Written by Marlon Moraes
In the heart of Goa, about 7 kilometers from Panjim, lies a tiny Goan village, not known to many called Salvador-Do-Mundo. Besides the serene beauty this village has to offer, this village is home to the second oldest church in Goa, The Saviour of the World Church. There are quite a few temples in the village too, but one that stands out is a small temple dedicated to a ‘Rakhundar’ (Protector in Konkani)called ‘MARRAGAN’. ‘Marragan’ or ‘Mar’ as the locals may call him is a protector who has been worshipped in this village for generations. Although he is worshipped by the Hindus, the locals of other faiths believe that ‘Marragan’ is the protector of the village.
‘Marragan Pav Re’
As the legend goes, when the local Goan villagers are in distress or face any problems, they call out to the spirit of The Protector. The Protector’s spirit takes control of the body of a chosen male, whom the locals or those in vain speak to, to seek solutions for their problems. Some locals say that, back in the days when the locals were scared at night they would say the words ‘ Marragan Pav Re’ (Marragan come here) and they would feel safer after that as they would feel the presence of someone around them.
One local happily narrates his experience:
“One day about 30-40 years back, when I was young; we owned a bus which had broken down in the neighboring Goan village. As that was our means of income for the next day we couldn’t just leave it there. So we worked through the night and finally got it fixed at about 1 o’clock passed midnight. We weren’t as lucky as you kids today, we had nothing that time, no scooters, mobile phones and not even a single streetlight on the road. It was about a 2 kilometer walk from the bus to my house, to make things worse it was raining a bit. I started walking home and felt chills down my spine,” stated the local.
“The street looked like someone painted it black. I couldn’t see a thing around me. I was scared like hell. I stopped and looked around and saw not a soul on the road, after reciting the words ‘MARRAGAN PAV RE’ I started walking. I remember my grandfather telling me about the protector, he said you could see a tall structure wearing a shawl and holding a stick in his hand. That’s what came to my mind after reciting those words. I heard footsteps about 20 steps in front of me, I tried to chase those footsteps but the closer I got to them the further they went,” remarked the local.
“So I kept my cool and just walked until I reached home in the company of someone who I couldn’t see, but the sound of his footsteps made me feel safe. As I stood in front of my house, I tried to call out to the man but there was silence. The sound of the footsteps had disappeared. I was in shock for a moment. I kept thinking to myself whether what happened was true or just my imagination,” the local signed off.
So, the next time you’re passing through this beautiful village at night and feel lonely or scared, remember, you’re not alone on the road. There’s someone watching out for you!