Tag Archives: #ProfileArtiste

Justino & Crowie- How Hotel ‘Dona Eliza’ got its name

Justino Lobo

This is a true story about Justino an artist of great calibre whose multifaceted skills showed up in various ways.

I was privileged to meet with him and his wife Sonja , when Anjean and I were invited over to their home for dinner. Anjean is a school friend of Sonja That evening was eventful as I had a very interesting and intense conversation with Justino. He described his art and how he goes about it. I was amazed to know that he never planned his work on blank canvas.. He shared how he begins at one corner of the page and continued to draw or paint inspirationally throughout the page to cover it in entirety.

 I viewed some of his work and was stunned to see such drawings , with a finesse  unimaginable.  

I asked him “ Have you had any exhibitions of your work?” Justino replied “ I  am not interested in doing so. I just enjoy my work . I certainly do not like to put a tag to my paintings. I’d rather give it away,  than lose my peace of mind.  The only time I had been given an award nationally was many years ago. My   painting was sent for some exhibition in Delhi. I was surprised that they   recognised my work for a prize.

He was encouraged in art by his father Peter (PAN)Lobo, since the age of 4 years . He gave him a special room so he could scribble on the wall. Justino uses various mediums, like pallete knife, pen and ink and even pencil. When he gets into the mood, something happens and he begins sketching free hand , even from below at the bottom of the page upwards. He continues, to sketch where his dream takes him. He brings out the female figure without any vulgarity . His humility shows, when he acknowledges that there are so many artists better than him. Some lived , but some may have died in the womb. He appreciates life, and rejoices at the time given to him.

   Now we come to an interesting story. Every morning Justino spends time at his easel drawing or painting. ( he also does metal engraving art). One morning a crow came at his window and  cawed as if to say “ give me some food” while Justine had some breakfast by the side. So he kept some of it on the window sill. Crowie ( so Justino named her)  gobbled up the  feed, and waited for more. .Justino obliged.

Crowie
Perched on Justino’s easel

This practise continued the next day and even rest of  the days at meal times. She is now a regular visitor eversince.

Soon  Crowie got so familiar that she even perched at the top of Justino’s easel. You can imagine  Justino’s delight to have sucḥ an admirer of his work .

One of the important projects which Justino worked on, was an ‘apartment’ project at a family property in Calangute.  He was confident of his architectural talent ,  and with  his  artistic mindset, designed the entire project. His two sons , however had reservations about this project. They envisioned a hotel, rather than apartments for their future.

This did not deter Justino. With some deft strokes of his  innate talent, he converted the ‘apartment’ project  into a plan for a hotel within a short time.This project was accomplished in good time.

All that remained was to name the hotel. Thus started  the episode of writing names on paper and stacking them on the table. An assortment of names came up for consideration. The stack remained on this table. They were quite frustrated as they could not come to any conclusion. After all, a name carries a lot of weight and  gives the hotel a unique image.

One morning , Crowie flew into the dining room . She alighted on the table and began pecking and choosing the various pages on the table (with the shortlisted names for the hotel)

Finally after several pages being discarded on the side, Crowie pecked at one page, pulled it out of the stack and dropped it to the ground. Crowie then flew off.

Justino picked up that page ,  and looked at the written name…

It was ‘ Dona Eliza’, the name of his grandmother, and so this name remained for the hotel.

Justine’s sons Ashton and Ivan  , are proprietors of this hotel .

Justino and family

I wonder if Crowie, will get preferential treatment when she visits “Dona Eliza”.

I certainly am waiting to see this beautiful hotel at Calangute ,and wish that Hotel ‘Dona Eliza’ will flourish and be a ‘home away from home’ for many tourists who visit Goa.

Hotel Dona Eliza

Oh and here’s some news , on Crowie’s last visit, a baby crow came along. Justino has now  befriended Crowie’s growing family or is it Crowie’s way of introducing her family to Justino.

Crowie selecting the name
An invitation to lunch
Crowie enjoying her lunch

Artist of myriad dimensions

Suzette Advani

Have you entered a home with 22 dogs barking their welcome to you .

It’s a home on the slope of a hill giving you a distant and picturesque view of Goa with rivers lakes and lush greenery .

We were received by Alcina,into the spacious home, for our meeting with Suzette. My daughter Annalize had been called for the trial of her wedding gown.

“When a client walks in, a human being walks in first, and before I lend them my hands I win their hearts . “

This is the motto of Suzette as Designer. For Annalize , the lace and material for her gown was just right ; the designing and fit most suited for the bride. Suzette works with passion to give her best .

However she is also an artiste, poet, author of short stories and has a non funded NGO for stray and abandoned dogs . But most of all a very compassionate person.

I saw some beautiful paintings, each of which has a meaning. I was surprised to learn that it had taken 2-3 years of deep life experiences , 2 month’s to put down a feature and 2-3 days to paint . In like manner, Suzette writes poetry and short stories .

Her pet project is really the pets she has rescued . When she refers to the universal opinion of the good breed of dogs over stray dogs ….she opines that dogs are just dogs , and love makes a difference in their response . She continues “ But who am I to preach the gospel of universality; idealised I am just an artiste who was designed to create art and not change the policies of the world .”

She has rescued 22 stray and abandoned dogs . The first was named Thomas ; he had fallen off a bridge and fractured his spine. She has nursed him to good health . All 22 pets have been rescued in some way and restored to normalcy… each of them having a name. The most recent pet was named ‘Blue’ as he has blue eyes. He is so affectionate, and kept licking my feet all over.

She also daily feeds 30 stray dogs outside who patiently wait at specific points as she drives on the food trail.

Suzette is a survivor of a serious motor crash , but was at peace even then. She has no regrets of any kind and believes that life is transient . She has a deep sense of spirituality. Her daily discipline includes yoga.

“I am ready for the call when it comes “ says Suzette.

So ended the encounter with a courageous lady of myriad dimensions.