A goldsmith and a worsmith

By on November 20, 2019
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The tale of two cousins bound by a family trade and a passion for different arts

An old Goan house abuts the street in Comba, Margao standing shoulder-to-shoulder with neighbouring houses, possibly sharing common walls. It is a typical Hindu house with a traditional devaro (place of worship), rosangan (courtyard) with the tulas and a well – all within its four walls. 

Enter the house and one is greeted by a very friendly elderly gentleman, Dr Harischandra Nagvenkar and his younger cousin Damodar Nagvekar. While the former spends most of his time at a writing desk, the latter’s favourite perch is his own little work bench by a tiny window. The man at the writing desk is a words smith and edits a magazine while his cousin fashions exquisite gold ornaments being a goldsmith. Damodar the goldsmith is surrounded by his tools – two wooden clubs on which to fashion bangles, a very personalised anvil, a collection of pincers and pliers, a variety of files, forms for shaping gold, a zotir to pull gold wires, a compass and a bunch of copper rings. All these tools are antiques that are more than 100 years old, except of course the weighing scales which are modern. But his favourite and the most special tool is a hammer fashioned out of deer horn which is not abrasive and does not leave ugly scratches on the gold. At his side is an older low work desk that was used in the olden days when artisans squatted on the floor.

Read the full article in 'Viva Goa' magazine copy.

Viva Goa magazine is now on stands. Available at all major book stalls and supermarkets in Goa.

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