Tuesday, 29 April 2008


Let's see, how well you guys know your own colleagues... Lets see if you can name these two guys taking a power nap at the Reliance outlet at Campal.


The Goan print media has perhaps just two good news photographers... Nandesh Kambli from the Navhind Times and Rajtilak Naik who has now shifted to TOI. Here's a fantastic shot by Nandesh published in the TNT recently. Its a couple of eagles (not eagles... kites... thanks for the correction bud) swooping on their prey.


* Photo courtesy Department of Information Government of Goa


'Shankaracharyaji, yes that's the agreement for the latest plot of land I've bought. You've heard of Meridian estates right? Wait a minute... is that your face on it? Did I muscle you out of that piece of land?' Oh... so sorry, you can have it back. And BTW thanks for curing my piles? No doctor at the GMC could get it treated right. I've always been a prickly asshole, ask my pop'

* Photo courtesy Department of Information Government of Goa

Monday, 28 April 2008


We don't need to write a
word more!

Sunday, 27 April 2008


Here's some of the comments received in response to the last post. We've left out a few which were so cryptic that we couldn't decipher them and a couple which spoke about our proximity to GT. You can read them in the comments section in the last post. If you have more to say, send it in...

Anonymous said...

GT is now having sex with condoms after TOI has already impregnated it. A case of too little too late.

Anonymous said...
Read the latest issue of Goan OBserver? Another hypocrite is facing TOI heat. Until yesterday, Rajan Narayan was pontificating through his Stray Thoughts about the pressing need of Goan journos to make the best of TOI offer and accepting it without further delay. He wanted Goan journos to direct their newspaper establishments to match the offers made to them by TOI. However, one attack of TOI on their reporter Gauri Malkarnekar has delivered a stinging slap on Rajan's face and has made him take a U-turn on his SERMON. Read Rajan's outpourings against TOI in his Stray Thoughts in the latest issue of Goan Observer to get a hang of the vitriol and hatred that has been the hallmark of his brand of journalism all these years. Gosh, he calls TOI a prostitute and wants Goans to boycott it. Talibanism of the worst variety aka GT?
Incidentally, TOI didn't poach on Gauri Malkarnekar. She herself was keen on quitting 'Weekly' Goan Observer and joining a 'Daily', a fact conveniently ignored by Rajan Narayan in his column.
Anonymous said...
Excellent post.Apart from exposing the sheer insecurity of the top brass at GT, the job of erasing bylines of GT reporters(or whatever that is left there) smacks of the DOG IN THE MANGER ATTITUDE currently prevailing at GT. Guys GT is s**t scared and is trying to save whatever it can from the TOI onslaught. Good luck to them. And yes finally good sense has prevailed on this post who have stopped treating GT as a holy cow. Need I say Talibans are BARBARIANS and GT is following in its footsteps?
Caje said...
Hey penpricks!
Keep up the buzz... and if you really believe that bylines should be attributed, let's start by you signing your real name/s too:-)
I've started by abstaining from an anonymous identity to signing this.
Cajetan Vaz
Anonymous said
It is apparent that all penpricks are from GT. GT and to some extent Herald were the only papers that allowed a reporters by-line. TNT has always withheld the identities of its reporters and used the " By a NT Staff Reporter". I do not see why this should be a problem or be considered as "curtailment of freedom". You are all working for your respective organizations as a team (cohesive i'm assuming) and not to showcase your individual skills. And so, a great piece provides your consumer (the reader) with a delight/thrill thereby satisfying his needs and in turn scores a point for the publication that you work for. A badly written piece on the other hand only ends up scoring a demerit and exposes the lack of teamwork in making the same readable.

As a team, you can all contribute to making up for each others deficiencies by pitching in and let everyone grow professionally or have pitched battles and score points against each other and all lose as the overall quality of the publication degrades.
Again, i must insist that the overall quality of the publication depends upon the team work that is put into making it better.
Anonymous said...
Hamam mein hum sab nange hai including GT.
(Loose translation: All are birds of same feather including GT)
Anonymous said...
We Goans should be proud of Derrick Almeida and should support him in his endevour of being the only Goan editor of a newspaper. Times of India will never approach Derrick Almeida as he has done wonderful work in turning around Gomantak Times into a paper which carries intellectual content.
Anonymous said...
so let penpricks name the journalist behind a good/bad/ugly story.....

