Bernedita Rosinha Pinto
Adeus Fr. Bismarque Dias - Until In Heaven We Meet - Poem by Bernedita Rosinha Pinto
You are gone now forever
but nothing will change
in those who have no thought
nor inclination to change;
people will keep coming in as tourists
from everywhere, anywhere,
Goa will always be Goa
attracting many many people
to come here, live here;
it will be so crowded over the years
so much more than now.
People will come from North
to save themselves from smog,
they will buy and build apartments here;
people will come from South and East
for jobs and means of livelihood,
they will settle here, build their houses,
make their homes and children.
Nothing will stop Goa from getting
over-crowded, facing traffic congestion,
only you will not be here, dear Father.
Why did you go, how could you go
without any permissions
from those who loved you and
from your friends who needed your support
to keep Goa green, clean and serene.
Nature was your best friend, indeed
how could you not foresee her future
when of God you would speak
and of Salvation you would preach
asking men and women not to sin,
not to do things that could harm others and nature,
how can we now accept your absence and not cry?
Father dear, it pained our hearts to see you go
so far away from each one of us
from your own mother's arms and
from your mother-earth
whom you loved equally so very much.
And as we live, we will go on though
it aches our hearts to see our Goa
in such a different make-up of time:
bigger roads, bigger bridges
all through our fields they dug and built,
so many casino boats in our river
in our big city which looks different by night.
Everything has changed and will change
the people will keep rushing to Goa for holidays.
The world loves Goa for rest, relaxation
Could you and I change anything
when Goa belongs to this world
and these people?
You and I are only a voice
which anyone can silence and not feel any guilt.
But to hear a mother's eulogy to her son,
as she choked on words to hold back her tears,
did she deserve this sorrow
when a priest-son she bore
to love and care for people and nature?
Was this the gift for a sacrifice by a frail mother
who had to bury her own priest son
when it was not his time to go
just like my own frail mother
had to bury her young son
when it was not his time to go?
O' how painful this feels; only mothers,
brothers and sisters alone can know.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Fr Bismarque had drowned somewhere in the intervening night of November 5 and 6 2015, when he allegedly went swimming with two male acquaintances, one of whom was a minor. The body was discovered on 7 November, washed up near a sluice gate at St Estevam.
While his family members and friends had raised suspicion over the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death, the crime branch had concluded that the priest died due to drowning.
The family members had earlier demanded a thorough investigation and refused to accept his mortal remains which were preserved in a morgue at the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) .
The corpse was brought to his ancestral village Sunday morning and was kept at St Estevam Church for final prayers.
Fr Dias was buried in the cemetery of the church. Nearly a hundred people came to bid final adieu to Fr Bismarque.
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