Meet Goa's Carnival king, whose dream finally materialises

Clive Anthony Gracias is King Momo 2024, but as he readies to begin his reign of fun, advises all on following traffic rules
Clive Anthony Gracias is Goa's new King Momo this year.
Clive Anthony Gracias is Goa's new King Momo this year.Photo: Joshua Gonsalves

It's 7.30 am, and the chaos at the Navelim junction can make moving around difficult.

But then, suddenly, you see this man like a knight – who instead of shining armour, is donning a bright orange reflective traffic jacket over a short-sleeved shirt – walk in and control the mayhem caused by the local buses, speeding cars, bikers and of course school-going children wanting to cross the road.

Clive says that he will not apply to be King Momo again as he wants other Goans to experience being the Carnival king.

That knight in the bright orange traffic jacket is none other than Clive Anthony Gracias, who has been selected to wear the crown of King Momo this year for the upcoming Carnival from February 9 to 13.

In a candid chat with Gomantak Times Digital, Clive talks about his passion for Carnival and how he wishes that people should have fun for the five days and yet abide by the traffic rules.

Clive Anthony Gracias is Goa's new King Momo this year.
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IT ALL BEGAN 25 YEARS AGO

It was 25 years ago when young Clive got fascinated by the idea of being King Momo.

“As a kid, I would always volunteer for the Carnival parades, managing traffic and so on. And after the event, I would always question my family about how the selection was done," says Clive.

Clive loves being treated like a king by the people.
Clive loves being treated like a king by the people.Photo: Joshua Gonsalves

"Back in the day, having access to the internet was unheard of, so I would ask people about it. Years later, in 2014, I applied the role. And, it is only 10 years later that I was selected. The pressure at the selection interview is immense,” adds Clive.

Ever since the news of him being selected as this year's King Momo started circulating, he has been receiving calls and messages from people all over.

“I’m flooded with messages and calls; it’s a matter of pride. Now, a Chinchonkar has become King Momo. I got a call from a friend, who lives in Thailand, and it was such a delight to speak to him. That feeling of being treated like a king by people cannot be explained,” he smiles.

“I’m flooded with messages and calls; it’s a matter of pride. Now, a 'Chinchonkar' has become King Momo

Clive Anthony Gracias

Clive volunteers as a traffic warden in Navelim.
Clive volunteers as a traffic warden in Navelim.Photo: Joshua Gonsalves

CLOTHES FOR THE KING

From the decorated vehicle to the clothes worn by King Momo on the days of the parade, all are taken care of by the Department of Tourism.

“As a king, I can choose the colour and design of how I want my outfit to look. The colour selected will be used to make the outfit and all measurements and preferences are noted," says the 42-year-old from Chinchinim.

Clive Anthony Gracias is Goa's new King Momo this year.
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"I’m waiting in anticipation to see the final product. I hope I look the best on that day!” he says.

Clive tells us that he will not apply to be King Momo again as he wants other Goans to experience being the Carnival king.

“I should be remembered as the King Momo for the year 2024, and this should be a platform for other Goans to apply and experience this achievement. I want to cherish this moment once. I can strike it off my bucket list,” he shares.

Clive believes in obeying traffic rules and says responsibility is the key at Carnival time.
Clive believes in obeying traffic rules and says responsibility is the key at Carnival time.Photo: Joshua Gonsalves

RESPONSIBILITY IS KEY

With Goa experiencing a surge in accidents, Clive being a staunch believer in obeying traffic norms, says, that responsibility is the key.

“I’m very particular about traffic rules. Wear your helmet and seat belts. And, with Carnival festivities around, making merry and partying is inevitable – which is also a reason to be extra careful,” he says.

Clive Anthony Gracias is Goa's new King Momo this year.
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He also suggests that one person from each group should abstain from drinking, so that his/her friends can reach home safely.

"Everyone loves to party during this time, but it should be done responsibly,” says Clive, as he heads back to office at the Water Resources Department (WRD) at Rawanfond, Margao, after completing his shift as a traffic warden in Navelim.

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