Friday, 25 April 2008


Some breaking news fellas...
Monday onwards, the Gomantak Times is likely to pluck the name of the editor and publisher Derek Almeida off the print line to avoid the possibility of him being poached by The Times of India... And from Sunday both the news editor Thapa and the deputy news editor Ashley have been asked to report to duty with one eraser each to ensure that reporters' bylines are scrubbed off the page before it's released.
Of course we are funnin' guys. But the issue we comment on below, isn't exactly funny, its dumb and worthy of ridicule.
From the bit of thread that we've picked (after being alerted by a couple of remarks in the comments section, thanks to our ever vigilant readers) the Gomantak Times has stopped dishing out bylines for fear of the author being poached by the TOI.
WHAT?!?!? Exactly what are we saying here...
Was sanity the last person to quit the GT for TOI? What on earth is this policy?
Figure out this for a minute.
Say X files a good story in the GT and its published minus the byline. Does the management really feel that no one in the TOI would realise who has filed it? Especially with the number of GT folks already crammed in the TOI?
A writing style is a signature and colleagues/former colleagues will spot it.
This Taliban like ban needs to be criticised in the strictest words. Cause if such silly whims are allowed to prevail, journos would be reduced to mute, naked pawns in the games that these big newspapers play with each other.
Whether you like us or hate us. Please do make it a point to write back about what you have to say about this issue guys. We'll pile the comments as a separate post.

* http://penpricks.blogspot.com/2007/12/penpricks-impact-voice-drifts-into.html

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

सब गंदा है पर धंदा है ये!!!

Call us fools. Dumb-asses. (Some of you do that anyway, but say it once more pls). For one whole year now, we missed a story, that was staring at us right in the face.
It was only a few days ago when we were reading up one of Mayuresh Pawar's 100 % non adulterated article that it finally hit us.
All this while we were under the impression that when Herald owner Raul Fernandes (pic) had applied for a casino licence (the BJP was in power then) the formalities had been carried out either in his name or some other company he had floated.
But we were stumped when Mayuresh's story on April 14 and The Navhind Time story on March 28 read that in fact it was the Raul-owned Herald Publications Pvt Ltd which had applied for a casino licence.
Now this is really shocking.
Say, tomorrow if Herald Publications Pvt Ltd (the company which owns the Herald newspaper) is issued the licence, the company would end up running both a newspaper and a casino simultaenously? (Can you imagine a floating news desk?) You heard of anything more bizzare? But damn... we've had mine owners running newspapers!!! ;)
Anyway there are a couple of points we were trying to make.
We have been a bit late in picking up this lead, so have any readers noticed how Herald has treated casino-related stories? Stories, edits? Anyone knows... do write back your comments.
This paradox brings to our mind an anecdote involving Sunaparant editor Sandesh Prabhudessai and Churchill Alemao at the latter's cabin.
Churchill was... we think the Industries minister then (not very sure about this) and was lobbying hard for casinos. There's one thing about Sandesh and you've got to grant him this. When he starts talking, you can only listen, cause you can't do much else. You are literally spellbound.
So where were we... hmm ok we journos were munching batatawadas ordered from Tato and Churchill was bulldozing his argument. "Casino... will give jobs. Employment zatole re." (the casino lobby had put him on the job already) Around then Sandesh rallied around with an amazing spell of sustained sarcasm.
"Sure, casinos will create all sorts of jobs in Goa. So all the unemployed Goan women would have a great avenue to become prostitutes and hey, all unemployed Goan menfolk can start about pimping them to the rich casino clients." This is a small bit from that conversation which could recollect. But trust us, Churchill could not say much in response. At the end, he just mumbled something to the effect of, "Jobs zatele re... Kidde oloyta re tu!"
Phew... back to the present.
Now that conversation creates a pretty queer pitch for Sandesh in today's clime. Guys, V M Salgaoncar and Bro Pvt Ltd have also applied for a casino licence. These are the big boys who own Sunaparant. Wonder if it would present the same kind of predicament to Sandesh now, as it did when he confronted Churchill on the casino issue. Hope he puts across his anti-casino point-of-view to the dapper Dattaraj, with the same kind of zeal he had confronted Churchill with.
Come to think of it guys, life really does hold you by the collar and place you at these strange crossroads. Look at this now two of the most visible and voluble journos (Sandesh and Herald editor Ashwin Tombat) who are known known to wear the Left ideology on their sleeves, now edit newspapers run by bosses who are hell bent on starting casinos in Goa.
Weird man.. weird... So life's not much different than a roulette then, is it?

