24 October, 2020

Every Underdog Has His Day

Every Underdog Has His Day
SING the praises of Anton Sequeira, proud Goan ramponkar, the traditional catamaran fisherman who brings joie de vivre and irrepressible good humour to Goa's beaches. I first met Anton in '88 when he was well and truly up against it. Huge mechanised trawlers were fishing illegally in ramponkar waters, denuding the shoals and threatening his livelihood. And there he was, suggesting, as his inalienable right and my unshirkable responsibility, that I stand guarantee for a Yamaha outboard motor. In the event, I did, little realising that I would make a lifelong friend and help launch an amazing career into the risky waters of laissez faire entrepreneurship. "How's the fishing?" I asked him a year later. "No fish, sah,"—a trademark sunshine grin—"I now make tourist boat." An oar-driven catamaran, designed to carry a quarter tonne of fish and four men, was being used for illegal overnight forays to Grand Island and Arambol Beach. Overloaded, just short of capsizing, with retired British trippers and not a life jacket among the 12 of them. "Good business sah, two hunren' rupees head....


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