If you walked down St Joseph's Avenue in Santa Cruz west on Saturday evening, you would have been witness to much fun and frolic as a few of the communities got together to participate in the carnival. In its fifth year this year, the carnival is usually organised by Community 19 of Sacred Heart Church, Santa Cruz, but this year "We have invited community 17 to participate as well," said Lillian Braganza, one of the organisers. Senior citizens, working professional, homemakers and school and college students alike come together for this much looked-forward-to celebration year after year. "This is the fifth year we are having it, but it is bigger and better. Bishop Bosco Penha has also honoured us with his presence. We have eight floats and more people from the parish are involved." said Tescelin Almeida.
Each float is based on a different theme. '1 Love' read one float in the Jamaican colours of red, yellow and green, with the message to bring love where it belongs—in the hearts of people— and to discard petty differences thus creating a harmonious world. 'Adultery, rape, gambling, riots, poverty, murder, child abuse,abortion, murder' read the hats of the participants of the float 'Hard talk with God'. In this float a well-known journalist questions Mr. God about controlling corruption and crime in the world and as 'the nation wants to know,' what has God done to get rid of corruption, rape, crime? 'Mario Miranda Comes Alive' was another float depicting Goa's villages and the famous Mario Miranda characters—Ms. Fonseca, the bridal couple, the machiwali, the vegetable seller and more. Then came Yeh Hai Mumbai with its police, high court judge, beggars, squatters, bhajiwalis, dabbawallas and Kareena Kapoor. Next was the Indie hop. "Our float is a comment on India and a salute to the common man," said Joan Shenoy, who was a part of a float for the first time. "Our slogan 'Jai Ho' salutes the common man. It was not just about importing the idea of the carnival, but we wanted to give it an Indian twist." And then came St.Joseph's Sports Academy's 'Sports meets Carnival' float with Sachin Tendli and his necklace of tendlis, Bhaichung Butta with a football in one hand and a ear of corn in the other, Saina Navel showing off her bellybutton, Milky Singh with her milk bottle, Dhanraj Pillow with a hockey stick in one hand and a pillow in the other and Mary Comb with a comb in her hair, led by their coach and cheered by their cheerleaders.
Approximately 400 people come together to participate in the floats every year for the carnival in February. And then there is the audience. Stalls selling food prepared by community members, clothes and curios flank both sides of the St. Joseph Avenue. But there's more to the carnival than just fun and frolic. It's a time where the people within the community come together setting aside all differences. The profits from it go to the underprivileged children of St. Teresa's Convent High School and Sacred Heart Boys High School. "We have randomly grouped buildings together so that people within the community bond," said Neil Lobo one of the organisers of the carnival. "As director of the Small Christian Communities, our purpose is to get people together and this is a model example," said Bishop Bosco Penha.
"It's a a great way to come together and to be a part of the energy, " finished Joan Shenoy as the night came to an end.