It has been a great pleasure to be part and parcel of a new thought process that is the core of Goa ForGiving, a way of thinking that brings goodness alive through the God given principles of Giving and Forgiving.
The spark that lit all this was actually deeply embedded in a very difficult phase in my personal life when my wife and I headed for a divorce in 2001, something which left me shattered, since additionally, I could see the immense pain that my children were going through in the process. It is at this time, when God broke me down completely that I had to get into my reserves, reserves that were not actually mine, but strength powered by divine intervention, which culminated in me embracing forgiveness, all of which freed me from the vicious clutches of pain, anger, regret, resentment, frustration and the like.
In those moments when I was very often alone, though not lonely, I went deep into prayer, and it was amazing that I was touched very deeply, thankfully so, since it would have been impossible to continue without that. Forgiveness came in immediately, and from there, a generous heart came in as an extension, quite miraculously. It was actually at this time of deep pain, that God freed me and took me to a path that rebuilt my life in such stunning fashion. Serious financial difficulties, tax problems and other negative things that hitherto ruled me were now a thing of the past, as miracle after miracle, however small or big, came to inundate my life, and I realized that there was a huge spiritual change taking place in this once unbelieving man. I realized that there was something much bigger than financial success, and immediately started giving myself to serving others in however a small way I could.
It all started on my birthday, July 15th 2002, when my mother, children Zenisha and Nihal, some friends and I went to an orphanage in Agacaim where we participated with the children in song, dance and lots more. This was the seed that kept on growing, as my family, sadly sans my wife, went about helping me touch hearts in old aged homes, schools, associations for the blind and the like. Simultaneously, I gave myself to Jazz as we started Heritage Jazz which is a brand that does work in uplifting Goa’s cultural, musical and architectural heritage. At the same time, I also got deeply involved in serving my motherland Goa, and went about doing anything that would make my children proud.
Son of a very successful businessman Matias Gonsalves and a person who gave her life to social causes, my mother Aduzinda, I was actually quite a natural contender to get seriously into building a business empire, but the emptiness in my life that was triggered by the then emotional scars that dotted my personal landscape, could only have been overcome through service to God, children and community, and that is precisely what I went about doing and what I continue to do to this day, whilst running small property investment initiatives that keep all these things going.
The principles of Giving and Forgiving are the bedrock on what my life rests on, but it would not be fair not to mention that the actual name Goa ForGiving was coined by my friend Ricardo Rebelo who thought that it was an apt name for my journey in life after he saw the way I lived. My thanks to him for this simple albeit deeply meaningful name which my team and I at Goa ForGiving believes will be the catalyst to take Goa into a path of true peace, harmony. progress and goodness.
My thanks goes out to various people who have dotted the Goa ForGiving landscape, and they include my mother, late Aduzinda who gave so much of her time and energy to what we do, various friends & colleagues such as Wellington Gomes, Oscar Gonsalves, Shaeen Gomes, Carol Rosario, Queency Gonsalves, Ricardo Rebelo, Sonika Lotlikar, Edson Martins, Rene Barretto, O’luv Rodrigues, Cyrus Todiwala, Sergio Dias and others who put their hearts and spirit into an uplifting thought process that belongs to us all.
Above all, my thanks to my Lord Jesus Christ without whom I would have been nothing!