Saturday, 19 April 2008


A very disoriented Penpricks is desperately looking for one Ashwin Tombat, a journalist we once knew.
In fact this post is about this journo who once made a newspaper in the ruins look up, during his first stint at The Gomantak Times. Maybe it was the recent journey some miles up road to a very capitalist Bombay where a few PR write ups for firms like the TATAs among others, that probably washed him out?
The only problem is that he is supposed to be editing a newspaper in Goa, but we still haven't found him all this time. And the paper he is rumoured to be editing not only smells like carcass, but also reads like one.
The Tomcat signature is certainly missing. But what is very very obvious is the clumsy footprint of furniture storekeeper, who runs the newspaper like a badly managed stud farm. You know the sort where thoroughbreds are put to plough and crowbaits mistaken for seed stallions.

And that's why we have contacted you readers to see if you guys could help us find this journalist long lost. Ashwin should be in his late 40s or early 50s now.
From what we knew of him, he was tall, broad chested, dark, with an unruly shock of hair (although Ashwin leaned towards the left in his early, his hair wasn't weighed down by any one particular ideology...)
Hey we even have a photograph (courtesy harinair's blog) for you guys to help narrow the search down.
If any reader recognises Ashwin in the photograph and/or knows anything about him contact any of us pricks at penpricks
Good old journalism wants to renew ties with Ashwin again.

British author Annette Allen is looking for her classmates from her schooldays in Ethiopia. In fact, the search is the subject of her first non-fiction memoir: ‘An Ethiopian Odyssey’, that is helping to raise funds for WaterAid Ethiopia. It details her 25,000 mile journey to find nine former classmates from Nazareth School for Girls, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she studied from 1962 to 1964.
Among the girls Annette hopes to find – and write a second book about their lives – is a Goan, Celina Fernandes. She would be around 56 now, says Annette, and had a sister Elizabeth and brother David. She would like, if possible, to include Celina’s story and what happened to her in the intervening years in the book (but only if Celina agrees). Half of the royalties from the new book will go to peace projects across the world. The only problem is, she hasn’t found Celina as yet. That’s why she contacted Herald, to see if we could help her find a long-lost classmate. Celina is mentioned in her first book as well; she remembers Celina fondly as “a tall, graceful Indo-Portuguese girl from Goa”. “Celina Fernandes,” she continues, “was the tallest among us. I imagined that she must have taken after her father in height. She often appeared anxious, her brows knitted in bewilderment. She had a lilting accent, so typical of the Goan people and, unlike Sumitra Goyal — another classmate she’s in search of — she always let her long hair fall free like a curtain, with just a bow at the back.” An Ethiopian classmate, Fanaye Saifou, told Annette while she was on her Ethiopian odyssey that out of the class of 38 in that Annette left in 1964, only 10 graduated in 1969; one of whom was Celina. Fanaye said she has preserved the graduation photo. Annette heard during her travels that Celina had returned to Goa. Now she’s determined to find her if she can. Annette was inspired to take up this mission by a dream she had in April 2000 – that she had returned to Addis Ababa to help provide water for the very poor. She was then asked to give a talk about the quest at the United Nations last year, to talk about this journey of deep faith. There is now a major international publisher interested. She has set up a company to channel half of the royalties from every book to help the poor. She says that she believes in hands-up, not hand-outs, and her journey has helped her discover that dreams still touch hearts across the world. She is now looking for her remaining classmates, and hopes to include their lives in her second book. Annette is half-English, half-Norwegian and spent much of her childhood living out of suitcases, as the family travelled from city to city, country to country, following her father’s aeronautical career. Most of her childhood was in Africa: Ethiopia and South Africa. When she witnessed the endemic poverty in these countries, she developed a strong sense of justice for these people, who had so little, and yet were often happier than Europeans, even though the latter had so many material possessions. Her simple, Christian faith grew from such encounters. After returning to Britain in 1972, she moved into corporate communications, working for major international companies. She won awards for some of her work, but as she approached 40, life began to seem increasingly meaningless, despite a BMW in the driveway, the birth of her son James in 1989, and a lovely house. Everything changed after her mother’s death in 1993. She stopped work for a while to care for her and began to question what life was really all about. In particular, she was puzzled by the still, clear dreams she had, messages which had no connection whatsoever to the previous day’s events. She began to wonder if these could, perhaps, foretell her future. She set off on her journey to find her former classmates in March 2004, guided by dreams and the old black and white school photo, with just their Christian names on the reverse. Little did she anticipate that she would cross three continents to track them down, helped by men and women around the world. The dream spread everywhere, on the internet, radio programmes and TV news and ended at St Paul’s Chapel in New York, a little church next to Ground Zero. The city is home to two of her former classmates. The book has received many accolades. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has written: “I very much admire your determination and commitment to the cause of poverty reduction. I hope... that others are inspired by reading about your experiences.” Cape Town Archbishop Emeritus Desmon Tutu said: “Thank you for sharing your dream with me. I read about it with great interest.” President of Ethiopia Girma Wolde-Giorgis wrote: “I am happy to know that you were in Nazareth School with my daughter, Hiruth. I am sure your book will be a success.” If any reader recognises Celina in the photograph and/or knows anything about her, please contact me at Herald (Tel: 2433373, 6658502, 2224202, 2224460, 2228083). A school friend wants to renew ties with her.

