens his mouth and lets the words fall out,” I said.
“No he sees the larger picture, he is doing his best for the aam aadmi,” she said. “I think he wants to toughen the Goan and make the common man more frugal in his eating.”
“It’s the uncommon man who suffers from dangerous traffic, spiraling prices, erratic power and water, an unstable government and garbage all over the place,” I said.
“This is because we don’t listen to him,” she said. “He is very upset with our negative mindset of opposing every new project just for the sake of it.”
“He wants us to smile when our hills are dug out by mining and our fields choked with iron ore deposits,” I said.
“That’s development,” she said, “Senor Kamat has said that if we hinder mining the standard of living of local people in the mining belt will suffer.”
“True, they’ll die with all that fresh air, clean water, fertile fields and proper roads,” I said.
“You are too cynical,” she said, “He means well and he always talks about everything he does, he does for the common man. Massage parlours for instance he says many are good and some are bad.”
“He should know, he’s good at massaging egos of his colleagues,” I said.“When the Shree Vidyadhiraj Teerth Shreepad Vader Swamiji conferred the Shree Vidyadhiraj Award 2007 on Senor Kamat at Shree Samasthan Gokarn Partagali Jeevottam Mutt, Canacona, he said he would always work for the poor and the needy in tiny Goa,” she said.
“Yes, so he brings the poor and needy from all over the country into tiny Goa, gives them houses, ration cards, electricity and water,” I said.
“This is his ticket to Heaven And that is why God is on his side," she said. "Who d'you think is helping him hang on to his seat?”