Sachin had settled down on Goa in the year 1998, which was the first he came to Goa and after that never returned back. Sachin is a Sculptor of par excellence but he has another aspect of his personality and that is the hidden historian in him which keeps popping out of him every time it gets the chance. This is the story of an unsung hero who has done his tremendous contribution towards the unearthing of dozens of forts in Goa which were unknown till then.
When I heard about Sachin I decided to meet him and find out more about his work and contribution in Goa. Sachin Madage has very simple and down to earth personality but at the same time very high level of confidence and dedication level towards his work. Here the story of Sachin Madage in his own words.
“Before I go ahead, let me tell you one myth about me. I worship lord Vishnu. His first incarnation was the “Matya Avatar” (Fish Incarnation). My mother tells me that when I was just ten months old I eat the whole fish, one big size mackerel. Now I believe that my entry into Goa was due to my love towards the fish. Sachin was trying to convey here that his love for the fish is the main reason behind the coming and settling down in Goa almost 17 years back.
After Sachin came to Goa he immediately started getting the work over here. “I was skilled in the sculpting and Goa did never had many skilled sculptors hence the difficulty in getting the work was not an issue for me then. The first big work I got was the Goa Museum where I had done the entire setup. In the forest department, I had created the animal sculptors. I have done a lot of private work also like murals, sculptors for some of the big hotels in Goa. While doing that somehow my creative work left behind. These work which I had done, I do not call them creative, that is commercial work according to me,” He said.
According to Sachin the creativity is not the one that is made to the order, but it is the work of imagination and creation of the sculptor out of it.
“Presently I am working on the project of the mermaid. This is my creative work. Here I am putting all my creativity and imagination in it. The project mermaid is something unique. I am going to sculpt the series of mermaids in various moods and positions which will be designed based on the imagination. I am going to design around 15 to 20 different types of mermaids under this project. The usual concept of the mermaid is the half naked lady with the top body of a human and rest is fish,” Sachin narrated.
According to Sachin, his mermaids will be of contemporary styles “My mermaid will be riding the bike while another mermaid may be fisherwoman selling fish in the market. It will be all the part of my imagination which I do not want to reveal all at the moment, but slowly people will see my modern creativity,” Sachin said.
When I asked Sachin as how he is connected with the history research in Goa he commenced saying that “The subject of History is my passion or you can call it my first love. I am the student of history subject. There is a reason behind me getting inclined towards the history from the childhood and the reason is my mother. She belongs to the Bhonsle Gharana (family) and she always has that pride for being part of the dynasty of Shivaji Maharaj and due to that, the atmosphere at home was always been connected with the stories of Shivaji. That subjected into rooting of the seed of history deep inside me. Event the tape recorder at home would only play the “POWADA” every morning. (Powada is a genre of Marathi poetry that emerged during the late 17th century in India. The powadas are a kind of ballad written in an exciting style and narrate historical events in an inspiring manner.) And from here on my love for the History began,” he said and took a small pause before continuing further. “Now coming back to my profession of sculpting, it also has a small story connected to it. When I was in the school one my tutor Joshi sir saw my work of doing small forts and images of shivaji made by me from out of mud and he got impressed with the obtainable talent in me and from there on he started inspiring me to take my hidden talent seriously. That was my first sculptor of Tanaji on Sinhagad, maybe it was not that good in shape but it was surely a good effort for that time at the age of hardly 12,” said Sachin
From there on Sachin got the new direction to his hidden talent. “Joshi sir guided me to go to Dinkar sir’s studio to help me sharpen my skills and on his personal recommendation I started going to Dinkar Sir’s studio on the holidays and weekends and there I made my mind become the sculptor (Shilpakar). Actually, I belong to the middle-class family and there are misconceptions among the people that artists are a drunkard and they are only capable of doing some painting and prepare the Ganesha Idols for festivals. Another restriction I was facing during then was the expectations of my family from me. According to them, after completing the college, I shall join any available government jobs. So either works in government offices or join the military were the only options available for me then,” he said.
But Sachin was not one among the commoner, and when he reached in 9th grade he made the announcement in front of his parents that he has no interest in Government Jobs and he would like to peruse his studies in art college. “It was not the easy task to convince my parents against their wish, in those days every parent wanted their children should opt for the most secure source of income and what would be better than the government job? But I decided to remain stiff on my decision and finally managed to join the art college in Pune,” Sachin Narrated.
