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My Present

 
   
 
     
 

Ah! Nagpur brings back some wonderful childhood memories and nostalgia - of days out on a shoot, of picking wild fruits, of going fishing, of picnics with family or friends in the jungle or by the banks of a river or tank. Mind you the population of India then was a mere 350 million (today it is almost a billion) and just 8 miles out of Nagpur we were in open country or jungle where one could spot wild boar, tiger, leopard, hyena, jackals, cheetal deer, black buck, cobra's, flying foxes etc. etc. We were introduced to guns and rifles at a very early age and I can remember learning to fire an air gun at the age of six. We used to go out for regular shoots, so I naturally progressed from air guns to being able to use a .22rifle and a .303rifle correctly, accurately and with ease. My brother and I were so well known that after a few rounds we used to get barred from the shooting galleries at fetes.


The culmination of all this acquaintance with firearms and in particular the .303 rifle was, that in 1956,I won the "Fifth Bombay Battalion All India Western Command Shooting Championship".


On our shoots, we never ever shot anything that wasn't later consumed as food - in other words we never hunted for trophies. Many acquaintances of ours did, and even as a youngster seeing a majestic tiger or leopard shot and carried on the top of a jeep, used to make me feel very sad and I used to think "what a waste". I have returned to India many times, since making England my new home and have been called by friends on numerous occasions to go out for shoots. I have taken them up on their offer only twice - I have not touched a rifle in over 25 years. Now I shoot with a camera, but wild life is very scant - poaching and encroachment on the natural habitat of the big cats by the ever increasing population has been, in the main, responsible for their decline.
Music and dance was something else that we were introduced to as youngsters. As I have mentioned somewhere else, music is in our blood i.e. in the blood of most Goans; it is in our genes. My sister took piano lessons and I learnt the violin, but I wasn't interested in learning classical music, so gave it up after a couple of years. Instead I took to playing the guitar and the keyboards-by ear of course. Whilst at university in Nagpur we formed a small band but only played at dances organised by the Catholic University Students Union, of which I was the first President.
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My Present!

As I have mentioned before, my wife and I are both retired. 
Becoming a "born again" Christian has certainly changed my life for the better. My whole outlook on life has changed and although I still appreciate the fine things in life, I no longer desire any of it. We are both content and happy with what we have got, and praise the Lord for it. Whilst previously, early retirement had made me an introverted individual, I am now beginning to make new friends and enjoy the fellowship of the church. People, not material inanimate objects, are more important. This is where I am at the present and it is my strong wish to improve on my communication skills in a positive and dynamic way. I speak English, Hindi, Konkani and some Marathi. I also speak a little bit of Portuguese and am looking to ways and means of improving on it. Hopefully, the internet will give me that opportunity.


 
   
   
   
 
     
 

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