Thursday, 17 April 2008


Franky baby... tell us one thing man...
Exactly how is a pimp 'hotly' chased by the Crime Branch? ;) And Franky how big a stake, is a stake in a fledgling activity?

Uzbek women released
PANJIM, APRIL 16 – The four Uzbekistan women arrested for prostitution were let off by the Judicial Magistrate First Class, here, on Wednesday. The four were remanded to 14 days judicial custody yesterday.
The four have been asked not to leave Goa without permission of the court and to report to the Crime Branch daily for the next two weeks between 10 am to 1 pm.
The women were employed by Gulnora Zuraeva, who is being hotly chased by the Crime Branch. A look-out circular has been issued to all immigration check posts at airports and sea ports so that the pimp doesn’t leave the country.
Crime Branch sleuths maintained that the woman’s partner, Rohit Trivedi, who has a big stake in the fledgling activity going on for some time in Goa and some neighbouring states, is also being hunted.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008


We got this mail from Rajan P. Parrikar, rather it was mailed to the Gomantak Times and copied to the penpricks ID.
Rajan P. Parrikar claims that the Gomantak Times picked his photo from the web and used it "without his permission" or "without crediting him". He has sought an explanation from the GT Editor Derek. Well, we do sincerely hope Rajan gets his answer, cause we still haven't gotten ours on that plagiarised editorial bit.
Here's Rajan's mail

From: "Rajan P. Parrikar"
To: editor@gomantaktimes.com, derekalmeida@rediffmail.com, gteditor@gmail.com
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 06:45:46 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Using my photograph without permission and without credit
The Gomantak Times has used my photograph (Anthony D'Silva)
on page A2 today (Tues, April 15, 2008) without my permission
and without crediting me. This is unacceptable. Please explain.
I had posted the photograph to Goanet. See here -


Saturday, 12 April 2008


Hey, do these fellas in the Herald know that they have a celebrity in their midst? Angela Calina, who a part of the latest lot of Filipino's to hit Herald is something of a celeb back in her own country. Angela, was one of the reasons why Herald owner Raul was attracted to the Philippines in the first place and then got stuck around there for the last few years. (BTW Raul's back a couple of days ago).
Angela was a part of a Pinoy Big Brother show (remember we had our own indigenous variety in India?) and has quite a fan following. She is also an anchor and some sort of a singer out there. Unfortunately Angela was the first celeb to exit from the Big Brother show. In fact, her fans call her the 'Wild flower of Cebu'. Cebu's the town she hails from. Read more about it here.
Hey there's more.
Turns out that things are not working well for Raul's Filipino lot. Unconfirmed reports have it that Raul is pissed off with them due to personal reasons. Chances are that they may be heading back to their country by the end of April.

Monday, 7 April 2008


This is vinatge stuff from the Herald. No wonder the Times of India guys will laugh their way up the circulation ladder.
This bit is from that same batch of scans we talked about some time back.
If this header is a scream, the text is even worse... Read on, especially if you've had a rough day...

Saturday, 5 April 2008


There's one thing deskies in our newspapers must be made to do regularly...
Poor chaps are so burdened expanding photos with grinning politicians or cropping over-sized celebrity busts to ensure that they stay within the regular three column slot, that they rarely ever read newspaper, barring the pages they slog through. But to be fair to em, lets not blame deskies alone. A lot of editors (both vernacular and otherwise) in Goa spend a lot of time, picking up celebrity photos and articles from the web for the leisure /entertainment page every day.
Tires them out, we guess.

This particular page we have reproduced is the end product of rank ignorance.
How can any newspaper desk worth its salt, allow a three column pic of Mallika Sherawat hoisted over a hstory on Baba Amte's demise?

We tried hard to come up with a few reasons why the desk could have taken a call to bury Amte under Mallika, on the day the former died...

-- Mallika oooohh!
-- Amte who?

-- Mallika heaving is a much prettier sight. Boy... look at her cheeks glow...

