Luis Dias :
Two anecdotes my Daddy told me that reveal Greatgrandfather's humble origins, & his simple lifestyle even after
achieving greatness :
1. When he passed today's equivalent of the SSCE examination with flying colours, his family were extremely proud,
but in their impoverished state, all they could give him to show their appreciation was a watermelon!
2.When he became a successful doctor and began living in Panjim, his parents continued the lifestyle they were used
As a Zuenkar, I used to be always proud of the achievements of Dr. Miguel Caetano Dias. My mother
used to narrate how Zuenkars used to barge into the Goa Medical College and ask for "Miguel Caetano" and no one used to stop
them. I believe he had a standing instruction not to stop any Bendekar from meeting him.
Another incident which she told us - and it was told to her by her grandmother - is rather interesting.
One day, one of our Zuenkars was passing by his house near the post office with a basket of ladyfingers on his head. A guard
who was posted outside the gate saw the "Bendekar" and started taunting him. "Arre, Bendekar, ubbe barra, venkde therra".
Dr. Miguel Caetano, who was sitting in the balcony heard the taunts. Loudly he called out to the guard and said. "Arre baba,
tuka bhende zai? Mhojea khodean assa. Hanv bhendekar and mozho pai bhende roita? The guard just sank and apologised profusely
to our dear "Bendhekar and Dr. Miguel Caetano".
He was such a humble soul, who was proud of his roots.
Another interesting anecodote that my father told me runs as follows:
"When Dr. Miguel Caetano arrived
from Mozambique to Goa, a large
number of Portuguese high officials were waiting at the Panjim jetty to receive him. Hearing
the news that his son would be arriving on that day, his father too had come to Panjim from Santo Estevam. However, when he
saw an array of Portuguese soldiers and high officials lining up, he was petrified and thought that some high mandarian or
governor is coming from Portugual. So he stood at a distance away from the crowd. As the ship dropped its anchor and Dr. Miguel
Caetano disembarked, he was accorded a red carpet welcome with some number (i don't remember now) of gun salute. As he was
being escorted, he told the "governador" that before the commencement of any official function, he wanted to see his father.
It was agreed upon and everyone started looking out for his father. The father, from his safe distance, had in the meantime
recognised the "high official from Portugal" as his son. But he didn't muster enough courage to go near the reception area.Finally
to draw his son's attention, the father waved the ????? (I forgot the name. Don't remember it either in Konkani or Portuguese.
It was a chequered handwoven cloth that Zuenkars used to throw it on their shoulder, like a shawl). When Dr. Miguel Caetano
saw it, he left all the officials behind and at a brisk pace walked up to his father. He embraced him tightly and told him
"Pai, tu ata ghara vos. Hanv, ein funçao cabar zatoz ghara eitam." (Father, you go home now. I have to finish all these formalities
and after that I'll come home). Proudly, he then introduced his father to all the high and mighty. They were all shocked to
know that he was the son of a simple Zuenkar.