After finishing my studies, I decided to come to Goa and started working on the small projects to make my living while spending moderately towards my love and passion of historical research in Goa. “Here I started to put my time in finding the historic forts which were hidden behind the darkness of past. It was very difficult to believe that despite the existence of so many numbers of forts in Goa it has not been mentioned much in the books as if it does not exist,” said Sachin.
Sachin gives the credit of his success to his teacher who taught him painting and encouraged his inner talent of sculpting “I remember whenever there used to be a cultural period Joshi sir used to talk about the historical events and that made a deep impact on my personality, Although I joined the art college to sharpen my creative skills, but I could not let go my passion for history in fact with every day it was getting more stronger,” said Sachin.
“My love for the history developed so much that I started visiting the forts around in Pune, even my parents started worrying about my condition at that moment. They were more worried as sometimes I used to come back home very late. At the same time, I was just a small kid then. When I came to Goa first thing I did was started searching for the forts, since I was doing the same thing while I was in Pune, the habit continued and out of that habit I discovered more than 4 dozens of forts in Goa,” said Sachin
It is not that I came to Goa without the pre-acquaintance of the historical places over here. I read a lot about the forts in Goa while I was in Pune, but to my surprise when I came to Goa I realized that things were only in the books and does not exist in reality, that means when I tried to ask people about one ‘Mardan Garh’ forts they said that they have never heard of such place before. This made me take things seriously and I decided to start the discovery of all such places which exist only in the papers.
On the way to his mission, he found the first place known as Mardangad at Ponda. “I wrote my first article on Mardangad Fort in the year 2001. I remember that everyone appreciated my work; some of them even went up to saying that this is the first time they came to know so much about the place they were completely unaware of for so many years,” he said.
“When I came to Goa first I was just single then and did not have much work also in the hands so I started taking up all sorts of work to survive. I remember doing terracotta work at one point of time to make my ends meet. I also started doing my work with fiber material to create the murals and sculptures for the small big hotels in Goa,” he added.
According to Sachin, there are around 52 forts existing in Goa, at least on the papers, out of which some have partially vanished with the time while others have been converted into heritage structures. Out of 52, around 43 forts have their mention prominently in the books of history? “Now I am having the bigger plans of starting the series of theme based sculptor series on Golden India. In this series I will display the Greek-roman era in India and their trading work in those days,” said Sachin.
“I like to quote one thing here and that is pertaining to the existence and prosperity of Goa in 4th and 5th century. Goa was one of the major places of trade in India then. It was the period called Golden Era in India which lasted till the 10th century according to my knowledge,” he said as though he believes in the history very strongly, but he does not believe on the may facts which were supported by myth. He gave the example the place called Chandor that was known as Chandrapur and it was established by Chandragupta Maurya is a myth according to him. He also does not believe in the place called Pandava Caves which was supposedly built by Pandavas. “It is all myth as if Pandavas did not have any other work then to construct the caves, they were not the contractors to this kind of things.” He was laughing while clarifying this fact with me.
According to him in India, we do not have proper studies of History. “We all believe more in mythological and imaginary things. The history has been divided into two things leftist and rightist and they believe in their own versions of the facts. There are many things which I can prove with the documentary evidence.
When I tried to find out about his dual talent out of which one is dedicated to the history and second towards the art of sculpting, according to you which one is dearer to you “This is like asking me which of hand I love more or which of my eye I like more. Both are an integral part of my personality and life and I cannot live without either of them,” he explained. “But I never mix both of them, when I am a historian I completely forget that I am the sculptor and while I am sculpting I do not think of history. When I do the work related to history the artist inside me I switched off and vis a versa. Now I have mastered this trade and there are two people responsible for this. Two people who came into my life, first Gajanan Bhaskar Mehendale I called him the scientist of history. He has the tremendous amount of knowledge about Shivaji Maharaj beside that he has complete knowledge of history regardless of which race it belongs to, greek, Indian, Arabian, American Dutch everything,” he said.
“At the moment I am working on one big project, although it is still in preliminary stage, I am going to recreate the whole village in that project with realistic sculptors all over. It is a private project which will have around 150 to 200 sculptors built by me,” he added.
“Finally, I would like to give one message across to all the readers that, I really feel sad sometimes when I look around, as a sculptor I work with my complete dedication and passion putting all my efforts and hard work but there is an existence of commercial non-sculptors who do not never ever sculpted a single line on the stone who never molded anything in their life, but they call themselves sculptor and sells the things made by others in the market with their own branding. I want this practice to be stopped and the true sculptors should get the recognition,” with this words he concluded.