-- Say, how good can a shrunken, dying man look anyway

-- Hey its Mallika with clothes on, How often do you get to see that? Its unusual, its news!!!

-- Amte and that two bit khadi jacket of his. Couldn't he ever think of anything else?

-- Mallika has assets

-- Who asked Amte to give his away?

Ashley wake up boy... or should we ask Margaret Mascarenhas to get you to smell a cup of coffee or something?

Wednesday, 2 April 2008


The Man had a lot of wealth. His father too. And so did his grandfather. The trick was, they knew how to keep it. Right from the days of the grandfather, they had been known to own dogs. The Man only followed this tradition. He tied the dog by a chain to the gate in the wall, that surrounded his house. The chain was long enough to keep others at a considerable distance from the compound wall, but short enough to ensure that the dog stopped a few feet short of the steps leading into his house. Like the sacred thread worn by the Man, this chain was the dog's sacred thread.
The only difference was that while the thread was a sign of limitless power to the Man, to the dog it was a sign of restraint.
The dog was also pretty hairy in some places, so it was difficult to know whether he had been castrated or not. But the dog was loyal. He kept a lot of unwanted elements out. And ensured that secrets never strayed out of the Man's house. So loyal was he that he even kept a daily ledger of the bones the Man threw to him everyday.
But not for nothing was the Man of the house, the MAN OF THE HOUSE. After some time, the man brought home another puppy which he reared inside the house, showering a lot of love on it. Everyday for a week, he would cuddle the puppy in his arms and walk by the dog. The dog would whimper and squeal seeking the Man's affection. But the Man ignored the dog. This routine continued exactly for a week, until one day the Man came out rushing and ordered the dog to rush a straggler and kill him. The dog did as ordered without any hesitation. The puppy was at the back of his mind. Chances were that the puppy would upstage him, if he did not listen to the Man. He killed the straggler without any mercy.
Later, in the day, a servant walked out of the house, a limp furry bundle in his hands. He laid it some distance from the dog and started digging a hole. He threw the limp body in it and covered the hole. It was the pup. Its neck had been wrung. The pup had served its utility. The dog whined, but it did not cry. Had it not been the pup, it would have been him.
The next morning, the Man stepped out of the house, face glowing. The Man offered the dog a prize. A hundred bones and a platter with his name inscribed on it and a warm quilt to lie on. He patted the dog's head and walked over the pup's grave on his way back home.

Vidyadhiraj Award for CM
NT Staff Reporter
Panaji, April 1 The president of Shree Samsthan Gokarn Partagalli Jeevottam Mutt committee, Mr Shrinivas V Dempo today announced the coveted Shree Vidyadhiraj Award for the year 2007, will be presented to the Chief Minister, Mr Digambar Kamat.Mr Dempo said that the name of Mr Kamat was under the consideration of the mutt committee for quiet sometime and the award is being given on the recommendation of the committee and the approval of Swamiji.The annual award is given to an individual in recognition of his meritorious services to the society in any field. The Shree Vidyadhiraj Award will be presented to Mr Kamat on April 8 during a special function to be held at the Shree Samsthan Gokarn Partagalli Jeevottam Mutt. Shree Vidyadhiraj Teerth Shreepad Vader Swamiji will present this award to Mr Kamat.The award includes a citation, shawl, Rs 25,000 and a replica of the thousand-year old banyan tree, which is situated in the vicinity of the mutt.The award was instituted to commemorate the 534th anniversary of the foundation of the mutt, which marked the process of unification of the fragmented Saraswat community. This day also happens to be the 35th anniversary of Shree Guru Peetharohan of Shree Vidyadhiraj Teerth Shreepad Vader Swamiji.


Hi fellas, heard this some time back?
Apparently, Navhind Publications manager Pramod Revankar was approached by the Herald sometime back. The offer apparently didn't work out. Anybody have some dope on this? Its one helluva flux isn't it? Revankar was one of the major headhunters for TNT in this scenario. A hunter who came back home, head drooped, with no hunks of deer meat over his shoulder. Last we heard his bosses weren't too happy with his powers of retention. No no his bladder's fine... Just that they were displeased with the fact that too many fellas quit the paper for TOI. TNT just could not retain them.The list runs is pretty long. We've given you the link, but sure there are additions to it now. There's something else guys... While everyone focusses on the losses to TNT, Navprabha is also in crisis mode, with hard-working chaps like Ganesh Javdekar and Kishor Kubal switching to Gomantak. Gurudas Sawal retired earlier this year. The editor Suresh Walve is serving on an extension. The only other mainstay Sanjiv Verenkar hates Walve. Things are pretty sick out there.